Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Reimagining Tall
2012, 2nd Annual CTBUH International Student Design Competition
Competition Jury Chair, Chris Wilkinson
View an Overview of the 2012 Competition
The goal of the 2012 competition, kindly supported by KONE as part of their 2012 Shanghai Congress Gold + Student Competition sponsorship package, is to shed new light on the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society.  As noted by the 2011 Competition Jury Chair, William Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox, “There has been a major transition in the sense of the value of the tall building and what it can contribute to the urban realm, and society in general. This transition moves the tall building away from just an instrument of financial exploitation and toward a development highly concerned with its impact on the city, the environment, and the urban habitat.”
2012 Funding Sponsor
In light of global climate change, public awareness of urban sustainability has forced designers to rethink and reinvent the role of the high-rise building type. They must contribute to the protection of endangered environments and offer sustainable alternatives to how cities operate, as they meet the growing demands of urban dwelling and reshaping the landscape of modern cities. It is increasingly important that tall buildings connect with the urban fabric, integrating with the existing city/street life, and reflect the nature of the city in which they are built.

First Prize
283_Mosaic Habitat
Alexis De Bosscher
The project integrates the need for dense, cheap settlements with the spontaneous housing typology. Basically a strong and simple structure is built with the basic needs in water and electricity. It provides the necessary infrastructure in case of earthquakes and heavy rains.  The residents use this platform to build their own houses on.

Second Prize
606_Urban Forest

Zhao Jianxiu, Luan Qing, Geng Yifei, Wang Yuchen, and Xue Chenwang
In such a crowded city, a kind of skyscrapers is demanded which can serve citizens with not only space to live, but also space to communicate. The design is based on the above, which adds forests to the skyscraper. The forest provides different species with different spaces to live and move around.

Third Prize
103_Postitalo Torni: Parasitic Residential Tower

Gabriel Huerta
The project is sited opportunistically at the cusp of the old city center and the developing cultural zone of Helsinki, making the tower an iconic beacon from the harbor waterfront. The selected host building for the proposed tower is the Postitalo (the former main post office building).

Fourth Prize (tie)

Shawna Hammon
Woven challenges the public's perception of wood as a viable structural material for skyscrapers - not only is it possible, but it is more sustainable by far.  Wood sequesters carbon, requires less embodied energy to produce, has a fire rating, has a comparable strength-to-weight ratio and is a renewable resource.

Fourth Prize (tie)
456_Healing High-Rise

Noura Ghabra, Rong Xu, and Jing Huang
This project aims to tackle both environmental and social sustainability through the design of a tall building that meets Passivhaus performance criteria while responding to the human needs of health and wellbeing. It accommodates a mix of functions. The design agenda is embraced within the building through three states namely relax, nurture and heal.

Honorable Mention
210_UpDownTown Frankfurt

Benjamin Zweig
The UpDownTown- mini sky scraper is 65 meters and 18 floors high. A mini skyscraper refers to a high rise building on a small infill site with one or two residential units per floor. The compact floor plans are supplemented by mezzanine elevated floors.

Honorable Mention
228_Water Urban Catedral

Maxime Rousseau and Paul Jaquet Garnier
This project redefines the water cycle in Ho Chi Minh City by rethinking the positioning and function of its water infrastructure. The natural water potabilisation and wastewater treatment are grouped together in one place, on the Saigon River. Their operation is redesigned  vertically within the density constraints.

Honorable Mention
256_Slip_In Urbanism

Anesta Iwan
Instead of continuing to build upon the given footprints, Slip-in Urbanism proposes to transfer the new and unbuilt air rights into a new high-rise typology located above urban intersections. With the abundant amount of intersections still left open for future proposals, this project starts a new discussion around architecture to fill in the gaps of the city.

Honorable Mention
275_Grid Up to the Sky

Milena Todorovic and Etienne Serveau
The main idea behind this skyscraper was to create an aesthetically dominating form that will become a recognizable symbol of Chicago. The concept came from the city itself and its rich architecture legacy. Rigid street grid, steel- frame construction and views to the Michigan Lake are prime conceptual elements that shaped the tower.

Honorable Mention
391_Vertical Memorials

Tianwei Ye, Qian Zheng and Yuning Pang
To be buried in the earth, is a long tradition deeply rooted in every Chinese mind. It is a spiritual need to return to the arms of the earth where Chinese believe they come from. The building was turned upside down, to dig a “hole” into the earth. The ring shape provides loop circulation as well as a full experience of the “hole.”

