Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Presentations, Speakers & Videos


Welcome: Timonthy Johnson, CTBUH Chairman, Symposium Co-Chair
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Chair: Antony Wood, CTBUH Executive Director, Symposium Co-Chair
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Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award
40 Years of Designing the Supertall
Adrian Smith, Partner, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

As one of the world’s foremost experts on supertall buildings, Adrian Smith has contributed greatly to the development of this highly specialized building type. Adrian discusses his life’s work in tall buildings, including landmark towers such as the current world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa (2010), and the recently announced Kingdom Tower, which at over 1,000 meters in height will become the next world’s tallest.

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Best Tall Building Americas
Eight Spruce Street: Getting Under the Skin: Façade Innovation
Joseph A. Rechichi, Senior Vice President, Forest City Ratner Companies
John Bowers, Partner,
Gehry Partners, LLP

The façade of "New York by Gehry" at Eight Spruce Street is designed to create a draping fabric-like quality and gives the building its landmark signature look. Inside each unique floor plate was carefully planned to efficiently marry the plan to the façade. The design and construction of this façade was made possible by innovative new technologies that streamlined the process from design, to fabrication, to installation.

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Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia
Guangzhou IFC Towards An Elegant Simplicity
Chris Wilkinson, Principal, Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Michael Kwok, Director,

The tallest of the four regional winners this year at 440 meters, the Guangzhou International Finance Center utilizes the world’s tallest constructed diagrad structure, whose inherent stiffness resists acceleration and sway, while the aerodynamic form of the tower reduces the effects of wind at height – a significant factor in the structural design of very tall buildings. Both give a layer of depth, strength and character to the building.

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Session One - Panel Questions & Answers

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Best Tall Building Europe
KfW Westarkade The Next Generation of Energy Efficiency
Axel Hinterthan, Director, KfW Bankengruppe
Matthias Sauerbruch & Louisa Hutton, Principals,
Sauerbruch Hutton

One of the most energy-efficient office buildings in the world, KfW Westarkade is projected to use about half the primary energy of an average European office building, and one-third of a North American one. Its appearance is a direct expression of an holistic approach to sustainability. Its sophisticated envelope mediates natural thermal conditions and acts as a colorful interface between the distinct urban spaces of its context.

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Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa
The Index Passive design for the Middle Eastern High-rise
Thomas Wiegand, Chief Property Officer, Union Properties
Toby Blunt, Partner,
Foster + Partners
The Index has a long but narrow profile which houses its mixed residential-over-office functions within its coherent but well articulated form. The tower has been carefully designed for its climatic context. The building is oriented to reduce solar gain, and employs a system of sunshades on the exposed south elevation. A series of pools create a cool micro-climate around the tower’s base and entry.

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Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal
Seismic Design and Structural Engineering: Implications for our World Today
Dr. Akira Wada, Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology
As tall buildings continue to rise in highly active seismic regions, the importance of designing their structures to withstand these dramatic events and maintain the safety of their occupants is paramount. Few men have contributed so greatly to the understanding and development of tall building structures in seismically active regions. Dr. Wada shares some of the innovations he has developed in the realm of seismic design.

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Session Two - Panel Questions & Answers
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Antony Wood, CTBUH Executive Director, Symposium Co-Chair
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