The CTBUH Board of Trustees was in Costa Rica from March 23 to 25 for their bi-annual meeting and to celebrate and support the CTBUH Costa Rica Chapter across a number of activities, including a chapter event and a signboard ceremony for the country’s tallest building. Taken together, the trip attracted significant attention in the Central American country, garnering massive media interest as well as a visit from the Vice President of Costa Rica, Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría.
Ahead of the visit, CTBUH Costa Rica President Victor Montero, Founder and President, Victor Montero Arquitectos, drummed up support for the occasion with a television appearance on Habitat Soluciones, a local broadcast focused on profiling sustainable design solutions. Watch here: https://youtu.be/emr31wogWoc?t=14m7s
Upon arrival, CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood and CTBUH Trustee Dennis Poon, Vice Chairman, Thornton Tomasetti, sat for a series of consecutive press interviews with a number of leading local publications and news outlets, while other Board members underwent video interviews. The level of press attention the Board received throughout the trip reflects the significance of their visit in relation to emerging perceptions of tall buildings in the country, which are increasingly seen as a solution to densification in the country’s capital and primary city, San José.
The Board then attended a CTBUH Costa Rica Chapter event, Costa Rica in the Global Context of Tall Buildings. After brief words of welcome from Montero, CTBUH Vice-Chairman Timothy Johnson, Design Partner, NBBJ, and Jorge González, Chairman of the Costa Rican Construction Chamber, Vice President Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría addressed the audience with a short speech thanking the Council for bringing its expertise to Costa Rica and touching on the role of skyscrapers for a sustainable urban future.
Next, Wood delivered a presentation that focused on trends in tall building design and influencing factors behind their growth before introducing several design principles meant to transform the skyscraper from an isolated monolith to a vertical extension of the city. Presentations were then given by CTBUH Costa Rica Board Member Rodrigo Carazo, President, Rodrigo Carazo Arquitectos and Victor Montero, which looked closely at the emerging potential of tall buildings in the context of Costa Rica. Finally, a panel discussion with the CTBUH Board of Trustees generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm from the audience, resulting in a lively question and answer session, which was followed by a cocktail reception.
The next day, the Board met for their twice-annual meeting. Following an introduction from CTBUH Chairman David Malott, Wood briefed the board on updates involving the 2016–2017 budget, financing and investment strategies, as well major upcoming events, including conferences in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The Board also discussed proposals for leadership development and the next chairperson following the end of Malott’s term. Further discussion ranged from individual trustee activity updates to ongoing membership solicitations.
Following the meeting, Board members traveled to the Torres Paseo Colón complex, the location of Costa Rica’s tallest building, Torre Paseo Colón 2. There, they were treated to a private tour of the complex before participating in a CTBUH signboard inauguration ceremony, celebrating the building’s notable accomplishments. Not only is it the tallest building in Costa Rica at 101.3 meters, but also the first 100-meter-tall building ever built in the country.
Like the chapter event the day before, the signboard inauguration ceremony was attended by a large contingency of the press and the general public, and Vice President Chacón was again in attendance to celebrate this milestone. Speeches were given by CTBUH Chairman David Malott and the building’s developer and architect, Joe Luis Salinas, President, Grupo Inmobiliario del Parque / Arquitectura y Diseño SCMTM. After the signboard reveal, the gathering moved to the roof of the tower for a networking and cocktail reception for attendees and special guests.
After two busy days of events and press avails, the Board spent March 25 as tourists enjoying the natural wonders of Costa Rica, courtesy of a tour organized by the Costa Rican chapter. Visits to the Poas Volcano National Park and La Paz Waterfall Gardens not only served as a brief interlude from the demands of their respective industries, but also as a reminder of the beauty of nature, underscoring the importance of advocating for sustainable urban design strategies that build up, rather than out.
The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled to take place in Sydney on the pre-day to the 2017 Conference, Sunday, October 29.