CTBUH Competitions Focus on Sustainability and the Future City

For students and professional researchers, these three opportunities provide a chance to gain experience and critical industry support.

26 May 2021

James Parakh, Urban Design Manager, City of Toronto Planning Division, and Angela Chang, President, Taipei Financial Center Corporation, present the 2019 Student Research Competition winner at the CTBUH 2019 10th World Congress.

Two competitions open to current architecture students, as well as other fields, offer opportunities to gain funding and industry exposure. 

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) hosts annual competitions in design and research. This year’s prizes across all competitions total more than US$24,000.

In its 10th year, the 2021 CTBUH Student Tall Building Design Competition invites university-level students to explore “the relationship between a tall building and its urban setting” by designing a building sited in a real-world city of their choice. Understanding the context selected for their building will be a critical aspect of any successful entry. 

“Tall buildings should not be viewed as solitary structures that are disconnected from their surroundings and communities,” said Antony Wood, CTBUH’s CEO. “On the contrary, tall buildings should be envisioned as part and parcel of a complete neighborhood, and integrated into a grid of functional, visual, and mutually beneficial relationships with neighboring towers, to enhance the city of which they are a part.”

Tall buildings should not be viewed as solitary structures that are disconnected from their surroundings and communities.
- Antony Wood, CEO,CTBUH

Five finalists will be selected to present their schemes to a jury at the CTBUH 2021 Student Design Competition Virtual Event, which takes place 29 September 2021. The top cash prize is US$1,500. 

With a top prize of US$5,000, the 2021 Student Research Competition is open to university students in any discipline interested in researching the topic of “Sustainable Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.” Student researchers have broad freedom to interpret the theme and decide how their research will address it, with the main goal of the competition being to give students the chance to immerse themselves in rigorous research, under the guidance of a professor, for the first time. 

In addition to the student competitions, CTBUH is offering research professionals seed funding, kindly sponsored by Citic Heye Investment. The goal of the 2021 International Research Seed Funding initiative is to produce an official CTBUH Research Report publication on a topic concerned with improving tall buildings and cities from a wide perspective. In addition, the selected research proposal would be developed further in conjunction with CTBUH, including taking the research forward for more significant funding/development. The seed funding award is US$15,000. 

Submission requirements and deadlines vary. More information on the three opportunities is available on the CTBUH Funding and Competitions page.