Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Video Interviews – 2009 Chicago Conference
CTBUH Special Media Correspondent, Jeff Herzer, interviewed several prominent professionals that were giving presentations at the 2009 Chicago Conference at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago on October 22nd-23rd 2009.

H.E. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Emaar Properties, Dubai

Mr. Alabbar talks about Emaar's soon to be completed Burj Dubai, which, when it opens, will become the World's Tallest Building. He gives some insights into the financial and marketing story behind this mixed-use tower which was envisaged as the "jewel in the crown" of a much larger urban development strategy.

Stuart Allen & Frank Zabel, CICO Consultants, Doha

Stuart and Frank speak about their firm's Tornado Tower project which is the CTBUH 2009 Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa winner. The building's diagonal cross braced structure creates an open floor plan and structural efficiencies in this recently completed Doha project.

Dr. Prabodh V. Banavalkar, Ingenium, Inc, Houston

Dr. Banavalkar, the 2009 recipient of the CTBUH Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal, speaks about his personal experiences with Dr. Khan as well as his life's work in tall building engineering, having worked on many landmark towers throughout his career.

Arthur Gensler, Gensler Architects, Chicago

Arthur talks about the Shanghai Tower project which at 632 meters is expected to become the tallest building in China when it is completed. The tower will complete the trio of supertall buildings in Shanghai's Pudong district, complementing the Jin Mao Building and Shanghai World Financial Center.

Richard Hanson, Mesa Development, Chicago

Richard gives a developers perspective on tall building development in the current economic market, referencing several of his companies projects which includes the Legacy at Millennium Park Tower in downtown Chicago, a 73-story luxury residential tower that is nearing completion. 

Tony Kettle, RMJM, London

Tony talks about his firm's Gazprom Tower in St. Petersburg Russia and the positive role that a tall building can have in a historic city, an argument he has been making often as the project continues to face strong opposition from historic preservationists.

Eric Kuhne, Eric Kuhne Associates, London

Eric discusses two of his large scale master plans: the City of Silk and Mohammad bin Rashid Gardens, and his 1000+ meter project currently on the drawing board in Kuwait: the Burj Mubarak al-Kabir. He also gives his view on designing in the context of the Middle East.

Bruce Kuwabara, KPMB Architects, Toronto

Bruce speaks about his firm's Manitoba Hydro Place project which is the CTBUH 2009 Best Tall Building Americas winner. The project utilizes an array of sustainable strategies combined with careful site specific design to create a highly efficient office tower for one of Canada's largest energy companies.

Clark Manus, Heller Manus, San Francisco

Clark talks about the commonalities and differences in construction and urban planning across different US cities comparing attitudes between the east and west coasts of the US. He also discusses evolving green building policies and how they are developing in a changing economic environment.

Mark Mitcheson-Low, Woods Bagot, Dubai

Mark talks about the 1,000 meter tall Nakheel Tower and the several years of significant work undertaken by both the developer and the consultant team to get this project to the first stage of reality – with foundations and basement works started on site.

Timothy Poell, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Chicago

Timothy discusses The Broadgate Tower project in London which is the CTBUH 2009 Best Tall Building Europe winner. He also discusses the recently completed Trump International Hotel and Tower project in Chicago, which at one time was proposed to be the next World's Tallest Building.

John Portman, John Portman & Associates, Atlanta

John Portman is the 2009 Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement award winner. John speaks about his career as an architect/developer, and his work in regenerating and developing downtown Atlanta, as well as his more contemporary work, which includes the design of Incheon 101, a supertall building for Korea.

Dan Probst, Jones Lang LaSalle, Chicago

Dan talks about the green retrofit of the Empire State Building in New York, and what it took to bring a historic landmark building into the modern age and keep it competitive in today's market. He also talks about sustainability in general and its growing impact in the market.

Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill, AS + GG Architecture, Chicago

Adrian and Gordon talk about their Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) retrofit and new hotel energy, along with other recent projects in their design portfolio, including the detailed analysis they conducted on the downtown central loop district of Chicago.

Richard Tomasetti, Thornton Tomasetti, New York

Richard talks about the engineering behind the 2,000 foot tall Chicago Spire design, highlighting the technical challenges and solutions for the Santiago Calatrava designed building, including the extensive testing to ensure occupant comfort in the all-residential tower.

Carol Willis, Skyscraper Museum, New York

Carol discusses skyscraper development on a global scale, referencing a study she conducted on urban environments, taking in Shanghai, New York, Chicago, Dubai, etc. She looks at how vertical density is an expression of a city’s affluence and the implication of that idea for the future of cities.

Mun Summ Wong & Richard Hassell, WOHA Architects, Singapore

Mun Summ and Richard talk about the work of their firm in Singapore including their characteristic sky gardens and "monsoon windows." Much of their work includes vertical greening, specifically exemplified by their Newton Suites project in Singapore which includes a 36-story high green wall.