Saturday, December 15, 2012

Graduation December 2012

14 December 2012: Another proud day for David and Phil as we witness our Masters students' graduation. We also enjoy meeting parents when they have managed to travel to England for the ceremony.
Alejandro Carrasco (STB) and Pelin Gurkan (Design) with DNC
Rong Xu (Environmental) with DNC and Phil
The centre three are tall building graduates, Deepika Singhal, Rong Xu and Janet Huang

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tall Building crits December 2012

13 December 2012: It is the end of the term, but not of the semester. All of the 12 students or student groups have had a 'nearly-final' crit today, by which the building is near enough completed, but there is more to do to finish it off. They have another month over the Xmas vacation to resolve, draw up, model and prove their designs. We had Dik Jarman, Harjinder Singh, Pelin and Yuri as guest critters.

Yang Li and Hao Li with the 'bicycling tower' in Rotterdam


Matt Humphreys with his Vertical Farming tower (a prototype for others in Singapore) 

Michael Photiou with his Education tower in Singapore

Adriana, Amna with a design for the Corniche in Abu Dhabi

Douglas, with cultural and residential tower in Rotterdam

Chengsheng and Fang demonstrate their ideas for a modular tower in Singapore

Yan and Jiawei's twin tower with a bicycling arena park as a skybridge, for Rotterdam

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Yearbook 2012 published with TB pages

9 December 2012: The Architecture and Built Environment department published their Yearbook 2012 this week, with a grand summary of the best work of the academic year 2011-2012. Much of the editorial work and compilation has been done by our very own Philip Oldfield.
   The Tall Building studio have some work included, illustrated here.
Eco-roofscraper for Beach Rd, Singapore, by Pelin Gurkan and Sony Jue Shi
Healing Tower for Elephant and Castle, London, by Noura Ghabra, Janet Huang and Rongxi

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Antony Wood visits the TB Studio

7 December 2012: Antony Wood, Chief Exec of the CTBUH visited our University for the day and spent a couple of hours with the Tall Building studio. Antony created the Tall Building studio in 2002, and went on to Chicago in 2006 to run design studios in IIT, and to head up the CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat).
Our M.Arch course in Sustainable Tall Buildings is the only such course in the world at the moment, and we are very happy to get a professional accreditation from the CTBUH. This is good for us, as the CTBUH is the leading knowledge center for tall buildings, and anybody interested in doing Masters courses in tall buildings is likely to browse the CTBUH site. It is good for the CTBUH too, to have a major university forming a specialised Masters course to engage with the principal ideas of the CTBUH.
   Antony first awarded us an accreditation back in 2010, and this visit included a renewal of that honour. The students had a chance to show their work, as far as they can at this stage - one week from the December crit. He was very quick to understand the 12 projects he was shown, and give forthright feedback and advice. He also had time to meet Phil Oldfield and discuss future directions for research.

Antony's UK visit was also to plan for the CTBUH conference of Spring 2013, and the BBC very kindly ran a series of TV and Radio features about tall buildings, including an interview with Antony on the future of skyscraper design.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Student work published in Middle East

4 December 2012: We do what we can to get the student work published and we were delighted to see that two of our MArch STB students got publicity for their work. Mimi Wadidy and Alejandro Carrasco's design of the 'Sikkas Tower' on our site in Abu Dhabi was published in

To quote their commentary:
"The vertical interpretation is said to create comfortable spaces which are shaded from the harsh desert sun and wind, and suitable for circulation and socio-communal activities – and courtyards found in traditional buildings of the region.

In the tall building design the traditional corridor is eliminated and instead the building uses a series of multi-storey stacked sikkas which open to the outside where they meet the building perimeter, thus framing key views and allowing for natural ventilation of circulation and social spaces.

These sikkas link to apartments, and also to a series of six-storey courtyards which act as the social hub of the building, creating gathering spaces where people can meet and children can come to play in the shade."