2022 international Student tall building Design Competition Winners

The 2022 International Student Tall Building Design Competition ran on the theme of "the use of mass timber in multi-story buildings", which has myriad benefits for society, including a 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. See more information on the five winners and projects below.


Kindly sponsored by:





1st Place

Volcano, Hut & Divine Tree - Cultural Center in Big Island, Hawaii  

Yuchen Wang and Yin-Shan Lin, University of Hawaii at Mānoa


The impact of powerful civilizations broke the isolation between the island society and the western world, making the traditional Hawaiian society face comprehensive changes. The design abstracts three local characteristic objects, which are volcano, hut & divine tree to compose its main form and space, which manifests local culture, customs, history, and beliefs. This cultural center in Big Island, Hawaii provides a space for bringing natives back to seek for their spiritual home, which can benefit local cultural spread and revitalization as well as promote local education.

View Presentation Board





2nd Place

Interwoven, San Francisco

Qianqian Zhang, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture


The main content of this design is to softly embed wooden multi-function residential buildings between modern high-rise buildings and low-rise old blocks bring more warm and natural public space and residential space, and weave the cities on both sides together. The living space is dominated by loft-style apartments. The first floor is used for office reception and some daily activities, and the second floor is mainly used as a bedroom. The volume-shaped public space is inserted into the tube structure and supported by a beam-column system. At the end of the volume space, vertical pedestrian traffic is provided to facilitate communication between floors.

View Presentation Board





3rd Place

The Sense-Scraper, New York City

Gordon Chun Hin Hon, University of Melbourne 


The Financial District in Manhattan is known for its fast-paced lifestyle and high-pressure environment. Despite its popularity, the area is often criticized for having limited green spaces and this contributes to the stress and anxiety of local residents. In order to address this issue, this project aims to provide an urban sanctuary in the heart of the city. The Sense-Scraper is a mixed-use building that incorporates mass timber construction and explores the concept of biophilia in order to counteract the effects of urban mental health crisis and promote sustainability. The building is designed as a third space urban oasis, offering a refuge from the concrete jungle meanwhile provide a low carbon footprint lifestyle to the dwellers.

View Presentation Board





4th Place

Fill in the Gaps - Triumph of the Unwanted Space, New York City

Ridho Gustama, Gilbert Aldo Theodric, and Rayhan Naufal Hadiansyah, Parahyangan Catholic University


Rapid human growth and urbanization towards dense cities, causing less and less land left in the city and increased land prices. The remaining land in one urban layer tends to form abstract, organic, and sharp forms, which are not likely to be developed further. The residue from the previous development also produces urban waste in the form of land leftovers. We propose a new way of approach of how we can build a new way of tall building typology that is more appropriate to the context and the problem, and how a tall building should take a stand against this new and rapidly changing urban context, especially to maximize a cramped land-use with ad hoc leftovers.

View Presentation Board





5th Place

Talent Machine - The Platform for the Exchange of Skills, Knowledge, and Information, New York City

Joanna Cieslikowska, Delft University of Technology


Talent Machine is a symbolic expression where the word machine brings to mind a system, one that stays in action, in a movement. Talent is a general expression often meaning an abstract concept of a skill, knowledge or information. Talent Machine is a new kind of an innovation campus where ideas are born - a platform where skills, knowledge and information can be exchanged. The goal of the Talent Machine is to bring not only an intangible intellectual inspiration, but also a completely substantial architectural form - a building or rather a set of buildings that are given a specific program to play their roles well. The 33-level tall timber structure marks a beginning for the new era, inspiring future entrepreneurs with its fresh feel. It creates an inspirational work environment where ideas are born.

View Presentation Board