Here you can find the latest updates about the Tall Building Design postgraduate specialization program:

We had the privilege of hosting a series of lectures by Carol Willis, a renowned professor from Columbia University and Director of the Skyscraper Museum in New York. Her lecture explored the origin stories of tall buildings in New York and Chicago, taking us on a journey through their evolution to the present day. In a different lecture, Carol highlighted the technological innovations and urban origins of skyscrapers. We learned about major architects, engineering marvels, and the “form follows finance” philosophy. The final lecture,  expanded our horizons to the worldwide spread of skyscrapers. 

We recently had the opportunity to attend a lecture from two insightful speakers from CTBUH: Daniel Safarik and Peng DuDaniel Safarik took us on a journey into the world of “Timber Use in Tall Buildings,” exploring this sustainable and versatile construction material. Peng Du highlighted the impact of skyscrapers on our cities, emphasizing typology, performance, and intelligent design.

We recently had a captivating tour of Aeroporto Marco Polo in Venice with Archs. Leonardo Cavalli and Domenico Santini from One Works. They shared the latest design intervention and the reasoning behind them, while highlighting the key factors to consider when designing an airport. 

We are thrilled to have hosted the lecture by Arch. Mark Carroll, Partner at RPBW Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and Eng. Massimiliano Milan from BUROMILAN. The talk showcased several interesting projects on which they have collaborated, highlighting the technology innovations that make them truly exceptional. Prof. Dario Trabucco (Università Iuav di Venezia), Arch. Luciano Schiavon (partner at LVL Architettura), and Giulia Carravieri (Head of International Business Development at ATI Project) have also been involved as speakers.

The 2nd/3rd modules of the program have begun. Arch. Paolo Zilli, Associate Director at Zaha Hadid Architects, explained the brief of the competition that serves as a reference for the projects the students will develop, Palazzo Sistema in Milan. He also provided a detailed analysis of last year’s four winning projects, as well as ZHA’s sumbitted proposal. As an architect with extensive experience in designing complex buildings, Zilli’s presentation provided an inspiring look into the cutting-edge world of tall building design.

As part of our postgraduate specialization program, we were fortunate enough to have Arch. Daniel Hajjar, Managing Principal at HOK in London, share his insights and experiences with us. His lecture was exceptionally engaging, and he generously shared his expertise, advice, and tips on working within a large, international architecture firm. He also spoke about the importance of pushing beyond your comfort zone and continually challenging yourself as a designer, as well as the critical role that architecture plays in enhancing people’s lives.

We had the opportunity to attended an amazing lecture by Arch. Marco Piva, founder of Studio Marco Piva, where he shared some of his firm’s impressive projects and competitions. In particular, he highlighted three recent projects: the new residence “Syre” and the renovation of Torre Antonini in Milan (Italy), both of which showcase the attention to detail that Studio Marco Piva is known for. He also gave us a glimpse into the Tonino Lamborghini Towers in Chengdu (China), a project that seamlessly blends luxury and innovation in its design.

Arch. Satvir Mand, director at COX Architecture, delivered insightful lectures on the cultural reference points that influenced his architectural journey. He discussed the global architectural and cultural library that architects should reference in their career, his experience working as a key member of Kisho Kurokawa’s design team, and the challenge of delivering attractive rail public transport. Dr. Harpreet Mand‘s lectures focused on case studies of key buildings by Japanese architects who accommodated change while maintaining continuity with their past. She presented key characteristics of traditional Japanese architecture, a case study of Kisho Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower, and a case study of Fumihiko Maki’s Spiral Building.

Federico D’Angelo, project manager and project architect at Progetto CMR, held an engaging lecture on the approach of integrated design. After an introduction explaining the firm structure and showing a few projects while explaining their main characteristics, he focused on the Misericordia Cancer Hospital (MI.CA.HO) case study, an innovative building full of cutting-edge technologies planned to be built in Apulia, where the complexity of design is the master.

Our visit to the Generali Tower in Milan, led by architect Paolo Zilli from Zaha Hadid Architects, was an incredible opportunity to explore its innovative features and unique design; a real-life example of a complex building from designing, engineering and construction points of view.

We are happy to announce that the Second Edition of the Tall Building Design postgraduate specialization program has started! The first appointment was with arch. Paolo Zilli for an introductory overview.

The first edition of the Tall Building Design postgraduate specialization program has concluded with a final review of the projects, which reflect all the knowledge gained throughout this past year of lectures, practical lessons, visits, and internships. We wish all our now-former students all the best for their future careers!

Register now to follow the online presentation of the II edition of the postgraduate specialisation programme in Tall Building Design!

Registration on Eventbrite.
Available dates with direct links:

December 5th, 2022 / 1.30 pm (CET)

December 16th, 2022 / 6.00 pm (CET)

📢📢📢 APPLY NOW 📢📢📢

Good news! The application deadline for the II edition of the postgraduate specialization programme in Tall Building Design has been postponed to January 16th, 2023. You still have time to join us!

Scholarships to partially cover the enrollment fees are available!

Admissions for the II edition of the postgraduate specialization programme in Tall Building Design are open!

Applications close October 14th, 2022.

Don’t miss the opportunity to enroll in the programme!

