CTBUH 2018

CTBUH 2018 International Student Tall Building Design Competition

Submission: July 23, 2018
Registration:  July 16, 2018
Language: English
Location: Concept
Prizes: 1st $3,000, 2nd $2,000, 3rd $1,000
Type: International Student Design Competition


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is pleased to announce its 7th International Student Tall Building Design Competition. The goal of the competition is to shed new light on the meaning and value of tall buildings in modern society. The age of the tall building as a single iconic piece of sculpture, standing in isolation from its surroundings, is coming to an end. Designers have a responsibility to ensure that these permanent urban structures engender a future-oriented urban response to the greatest challenges of our time: unprecedented population growth; mass urbanization; climate change; environmental degradation; social, political and economic change; and the rapid advance of myriad technical innovations.

The future of humanity on this planet relies on the collective benefits of urban density; reducing both land consumption and the energy needed to construct and operate the horizontally dispersed city. Tall buildings must now be the vehicles for creating increased density not just through sheer height, but by connecting multiple layers of the city. Physical urban infrastructure, circulation, greenery, and urban functions traditionally restricted to the ground level would all, ideally, continue up and into the building, such that the buildings themselves become an extension of the city: a part of the two-dimensional horizontal urban plane flipped vertical. Participants are free to site their projects anywhere in the world. But this is not to undervalue the importance of site – participants should carefully consider their site (which must be a “real” site, in an existing urban location) as the site context should inherently have significant influence over the project’s design. Participants are also free to determine the size, height, function, accommodation and responsibilities of the building. The intention is these freedoms on site and program will maximize the diversity and creativity of the responses. It is also intended to allow students from specific high-rise educational studies around the world during the 2017–18 academic year to submit their projects for consideration.

Participants should engage with the exploration and resolution of the synergistic relationship of placing a tall building in a unique existing urban setting; how that tall building can be inspired by the cultural, physical, and environmental aspects of its site; and how the program of the building is influenced by the micro and macro site/urban conditions; and how the building responds to global issues.

Proposals should show evidence of a clear understanding of how considerations of structure, environment, servicing, etc. are as vital to the success of a tall building as the form, materials, aesthetics, etc. Participants need to also consider the CTBUH Criteria for defining tall buildings, such that “at least 50% of its height is occupied by usable floor area,” (i.e., proposals should be functional “buildings” not simply observation, communication, or other towers).


The competition is open to all students who are registered at a University level. For recently graduated students: you must have been a registered student during the Fall 2017 term, i.e., August–December 2017 or later.

■ Entries to the CTBUH competition must be original works by the students and can not have been submitted to any previous design competition. Students may work under the guidance of a faculty adviser if they so choose.

■ The official language of the competition is English.

■ Participation in this competition is anonymous. You will be issued a registration number which will serve as the only means of identification during the entire judging process.

■ Contact between participants and members of the jury is prohibited.

■ Five “Finalists” will be selected to present their schemes at the CTBUH 2018 Conference. Participation in the Conference and presentation to the jury are required as a condition of being awarded “Finalist” status and receiving the award (a travel stipend is provided for one representative per team, see below). Finalist teams that do not attend will be ineligible for prizes.

■ Copyright and intellectual rights of the submissions remain with the original authors. Successful participants in the CTBUH Student Design Competition agree to allow the CTBUH to display their work in printed format at the CTBUH 2018 Conference Oct. 21st-Oct. 25th; display images and a text description of their work on the CTBUH website at http://academic.ctbuh.org, and use an image of their work in promotional material for future CTBUH competitions.


 ■ Monday, March 22nd – Competition formally launched

■ Monday, July 16th – Registration deadline

■ Monday, July 23rd – Submission deadline

■ Friday, August 10th – Short-listed “Semi-finalists” notified

■ Friday, August 24th – Top-five “Finalists” notified

■ Sunday–Monday, October 21st–October 22nd – CTBUH 2018 Conference, Top-five Finalists will present to the jury in Dubai. Winners will be announced during the conference.


■ First Place: US$6,000 US$3,000 cash + stipend to attend CTBUH 2018 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)

■ Second Place: US$5,000 US$2,000 cash + stipend to attend CTBUH 2018 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)

■ Third Place: US$4,000 US$1,000 cash + stipend to attend CTBUH 2018 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)

■ Fourth Place: US$3,000 Stipend to attend CTBUH 2018 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)

■ Fifth Place: US$3,000 Stipend to attend CTBUH 2018 Conference (up to US$3,000 value*)

■ Honorable Mentions A select number of entries will be recognized as Honorable Mentions and awarded with a certificate separate to the Conference.

■ Exhibition: A poster exhibition of the five “Finalists” and a selected number of “Semi-finalist” entries will be exhibited during the CTBUH 2018 Conference.

Go to the competition’s website

Date: April 5, 2018