Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
SCB’s Chicago Office Hosts Presentations and Building Tour for IIT Students
February 7, 2018
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CHICAGO – As part of the CTBUH-IIT Academic Courses, a group of Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) architecture students visited the Chicago Office of Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) on February 7 to gain insight into the design practices of developing major public space at height within tall buildings. The event began with an office tour led by SCB Principal Martin Wolf, followed by his presentation on SCB’s design approach and practice for tall buildings. Specifically, Wolf led the academic group through the schematic design process of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, discussing design philosophies and challenges of creating “skyspaces.”
Martin Wolf, Principal at SCB, presents design strategies for tall buildings as an example of “Vertical Urbanism.” Building systems for the Lurie Children’s Hospital are demonstrated to the group in a series of diagrams.

Following the office tour and presentation at SCB, Wolf was joined by Julie Pesch, Public Affairs Director at Lurie Children’s Hospital, to co-lead a technical tour of the building. The tour covered the hospital’s interior public spaces; primarily the two-story Healing Garden on floors 11 and 12, which was designed to foster a peaceful, healing environment. The space is playfully lined with bamboo trees and used by patients, visiting families and hospital staff.

Julie Pesch, Public Affairs Director at the Lurie Children’s Hospital, sheds light on how people use the Healing Garden.
Students enjoy the “Tree House,” a wood and glass balcony perched in the bamboo canopy above the Healing Garden.
The group included students from a seminar course titled “Talking TALL” in IIT’s College of Architecture taught by CTBUH Academic Coordinator Dr. Peng Du, IIT Visiting Assistant Professor and CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood, IIT Studio Associate Professor, with support from CTBUH staff Daniel Safarik, CTBUH Editor and Jason Gabel, Communications Manager. Following the CTBUH Technical Guide The Space Between: Urban Places, Public Spaces & Tall Buildings, which analyzes the approach of urban habitats connecting buildings at the ground level, the students are currently conducting research on the space within tall buildings. The final output will be incorporated into a forthcoming CTBUH Technical Guide, capturing best practices of what has been accomplished around the world in terms of high-floor interior public spaces.
The group poses for a photo in the SCB Chicago Office.