Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
CTBUH Journal Case Studies

Each CTBUH Journal includes a case study paper focussed on a specific building or group of buildings. Case studies are technical in nature and give an in-depth overview of many issues related to the building's design, construction and operation. For more technical papers, visit the Technical Paper database.

Case Study: Royal Atlantis, Dubai: A Permeable and Polycentric Urbanism
James Von Klemperer, President & Design Principal, and Elie Gamburg, Director,    Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF); 2018 Issue IV

The Royal Atlantis' innovation redifines the typical high-rise hotel and residential design by introducing substantial areas of true open space into all areas of the tower.

Case Study: Oasia Hotel Downtown, Singapore: A Tall Prototype for the Tropics
Mun Summ Wong, Co-Founding Director, Richard Hassell, Co-Founding Director & Hong Wei Phua, Director, WOHA Architects; 2018 Issue III 
Oasia Hotel Downtown is a prototype of land use intensification in the tropics. This tropical “living tower” is designed to soften the hardness of the city and to reintroduce biodiversity into the urban jungle.

Case Study: Tencent Seafront Towers: Taking the Corporate Campus Vertical
Jonathan Ward, NBBJ: Jiemin Ding, TJAD; Tim Etherington, Gensler; 2018 Issue II
The Tencent Seafront Towers bring a novel concept – the “vertical campus” – to Shenzhen, housing the world's fourth-largest Internet company.

Case Study: Lotte World Tower: Seoul’s First Supertall
James von Klemperer, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; 2018 Issue I

The Lotte World Tower became the world’s fifth-tallest building upon completion in 2017, and is currently the only supertall building (300 meters or higher) in Seoul.

Case Study: Shaping Australia’s Tall Tower Design And High Livability Standards
Guy Lake, Katie Rathbone, Philip Vivian & Kristen Whittle, Bates Smart;
2017 Issue IV

With nearly 90% of its population expected to live in its state-capital cities by 2053, Australia is on track to become one of the world’s most urbanized nations.

Case Study: Ten Significant Tall Buildings, and the
Significant Women Behind Them

Leading Women in Tall Buildings; 2017 Issue III

Recently, there has been a growing and overdue recognition in the architecture discipline that women are underrepresented, not just in terms of leadership positions held, but also in terms of receiving credit for the work they have done.

Case Study: South Beach Towers, Singapore
Roland Schnizer, Irene Gallou & Adam Davis, Foster + Partners; Chia Wah Kam, Arup; Ho Weng Hin, Studio Lapis; 2017 Issue II

Torre South Beach development covers an entire city block between the Marina and Civic District in the heart of downtown Singapore.

Case Study: Torre Reforma, Mexico City
Julieta Boy, LBR&A Arquitectos; 2017 Issue I

Torre Reforma is not only the tallest building in Mexico City, but is also representative of innovation and leadership in the high-rise building industry, which has begun a shift away from a generation of all-glass façades.

Case Study: SOM and China
Scott Duncan & Yue Zhu, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; 2016 Issue IV

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has been practicing in China for more than two decades, working with residents and policymakers to shape urban environments.

Case Study: Evolution Tower, Moscow
Philip Nikandrov, GORPROJECT; 2016 Issue III

The Evolution Tower, Moscow, set off a wave of imitators when its design was first revealed in 2004, but it took another 12 years for it to come to fruition.

Case Study: Tower at PNC Plaza, Pittsburgh
Ben Tranel & Hao Ko, Gensler; 2016 Issue II

The case of the Tower at PNC Plaza, an office building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, demonstrates how extensive research, data collection and field-testing lead to a more sustainable tall building and a happier, healthier, more productive workforce.

Case Study: Sky Habitat, Singapore
Jaron Lubin, Safdie Architects; 2016 Issue I

The Sky Habitat demonstrates what can happen to the tall housing typology
when enlightened public policy meets inspired design.

Case Study: Hudson Yards, New York City
Marianne Kwok, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; 2015 Issue IV

Hudson Yards is a mixed-use development built over rail yards on the west side of New York’s Manhattan Island and the largest real estate project ever undertaken in the United States.

Case Study: European Central Bank, Frankfurt
Wolf D. Prix, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU; 2015 Issue III

The design of the new European Central Bank combines a twisted double tower, which rises to 185 meters, integrated with the horizontal structure of the landmarked 1928 Grossmarkthalle, formerly the city’s main wholesale market.

