Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Gensler's Chicago Office Hosts Presentations and Technical Tour for IIT Students
September 27, 2016
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CHICAGO – As part of the CTBUH-IIT Academic Courses, a group of IIT architectural students visited the Gensler Chicago Office on September 27 providing insight into the avant-garde design practices of developing tall buildings and vertical urbanism around the world. The event began with an office tour led by Grant Uhlir, Managing Director and Principal; Russell Gilchrist, Principal; and Aleksandar Sasha Zeljic, Principal, followed by a serious of presentations on tall buildings and vertical cities. Specifically, Uhlir introduced Gensler’s global practices and design philosophy in general, Gilchrist and Zeljic co-presented on Gensler’s vision and design principals on tall buildings and sustainable veridical cities, and Chris Grosse, Project Architect, presented on the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a new home for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), to be opened by the end of 2016.
Grant Uhlir, Managing Director and Principal, introduces Gensler’s global practices and design philosophy. Russell Gilchrist, Principal, Gensler, presents design principals on tall buildings and sustainable veridical cities.

Later, Uhlir and Grosse led a technical tour of the AbilityLab. The tour covered the ground floor’s lobby, the sky lobby on the 10th floor, and space on the 23rd and 24th floors, where the group visited a typical in-patient floor, which includes a two-story atrium facing north with a great view of the neighboring medical campus and the Lake Michigan coast.

Aleksandar Sasha Zeljic, Principal, Gensler, presents Shanghai Tower as an example of “Vertical Urbanism.”
Grant Uhlir, Managing Director and Principal, introduces the construction process of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.
The group represented students from two courses in the College of Architecture, IIT, a seminar course titled “Talking TALL” and a design research studio titled “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050,” both of which are taught by CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood, IIT Research Professor, and CTBUH Academic Coordinator Dr. Peng Du, IIT Visiting Assistant Professor. The design research studio is generously supported by Gensler via the “Gold + Design Research Sponsorship Package” at the CTBUH 2016 International Conference “Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism.” As part of the studio, students will have the opportunity to travel to the Pearl River Delta region including Shenzhen and Hong Kong in October 2016, in conjunction with the 2016 Conference.
The group poses for a photo in the Gensler Chicago Office.