Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

2015-2016 Design Research Studio Kicked Off in Miami

November 16-21 2015 View in Chinese (中文版本)

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2015-2016 Design Research Studio kindly supported by:
MIAMI – “Network Reshaping Downtown: Transit-Oriented Mega-Development within the Miami Revitalization Plan,” is a collaborative design studio undertaken by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP), Tongji University, Shanghai, with support from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and Arquitectonica. The event kicked off at the Arquitectonica Headquarters in Miami when Tongji University students took a week-long visit to Miami in November, which included design workshops at Arquitectonica, site studies, and tall building tours. This collaborative design studio focused on Brickell City Centre, which is anticipated to bring a whole new level of urban living and sophistication to the area. The students evaluated the overall Brickell City Centre development, investigating alternatives and proposing programmatic and design solutions for the construction of a Phase II tower and its integration into the existing Phase I buildings.

Raymond Chu, Arquitectonica Shanghai Office Director, gave a presentation on tall buildings and urban complex design when the Tongji group visited the Shanghai Office before heading to the US.

Following the successful completion of the 2013–2014 “Towards Zero Carbon” Design Research Studio in Chicago and 2014–2015 “Network-3D” Design Research Studio in New York, this year’s studio moves to Miami, where tall condominium towers define the skyline in popular imagination. Before leaving from China, Tongji students and professors visited the Arquitectonica Shanghai Office to begin the design studio. The Tongji group made Chicago their first stop in the United States, where they visited CTBUH headquarters – located at the Illinois Institute of Technology – along with the Chicago Architecture Biennial, Chicago Architecture Foundation, and many landmark buildings such as the Willis Tower, John Hancock Center, and several Frank Lloyd Wright houses.

Thomas Westberg, Vice President and Director of Marketing of Arquitectonica, showed the physical models of Brickell City Centre during the site study tour.

The Tongji group visited the luxury condominium tower Regalia, designed by Arquitectonica.

The four days of design workshops and technical tours were hosted and led by the Arquitectonica Miami Office. On day one Sherri Gutierrez, Arquitectonica Miami Office Director, opened with a welcoming speech and delivered a lecture on Brickell City Centre, offering deep insight into the project itself and its surrounding neighborhood. Next, CTBUH Researcher Dr. Peng Du introduced the previous CTBUH Student Design Studios and gave an overview of the overall agenda for this year’s studio. Later, Tongji University Professor Zhendong Wang provided a summary of the studios’ progress and described the various design themes that students were developing. Samuel Luckino, Arquitectonica New York Office Director, also joined the presentations and discussions

Students presented their work at the review.

On day two Thomas Westberg, Vice President and Director of Marketing, Arquitectonica, led the group on a tour of the project site along with downtown Miami, Miami Beach, and other tall buildings in the area. After the first two days of information gathering, the students executed physical, historical, cultural, and environmental studies of the project site and the city and continued to work on their projects under the supervision of two Tongji professors and Dr. Du at the Arquitectonica Miami Office. The students were divided into five groups, and each was required to develop a unique design strategy to deal with specific challenges. During the fourth workshop, students presented their research findings and design concepts by group and received thoughtful critiques from the advisors.

The group poses for a photo in the Arquitectonica Headquarters in Miami. First row from left to right: Prof. Zhendong Wang (Tongji University), Samuel Luckino (Arquitectonica), Sherri Gutierrez (Arquitectonica), Peng Du (CTBUH), and Prof. Hao Wang (Tongji University).

The students also made their way to New York City to study the tall building typology there. Upon their return to China, they will further develop their design proposals with the feedback given in Miami. The final review is expected to be conducted at Arquitectonica's Shanghai Office in January, 2016.

Funding for Tongji University students to visit Miami was kindly provided by Arquitectonica, via the “Gold + Design Research Sponsorship Package” at the CTBUH New York 2015 International Conference.

Tongji students enjoyed jumping on the Miami Beach after intense workshops.