Case Study: Abeno Harukas, Osaka
Tetsuo Harada & Masaomi Yonezu, Takenaka Corporation; 2015 Issue II

Abeno Harukas is the tallest building in Japan and one of the world’s tallest buildings directly over a railway terminal. It connects the metropolitan area railway network to a new vertical urban network, reducing energy consumption and providing a variety of activities and services.

Case Study: Bosco Verticale, Milan
Elena Giacomello, Università Iuav di Venezia; 2015 Issue I

The Bosco Verticale “vertical forest” in Milan, Italy, takes the definition of “green skyscraper” to a new level, deploying more than 13,000 plants across 90+ species, including full-sized trees, on all façades of both its towers.

Case Study: One Central Park, Sydney
Jean Nouvel & Bertram Beissel, Ateliers Jean Nouvel; 2014 Issue IV

One Central Park was developed as a response to growing demand for residential accommodation in downtown Sydney. Its developers and designers used the opportunity to make a powerful and visible green statement.

Case Study: China Zun, Beijing
Robert Whitlock, Li Lei, Luo Nengjun, & Liu Peng, Arup; 2014 Issue III

China Zun Tower will be the flagship building of Beijing’s comprehensively planned 30-hectare central business district core. The 528-meter-tall tower will stand far above its surroundings and become one of the most prominent icons of the city.

Case Study: Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou
Richard Tomlinson II, William Baker, Luke Leung, Shean Chien, & Yue Zhu; 2014 Issue II

The 309-meter-tall high-performance building was designed with energy efficiency as its top priority.

Case Study: Tree House Residence Hall, Boston
B. K. Boley & Tamara Roy; 2014 Issue I

The Tree House, a residential tower for 493 freshmen, is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s painting, The Tree of Life. It is clad in more than 5,000 composite aluminum panels of various widths and depths, resulting in an organic, colorful expression.

Case Study: Gate Towers, Abu Dhabi
Gurjit Singh, Hossam Eldin Elsouefi & Peter Brannan; 2013 Issue IV

The Gateway forms the entrance to one of the Middle East’s largest developments. The developer, Aldar, set forth a challenge: create an unmistakable introduction to a larger development, that would also serve as a landmark on its own.

Case Study: The Bow, Calgary
James Barnes & Jonathan Hendricks; 2013 Issue III

The Bow is the latest and most ambitious high-rise development in the Canadian city of Calgary. The client’s aim was to create a world-class building that would be a defining landmark on the city’s skyline.

Case Study: The Leadenhall Building, London
Andy Young, Nigel Annereau, Andy Butler & Brian Smith; 2013 Issue II

The Leadenhall Building leans back to make way for views to St. Paul’s Cathedral and other historic sites in a crowded section of the City of London, but it also springs forward with an innovative structure and a dynamic street presence.

Case Study: Kingdom Tower, Jeddah
Peter Weismantle & Alejandro Stochetti; 2013 Issue I

Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, will be the tall building to go where no building has gone before – beyond 1,000 meters. For the first time, the team at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill discuss at length the process that went into designing a one-kilometer-tall tower.

Case Study: Absolute World Towers, Mississauga
Bas Lagendijk, Anthony Pignetti & Sergio Vacilotto; 2012 Issue IV

Dubbed the “Marilyn Monroe” towers, the CTBUH 2012 “Best Tall Building Americas” award-winning project is the result of a unique public-private partnership and an international design competition, which chose a new Chinese firm doing its first work in North America.

Case Study: Greenland's Suzhou Center, Wujiang
Ross Wimer, William Baker, Mark Nagis & Aaron Mazeika; 2012 Issue III

At 358 meters, Greenland Group Suzhou Center marks the Wujiang waterfront with an aerodynamic form that has a unique presence, while accommodating its program with economy and efficiency. The design incorporates passive ventilation techniques through a unique interior “lung,” creating an efficient “breathing” tower.

Case Study: Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi
Jeff Schofield; 2012 Issue II

Throughout history, a strong link has existed between iconic architecture and exhibitions. In 2005, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) was created to drive forward the development of Abu Dhabi’s events sector, Capital Gate is the result.

Case Study: The Hansar, Bangkok
Wong Mun Summ & Richard Hassell; 2012 Issue I

High-rise, high-density living has been embraced as a positive housing solution for many millions of people living in Asia’s growing urban metropolises. The Hansar, a 45-story hotel and residential development, embodies principles of sustainable and tropical living within dense urban cities.

Case Study: Haeundae I'Park, Busan
Carla Swickerath & Peter Tillson; 2011 Issue IV

The I'Park development creates a new, forward-looking image for the Hyundai Development Company and a new vision for residential living in Busan. In South Korea, there is an emphasis on family and social relationships. These high-density residential develompents help to support a strong sense of community.