Honorable Mention
414_Cultural Center for All

Jong Han, Ha Lim Choi, and Sang Hyun Lee
We envisioned a vertical structure being the environment of coinciding diverse cultures (or programs) alleviating tension and creating public interactions in the zone with high potential of conflict. Horizontal street elements brought to the inner part of the building are elevated vertically as a method of bringing people from the exterior.

Honorable Mention
L! iving +

Eva-Maria Friedel and Angela Koch
The apartments are oriented both to the outside of the building and to the inside. The tower is exposed and aired through the continuous open yard hereby giving the apartments a “living through” concept. Due to the personal adaptation each user can exercise, the facade has a vivid changing effect.

Honorable Mention
582_Alternative for a Parking Lot

Juuso Valtteri Iivonen
The first thing you see when you come to Tampere by train is a parking lot. A city, even a small one, should have proper entrance. This is the problem this plan is aiming to solve. The plan gives the site function and a public plaza with trees and a lawn for urban picnics. The building's situation on the site reduces traffic noise on the plaza.

Honorable Mention
593_(Sub)urban Translations

Matthew Davis and Adrien Mans
Our proposal is not about being the tallest tower in Brussels, it is about an innovative vertical solution providing an alternative to urban sprawl, a do it yourself icon and reimagining the relationship between the tall and the city.

Honorable Mention
596_CO2ngress Gateway

Danny Mui and Benjamin Sahagun
Every day, 77,000 carbon-emitting vehicles fly past the Congress Parkway interchange, polluting the air. This project creates a gateway over the corridor that filters air and fuels a new breed of car for its residents.

190_Meeting •

Javier Esquembre
The program establishes a new dynamic neighborhood including residential areas, offices, transport and services. The buildable volumes closest to the Power Station rotate into a vertical position increasing the garden area around it.

208_Warisan Merdeka Tower

Mohd Farez Mustapha, Asyraf Azmi, Mohd Firdaus Mohd & Jiat Chun Chong
The Warisan Merdeka (means ‘Heritage of Independence’ in Malay) became a nationwide issue when it was proposed to be the tallest landmark to grace the Kuala Lumpur skyline. This new proposal for the Tower looks at adapting the original brief and reinterpreting it according to the people’s needs for shelter.

263_Eco Roofscraper

Pelin Gurkan and Jue Shi
This design takes on four agendas; water sustainability, solar protection, greenery and community. It consists of two towers – a slender residential tower and a shorter office building – both leaning out to create self-shading and reduce unwanted solar gain from the high Singaporean sun.

335_Bataan Oil Skyfarm

Nino Ricardo
Recognizing the Jatropha Curcas plant as an alternative fuel source is a significant breakthrough. The oil extracted from its seeds is just one of the many products of this plant. Using the skyscraper as a useful and effective building type will result to an efficient system of renewable oil source.

385_Team MAX

Hu Jiajun, Tuo Sun, Junlong Zhou, and Dong Zhang
With more and more people pursuing high quality, high efficiency, and sustainable life, a three-dimensional city will arises at this historic moment. We, team "MAX," try to through the humanized space layout, innovative technology and the multiple function design combine efficiency and sustainability in the tower city in a maximum degree.

409_High Life

Philipp Langner
In order to come up to the environmental pressure and at the same time to afford comfortable life to the habitants arises the idea of the combination of skyscrapers and gardens. Thus, one garden is attached with a three-storied house.

457_Sabadell Plus Project

Alejandro Ribas
Rather than the study of a new type of hig-rise building, this project aims to explore the techniques, possibilities and results of a high efficiency rehabilitation of an existing tall building which is in a central position within the city.

859_Field Blades

Razvan Ghilic Micu and Jia Xin Chum
The Field Blades project is aimed at reformulating the question of building tall, while intensifying the urban habitat and social dimension of residential developments. Lattice networks, not cul-de-sacs. Thin apartment blades, not bulky core-and-shell stacks.

897_Rubber Tower

Rui Chen, Xunan Wang, Yang Li, and Waishan Qiu
Our proposal is a tower to plant rubber trees which is featured by planting trees spirally. This shape comes from how people get rubber from a rubber tree, and the shape of spiral can make the rubber liquid flow automatically which can make it easier to collect.

900_Floating Community

Davy Ku
It is not to design a single high-rise building, but to create a cluster of dwellings. The whole building mass is sub-divided into 7 building blocks that have morphological relations with the Westminster City Hall. All building blocks are linked together by hallways and bridges.