Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Tongji University Faculty and Students Visit Chicago
November 2013
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CHICAGO “Towards Zero Carbon,” a collaborative design studio undertaken by the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University, with assistance from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and Permasteelisa Group, made a week-long visit to Chicago in November. The delegation from the Shanghai-based university visited its riverside Chicago project site, the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, and multiple architecture offices and tall-building projects in the city. The object of the Towards Zero Carbon studio is to design tall buildings that make positive additions to the city’s skyline – visually, urbanistically and environmentally. Pairs of students each work with tutors to establish a unique set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that work toward goals set by the Chicago DeCarbonization Plan, established by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture in 2009.
Travelling studio kindly supported by:

The group of nine students and two faculty were led around the city by Peng Du, IIT studio coordinator and CTBUH researcher.
Tongji University students and faculty pose with Rem Koolhaas (center) after the awards symposium
The students and faculty first visited the CTBUH 12th Annual Awards Symposium at IIT’s Hermann Hall on Nov. 7. Here, they were able to absorb the knowledge from numerous strong presentations focused on tall buildings and sustainability. The visit culminated in a photo opportunity with Rem Koolhaas, founding partner of OMA, who presented on, and ultimately received the Best Tall Building Worldwide award for CCTV Headquarters, Beijing.
The visit included a tour of Aqua designed by Studio Gang Students and faculty discuss a model of Dancing Dragons at the Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture firm
Next, the group was led on a tour of Studio Gang ArchitectsAqua Tower, one of the best-known residential high-rises to be built in the U.S. in the last decade. Mauricio Sánchez, Studio Leader, Studio Gang Architects, took the group through common areas and the podium garden.

This was followed by a visit to Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s offices, where the team viewed a presentation by, and gave presentations about their current state of knowledge to Christopher Drew, Director of Sustainability. Later in the day, some of the students made a pilgrimage to the Skydeck of the Willis Tower.

The zero-carbon project kicked into full swing over the weekend of Nov. 9-10, in which the team visited its project site at Wolf Point, a parking lot at the junction of two branches of the Chicago River owned by the Kennedy family. After many recession-related delays, construction has begun on a $1 billion, three-tower mixed-use project, designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli and Wolff Landscape.
Joe Dietz, VOA Associates, show students the green roof during the Roosevelt University Tower tour Antony Wood (center) receives a Chinese ink brush as a gift from Dr. Zhendong Wang (left) and Prof. Linxue Li (right)
The last building tour took place at Roosevelt University, where Joe Dietz, Senior Associate at VOA Associates, took the Tongji group through his firm’s project, the Vertical Campus Tower.

Rounding off the trip was an exchange visit with CTBUH Executive Director Antony Wood’s Sustainable Vertical Urbanism Studio at IIT, co-taught by CTBUH Research Associate Dario Trabucco, where both sets of students shared their current project work.
Tongji students and faculty visit the CTBUH offices
Upon their return to China, the Tongji students will develop KPIs for the project based on a consideration of culture, climate, and site dynamics of Wolf Point and , using these in their designs. The Tongji students are encouraged to enter their projects in the Third Annual CTBUH International Student Design Competition. A poster exhibition of up to 30 semi-finalist entries will be exhibited and finalists will be selected to present their schemes at the CTBUH 2014 Shanghai Conference.

Funding for students from Tongji University to visit Chicago has been kindly provided by Permasteelisa, via the “Gold + Design Research Sponsorship Package” at the CTBUH 2013 London Conference.
Students/Professors Attending the Visit

Professors: Prof. Linxue Li

Dr. Zhendong Wang
Students: Han Yujia

Hou Xiufeng

Lei Yu

Mi Kaipeng

Qian Ren

Xu Zhonghua

Zhang Qianqian

Zhang Xiangchen

Zhang Ziyue