2022 CTBUH Student Tall Building Design Competition


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is pleased to announce its 11th Student Tall Building Design Competition. The goal of the competition is to shed new light on the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society. The age of the tall building as a single iconic piece of sculpture, standing in isolation from its surroundings, is coming to an end. Designers have a responsibility to ensure that these permanent urban structures engender a future-oriented urban response to the greatest challenges of our time: unprecedented population growth; mass urbanization; climate change; environmental degradation; social, political, and economic change; and the rapid advance of myriad technical innovations.


This year's competition focuses on the use of mass timber in multi-story buildings, which has myriad benefits for society, including a much lower energy footprint to be produced as a building material, compared to traditional alternatives; the sequestering of carbon out of the atmosphere while producing itself as a building material (typically 50% of a tree by dry weight is carbon); evidence that suggests people feel a sense of well-being when exposed to natural materials such as wood; prefabricated components that can enable significant speed and cost savings during construction; better, sustainable management of forests.


Participants are free to locate their projects anywhere in the United States. But this is not to undervalue the importance of site—participants should carefully consider how their site (which must be a “real” site, in an existing urban location) influences the project’s design. Participants are also free to determine the size, height, function, accommodation, and responsibilities of the building. The only stipulation is that the building should be multi-storied (i.e., not a pavilion or single space), and be designed to maximize the use and expression of mass timber while taking into consideration current US building codes and standards. The intention with freedom of site and program selection is to maximize the diversity and creativity of the responses. It is also intended to allow students from specific educational studies already undertaking mass-timber-oriented studio projects during the 2021–22 and 2022–23 academic years to submit their projects for consideration.


Participants should engage with the exploration and resolution of the synergistic relationship between a mass timber building and its urban setting; how that building can be inspired by the cultural, physical, and environmental aspects of its site; how the program of the building is influenced by the micro and macro-site/urban conditions; and how the building responds to global issues. Proposals should show evidence of a clear understanding of how considerations of structure, environment, servicing, etc. are as vital to the success of a mass timber building as the form, materials, aesthetics, etc.


Kindly sponsored by:



  • First place: US$3,000
  • Second place: US$2,000
  • Third place: US$1,000
  • Fourth place: US$500
  • Fifth place: US$500
  • Honorable mentions: A select number of additional entries may be recognized and awarded a certificate.


In addition to the cash prizes listed above, the five finalist teams will be provided a US$1,600 travel stipend to attend an industry event in 2023 to be determined.


Key Dates

  • 10 November 2022: Competition formally launched
  • 6 February 2023: Registration deadline
  • 13 February 2023: Submission deadline
  • 17 April 2023: Top-five finalists notified
  • Date to be determined: Top-five finalists present to the jury
  • Date to be determined: Winners announced globally 


Submission Requirements / Criteria / Procedures


Full details of the 2022 CTBUH International Student Tall Building Design Competition, including submission requirements, criteria, procedures, etc. can be found in the Award Brief.







Past CTBUH International Student Tall Building Design Competition WINNERS:


images of 2020 winner project

2021 International Student Design Competition

Winner: Chien-Hsun Chen, Han-Yu Lai, and Chun-Yi Yeh, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology


Project: Smart Cube +/Fast-Assembling COVID-19 Prevention Olympic Village, Tokyo 

images of 2020 winner project

2020 International Student Design Competition

Winner: Nikita Klimenko, Yale University & Nikita Shpakov, Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics


Project: A Critical Approach to Vertical Graveyards



Image of 2019 Student Research Competition Winner Mandana Bafghinia.

2019 International Student Design Competition

Winner: Raapbhorn Sriyuthakrai & Wei Ying Chng, Tsinghua University


Project: Bago Sola Future Oasis


Image of 2018 Student Research Competition winnner Akram Maradni.

2018 International Student Design Competition

Winner: Yiming Gui, Ziyue Li & Ziqiao Ma, Shenyang Jianzhu University


Project: Ethnic-Minority Sky Village