Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
 

Tongji Students Share Visions for Downtown Miami
January 15, 2016
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SHANGHAI – On a cold Friday morning,
Traveling studio kindly supported by:
students in the collaborative design studio, “Network Reshaping Downtown: Transit-Oriented Mega-Development within the Miami Revitalization Plan,” assembled in the Shanghai offices of Arquitectonica to present their final designs for a project in Miami, a warmer place that had occupied their minds for the past few months. For the third year, the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) at Tongji University, with assistance from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), has partnered with a leading tall building design firm, in this case Arquitectonica, to offer a traveling studio for Tongji’s architecture students. The students form groups based around key topics, ultimately developing full-blown tall building schemes for a designated location, while conducting research, site visits, and meeting with leaders of real high-rise projects around the world. This year’s collaborative design studio explored the Brickell City Centre complex designed by Arquitectonica and developed by Swire Properties. The goal for the students was to investigate alternatives and propose programmatic and design solutions for the site’s Phase II Tower and its integration into the existing Phase I buildings.
This design research studio kicked off at Arquitectonica Headquarters when Tongji University students took a week-long visit to Miami in November 2015, which included design workshops at Arquitectonica, site studies, and tall building tours. After returning to China, the students continued working on their design proposals for the project, developing five different themes: “Sandy Beach Extension,” “Multi-Exchange Center,” “Volumetric City,” “City on Boat,” and “Back to School.”
Reviewers and students gather at the Arquitectonica Shanghai office during the final review for a group photo.
In the final review, several of the presentations proposed extending the signature design element of the project, the “Climate Ribbon” – an undulating trellis structure intended to bring cool breezes through the upper level of the shopping arcade – all the way to Biscayne Bay, several blocks away. This would have the effect of improving the site’s – and the public’s – access to Miami’s abundant, but often under-utilized, waterfront. Other projects capitalized on the site’s integration of multiple transport modes, including the Metrorail rapid transit, the Metromover automated people-mover, cars, buses, and even boats. In some cases, the process of transitioning from horizontal into vertical transportation methods defined the architecture of some of the more fanciful projects, which incorporated spiraling tramways and counterbalanced boat lifts into their structures.
Arquitectonica Shanghai Office Director Raymond Chu gives his thoughts on one of the projects. Students present their work at the final review.
Following the final review, work from the studio will be further developed and submitted to the Fifth Annual CTBUH International Student Tall Building Design Competition. Finalists will be selected to present their schemes at the CTBUH 2016 Conference in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong, China, and up to 30 semi-finalists will have their projects featured in a poster exhibition.
Renderings of the five towers, designed by groups of Tongji University architecture students. Themes of the projects were: (1) City on Boat; (2) Volumetric City; (3) Multi-Exchange Center; (4) Sandy Beach Extension; (5) Back to School.
 
Reviewers:
 
Name
Affiliation
Zhendong Wang Assistant Dean, College of Architecture, Tongji University / CTBUH China Office Associate Director in Academic Affairs
Hao Wang College of Architecture, Tongji University
Raymond Chu Managing Director, China, Arquitectonica
Murdo Fraser Associate Director, China, Arquitectonica
Daniel Safarik Director, China Office, CTBUH