Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Skybridges Research Project Holds First Meeting
Experts convened to establish a plan for the upcoming research project on skybridges and their future in tall building construction.
Friday, 19 October 2018
DUBAI – The CTBUH Skybridges research project steering committee held its initial kickoff meeting, just ahead of the 2018 Middle East Conference. The 18-month project, kindly funded by thyssenkrupp, will begin with a historic evaluation of the skybridge typology, before proceeding with an assessment of the current state of the art in skybridge design and operation. This research will ultimately inform a set of design guidelines for the tall building industry and an evaluation of future potential for skybridges. Following confirmation of the research results, this information will be distilled and widely disseminated in the form of a CTBUH Technical Guide.

CTBUH CEO Antony Wood set the scene for the research project, reviewing the parameters of the project and the inspiration behind it, as well as a tentative definition of a skybridge for the purposes of this research, and a classification system for different types of skybridges. This was followed by a presentation on the thyssenkrupp MULTI system by Markus Jetter, Head of Product Development for thyssenkrupp.

Wood then outlined the parameters of the research. Subjects to research include questions such as:
  • Who builds, funds, operates and maintains the skybridges – especially when between different owners?
  • How are spaces affected where the skybridges connect – lobby, security, commercial services?
  • What is the optimum placement of the skybridge along the height of towers – is it in the center of population density?
  • If skybridges are thought of as a city network, like streets, what are the development implications?
The research will investigate case studies of recently constructed skybridges and evaluate them across several technical criteria, to be developed; it will also establish challenges of the typology, ranging from design/engineering to social and administrative/operational.

Committee members suggested various other avenues of research, such as issues of security and access with respect to making skybridges part of the public realm; the role skybridges could play in increasing the amount of green space in cities; and urban policy that makes skybridge networks work well in some places more than others. It was also pointed out that there could be various advantages and disadvantages from a structural standpoint when placing a skybridge between two buildings and rigidly connecting them into one system. In consideration of the socio-cultural aspects of creating “streets in the sky”, the team agreed that post-occupancy monitoring is one tool that could be deployed to determine success of various implementations – but the first objective should be to choose the projects for study that would best support multiple angles of study.

The next steps will involve project selection for case studies, desktop/literature review of the existing state-of-the-art and historical precedent, and broadening of the experience base of the committee to include maximum geographical and disciplinary diversity.

Surname First Name Company Title Location
Wood Antony CTBUH Chief Executive Officer Chicago, USA
Du Peng CTBUH China Office Director & Academic Coordinator Chicago, USA
Safarik Daniel CTBUH Editor Chicago, USA
Trabucco Dario CTBUH Research Manager Venice, Italy
Jetter Markus thyssenkrupp Head of Product Development Neuhausen, Germany
Ramos Luis thyssenkrupp Head of Communications Düsseldorf, Germany
Ridder Michael thyssenkrupp Head of Communications MULTI Düsseldorf, Germany
Gomez Ignacio Aedas Design Director - Middle East Dubai, UAE
Ho Goman Arup Director Hong Kong, China
Ivanoff John BuroHappold Associate New York, USA
Parakh James City of Toronto Planning Department Urban Design Manager Toronto, Canada
Singh Gurjit Dubai World Trade Centre Senior Vice President – Real Estate Dubai, UAE
Hashim Hashimah KLCC Property Holdings Berhad Executive Director Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Yiagos Alexandros Langan Engineering Senior Project Manager Dubai, UAE
Ayars Daniel NBBJ Principal Columbus, USA
Davies Anton RWDI Principal Toronto, Canada
Leflour Pierre Setec TPI Structural Engineer Paris, France
Mazeika Aaron Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Associate San Francisco, USA
Bock Thomas Technical University of Munich Chair, Building Realization & Robotics Munich, Germany
Burns Joseph Thornton Tomasetti Managing Principal Chicago, USA
Muscettola Viviana Zaha Hadid Architects Associate Director London, UK