Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
2009 Mock Firms Competition

On May 8th, IIT’s McCormick Tribune Campus was the host for the finale of the national Mock Firms Skyscraper Challenge. CTBUH’s Antony Wood, Jan Klerks and Philip Oldfield cooperated as jurors in the finale on May 8th. The event was organized by Chicago Architecture Today.

High school and undergrad students from all over the United States were challenged to assemble a team of designers with diverse talents and abilities as a pretend-professional or mock firm. The team had to design, construct and commercially market a mixed-use high-rise or skyscraper on an actual existing plot of real estate in a city of their choosing. The scope of the building was to be visionary in design but practical and ultimately buildable. The theme for this year was ‘no fear of heights’. The specific challenge was to demonstrate their design concepts for a mixed-use tall-building through the use of drawings, models, illustrations, video and oral presentations. 

Eleven teams of students from as far as Boston and California presented their concepts and design to the judges. This was a
great opportunity for the students and scholars to receive professional and unbiased reviews from a jury of top-shelf architects. Also in attendance on the jury panel were Martin Wolf (Solomon, Cordwell and Buenz), Ross Wimer (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill) and Stephen Yas (Yas Architecture), who were all very impressed by the overall professionalism and quality of the projects that had made it into the finale.

Click a link below to enlarge the images


Multiple awards and top honors were presented to student firms during the awards ceremony.  The overall winners in the collegiate category and the winner of a $1,000 check was the BKM team from the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California with an organic and architecturally stunning design for a educational and research tower in Dubai.


The winner of the $500 check for the overall winner of the high-school competition was the H.O.B. + Associates team from Carbondale High School, Illinois. This team designed a cylinder shaped, mixed-use tower to replace an old shopping mall. Other awards were given for best model presentation, best oral and video presentation, best firm organization and most innovative design concept.

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