As part of IIT Architecture tall building courses taught by CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood, IIT Research Professor, and CTBUH Academic Coordinator Dr. Peng Du, IIT Visiting Assistant Professor, a group of IIT Architecture students visited the Gensler Chicago Office on September 27, providing insight into the avant-garde design practices of developing tall buildings and vertical urbanism around the world. The event began with an office tour led by Grant Uhlir, Managing Director and Principal; Russell Gilchrist, Principal; and Aleksandar Sasha Zeljic, Principal, followed by a serious of presentations on tall buildings and vertical cities. Specifically, Uhlir introduced Gensler’s global practices and design philosophy in general, Gilchrist and Zeljic co-presented on Gensler’s vision and design principals on tall buildings and sustainable veridical cities, and Chris Grosse, Project Architect, presented on the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, a new home for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), to be opened by the end of 2016.
Later, Uhlir and Grosse led a technical tour of the AbilityLab. The tour covered the ground floor’s lobby, the sky lobby on the 10th floor, and space on the 23rd and 24th floors, where the group visited a typical in-patient floor, which includes a two-story atrium facing north with a great view of the neighboring medical campus and the Lake Michigan coast.
The group represented students from two courses in the IIT Architecture Cloud Studio, “Sustainable Vertical Urbanism: Towards 2050” (ARCH 419) and a seminar course titled “Talking TALL” (ARCH 570), both of which are taught by Professors Antony Wood and Peng Du. The Could Studio is generously supported by CTBUH and Gensler. As part of the studio, students will have the opportunity to travel to the Pearl River Delta region including Shenzhen and Hong Kong in October 2016 in conjunction with the CTBUH 2016 International Conference “Cities to Megacities: Shaping Dense Vertical Urbanism.”