Case Study: One World Trade Center
Kenneth Lewis & Nicholas Holt; 2011 Issue III

The world knows what happened in Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. The twin towers of the World Trade Center and several other buildings were damaged or destroyed, and more than 3,000 people were killed. The ground smoldered for months.

Case Study: Capital City Towers, Moscow
Yuri Starodubtsev, Joey Myers & Larry Goetz; 2011 Issue II

As a pioneering project in Moscow, Capital City has forged many new pathways for the city’s real estate and construction industries. Through its integrated design and engineering, the project provides a model for mixed-use development, which remains rare in the city, and further establishes a new identity for Moscow.

Case Study: Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Moshe Safdie; 2011 Issue I

Marina Bay Sands is a high-density and mixed-use integrated resort complex which was conceived as a city microcosm rooted in Singapore’s culture, climate, and contemporary life, the project anchors Singapore’s waterfront, creating a gateway to Singapore, and providing a dynamic setting for vibrant public life.

Case Study: Hong Kong International Commerce Centre
David Malott; 2010 Issue IV

Soaring 484 meters (1,588 feet) above Victoria Harbor, the International Commerce Centre (ICC) is the essence of Hong Kong in one destination: high-powered finance, global tourism, luxury shopping, and world-class hospitality, all gathered in a single tower built over a sophisticated transportation network.

Case Study: O-14 Folded Exoskeleton
Jesse Reiser, Nanako Umemoto, Jaime Ocampo; 2010 Issue III

O-14 is a 22-story  commercial tower characterized by 1,326 openings, randomly located and varying in size, throughout the whole exterior shell. It is one of the first towers to appear in the skyline of Business Bay, scheduled to be fully finished and occupied by the fall of 2010.

Case Study: Shanghai Tower
Jun Xia, Dennis Poon, Douglas C. Mass; 2010 Issue II

As the third tower in the trio of supertall buildings at the heart of Shanghai’s new Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai Tower embodies a new prototype for tall buildings. The 121-story mixed-use tower offers a sustainable way of living in vertical cities.

Case Study: The Standard Hotel, New York
Todd Schliemann, Tara Leibenhaut-Tyre, Megan Miller, Mark Plechaty, Erik Madsen, Craig D. Tracy; 2010 Issue I

The building is a destination, both visually and experientially, realizing the client’s conceptual goal to create a "living room for the neighborhood," a public place where hotel guests and pedestrians can co-mingle in a variety of spaces.

Case Study: Trump International Hotel & Tower Case Study: Trump International Hotel & Tower
William F. Baker, Paul James, Richard F. Tomlinson, Andrew Weiss; 2009 Issue III

Chicago, a city known worldwide for its tall buildings, welcomed a new supertall tower to its skyline this year. Bookended by the 442-meter (1,450-foot) Sears Tower to the south and the 344-meter (1,128-foot) John Hancock Center to the north.

Nakheel Tower - The Vertical City Case Study: Nakheel Tower - The Vertical City
Mark Mitcheson-Low, Ahmad Rahimian, Dennis O'Brien; 2009 Issue II

Nakheel Harbour & Tower, Dubai's new capital, will be a beacon of inspiration for the region and the world, incorporating elements from Islamic culture.  Encompassing more than 270 hectares, this mixed-use development will be located in the heart of New Dubai.

Case Study: Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower   Case Study: Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
Paul Noritaka Tange, Masato Minami; 2009 Issue I

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower is an innovative educational facility located in Tokyo's distinctive Nishi-Shinjuki high rise district.  Completed in October 2008, the 204-meter (669ft) 50-story tower is the second-tallest education building in the world.  The building's elliptical shape, wrapped in a criss-cross web of diagonal lines.

Case Study: CCTV Building - Headquarters & Cultural Center Case Study: CCTV Building - Headquarters & Cultural Center
ARUP; 2008 Issue III

The new headquarters of China Central Television contains the entire television-making process within a single building. The 234m tall tower redefines the form of the skyscraper, with the primary system comprised of a continuous structural tube of columns, beams and braces around the entire skin of the building.

Case Study: Shanghai World Financial Center Case Study: Shanghai World Financial Center
Paul Katz, Leslie E. Robertson; 2008 Issue II

From the onset of the Shanghai World Financial Center project, its developers targeted a cutting-edge, mixed use mega-complex that would serve a multitude of tenant lifestyle demands. When a desire to change the building size surfaced after the foundation was put in place, it was up to the structural designer.