2020 Student Design Competition Winners


The 9th CTBUH International Student Tall Building Design Competition concluded on 14 October 2020, with live judging of the final five finalists selected from 250 entries. The First Place entry was “A Critical Approach to Vertical Graveyards,” by Nikita Klimenko, Yale University and Nikita Shpakov, Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics.


In Tokyo, high real estate prices have complicated traditional approaches to honoring the dead. This team envisioned a high-rise project that would be centrally located and modern, yet hospitable to burial customs and provide spaces for quietude, reflection, and privacy.


A total of $4,500 in prizes was distributed to the five finalists, including complimentary virtual registrations to CTBUH 2020 Post-Crisis City Conference that occurred on 17 November 2020.


The Council would like to thank the final jurors, who gave their time to this important initiative: 

  • Jury Chair: Helen Lochhead, Dean, Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney

  • Craig Gibbons, Brisbane Buildings Group Leader, Arup, Singapore

  • Leah Lang, City Architect, City of Gold Coast, Gold Coast

  • Viviana Muscettola, Associate Director, Zaha Hadid Architects, London

  • James Parakh, Urban Design Manager, City of Toronto Planning Division, Toronto


See the winning projects and watch the students give their final presentations to the jury below.



Winner: 1st Place

A Critical Approach to Vertical Graveyards 


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


2nd Place

Breathable Density


Allen Lai

Architectural Association School of Architecture


3rd Place

Medi Hubs


Karan Sharma

University of Calgary


4th Place

Sky Alley


He Jin & Chanjuan Wang

Dalian University of Technology


5th Place



Jainam Jain &Urmi Panchamia

Aditya College of Architecture