Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
“Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050” Design Research Studio Final Review
December 2, 2016

See more about Illinois Institute of Technology Academic Studios

Traveling studio kindly supported by:

CHICAGO  – Friday, December 2, 2016 marked the final review of a semester of intense work for the students and tutors of “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050,” a collaborative design studio undertaken by the IIT College of Architecture, with assistance from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) and Gensler. Taught by CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood, IIT Research Professor, and CTBUH Academic Coordinator Dr. Peng Du, IIT Visiting Assistant Professor, the studio explored the sustainability and resiliency in urban environments within the context of accelerating urbanism and climate change, proposing new city locations and urban design. Students worked in seven pairs to create a viability plan for cities in certain regions, pertaining to seven different climate zones and terrains including: (1) Arid / Desert; (2) Polar / Tundra; (3) Continental / Delta or Marsh; (4) Ocean / Sea; (5) Mountainous / Highlands; (6) Tropical / Rainforest; and (7) Continental / Plain or Grasslands.
Images of the seven projects, designed by groups of Illinois Institute of Technology architecture students. Themes of the projects were: (1) Arid / Desert; (2) Polar / Tundra; (3) Continental / Delta or Marsh; (4) Ocean / Sea; (5) Mountainous / Highlands; (6) Tropical / Rainforest; and (7) Continental / Plain or Grasslands.
Final reviews were held at Crown Hall on IIT campus. In addition to the two studio professors, the review jury also included Wiel Arets, The Rowe Family College of Architecture Dean Endowed Chair, and Vedran Mimica, Associate Dean of Research, as well as leaders from Gensler’s Chicago Office including Grant Uhlir, Managing Director and Principal; Stephen Katz, Senior Associate; Les Ventsch, Design Director; and Allan Chung, ‎Project Architect.

Dr. Wood and Dr. Du began by briefing the guest jury on the background of the studio. Next, students presented their research and design proposals for future vertical cities in different terrains and climate zones, before receiving critiques on their work. The jury reviewed each of the student projects and provided comments for further development.

An architecture student presents the Arid / Desert group project

Students present their work and receive critiques from the jury
As part of the two-semester Cloud Studio program at IIT, the first semester focused on addressing concerns on the global and urban scale regarding the long term sustainability of a megacity. Throughout the semester, students had opportunities to interact with design professionals on multiple occasions, including a tall building presentation and technical tour with Gensler’s Chicago Office, as well as traveling to Shenzhen and Hong Kong for the CTBUH 2016 International Conference. Students will continue working to develop their urban vision at the community/block scale during the second semester. They will specifically develop the design of one tall building or a cluster of tall buildings within their vision to an advanced level, taking into consideration culture, climate, and the physical aspects of the location in their design proposals. Gensler will continue supporting the studio throughout the year through a variety of capacities, such as reviews, lectures, tutorials, and building tours.
Reviewers and students pose with student models after the final review for a group photo