The fourth module of the Program has begun and the Participants are joining some of the most renowned architectural and engineering firms as interns, with the aim of extending the working relationship in the future. 

Marco Brotto –> Progetto CMR
Roberta Dal Molin 
Luca Brenno Dessì –> RPBW
Martina Di Giorgio –> Sbga Architetti
Roviglio Faloppa –> Lombardini 22
Vincenzo Massa –> RSHP
Leonardo Mezzacapo –> One Works
Shenav Ragiv

Before the beginning of the their summer internships, the Participants had their design projects reviewed one last time by Paolo Zilli and Dario Trabucco, coordinators of the Programme. The next appointment is with the master’s thesis, after the professional experience in the design firms!

The 11th Edition of the Italian/International Tall Buildings Conference was held in Milan and coordinated by Aldo Norsa and Dario TrabuccoThe conference introduced a number of innovations in the design and construction of tall buildings in Italy, and relevant abroad urban regeneration examples. 


Duferco Travi e Profilati and Vanoli Ferro opened the doors of their production facilities to our students. The two visits made it possible for the group to observe and have a first-hand experience of the different steel production phases and numerous elaborations of steel products, learning the potentialities of the material.

We had the honor to welcome Werner Sobek, renowned engineer and architect, who gave a superb lecture on architecture and sustainability. In the afternoon, he also provide the students with valuable insights on their projects.

A workshop for the Studio Module took place at Palazzo Badoer, headquarters of Iuav’s Masters. An incredible opportunity for the students to be mentored at the same time from academics and professionals of the building sector with different background and expertise. The design reviews were led by Paolo Zilli, together with Eugenio Arbizzani, Diego Bertesina, Mauro Eugenio Giuliani, Neil Smith and Dario Trabucco.

The Programme has a strong practical focus and embraces the integrative aspects of the framework within which the design of tall buildings sits. This is why Giulia Carravieri‘s lecture was a great asset! Giulia, Head of International Business Development at ATI Project, led a conversation on business-driven strategies, based on external environment and industry analysis, internal strategic capabilities and positioning insight, and the combination of both into an actionable growth plan. All of it integrated into an interactive lecture and real cases simulations.

Olivier Vassart, from ArcelorMittal, gave an introduction on steel as construction material with a focus on tall buildings. The lecture on advanced building materials was a great insight on the steelmaking industry and a lesson with practical inputs regarding a variety of aspects at different scales, from design considerations to fabrication and put in place of different steel solutions. All coming from one of the top notch steel producers. 

Roland Bechmann, partner at Werner Sobek, discussed matters concerning zero fossil energy, zero emissions and zero waste. The concept covers a large spectrum of scales of intervention within an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability, ranging from considerations on the life cycle of building materials to construction industry emissions. This sustainable building strategy was explained through a number of Werner Sobek’s projects as case studies.

Ludovica di Martino from Hilti Italia gave an interesting lecture with considerations on anti-seismic and fireproofing design for non-structural elements, including MEP infrastructure and its connection to the load-bearing structure, as well as the related requirements and regulations. The overview included applicative solutions and marketed products for a practical approach to the topic.

The master’s participants have been giving shape to their projects. Paolo Zilli from Zaha Hadid Architects and Dario Trabucco led a review to have a look at the first ideas. 

Lucio Blandini, Managing Director and Partner at Werner Sobek, and Head of the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) at University of Stuttgart, focused his lecture on the contribution of lightweight principles to the design of sustainable structures and facades for tall buildings. Covering the most significant details of lightweight structures, it has been showed how architects and engineers can actively contribute towards minimizing carbon emissions, such as optimizing the resources by choosing appropriate structural systems and materials.

Neil Smith, Senior Partner at Max Fordham, came to Venice to led a conversation on the environmental sustainability with a holistic approach, looking at the whole life cycle of tall buildings. The operation of MEP systems in large and complex buildings has also been tackled, considering their strong impact on the energy consumption of the building during its life stage. The unstudied end-of-life of tall buildings has been discussed as well.

Lombardini 22 and DEWG were amazing hosts showing us around his Milan headquarters and giving us the tips on how to proper design a human-centered workplace, also considering the new necessities and paradigms brought by recent global events such as Covid-19 disease.

Paolo Rigone organized the visits and guided us through the construction sites of Milan’s latest high-rise development, Torre UnipolSai, and the new Eni Headquarter at San Donato Milanese, with a special focus on particular facade systems of tall and complex buildings. The experience was super enriching!

A big thank you to Hilti Italia, sponsor of the master Tall Building Design, who welcomed us at their headquarters in Milan to present the company and its philosophy/strategies, as well as the products and the services they provide in the construction market.

Thanks to Hines Italiy and Asti Architetti, we had the unrepeatable experience to have a look from the inside at the undergoing renovation of the iconic Milan’s Velasca Tower, learning about the insights on high-rise conservation, an increasingly topical issue in the construction market. We are definitely going back once it is done, we cannot wait to see the result!

London Trip – Day 4 

Francesco Casella e Javier Roig from KPF were amazing hosts for our last day in London! After visiting the DAMAC Tower together with a team of Multiplex, they welcomed us at KPF’s headquarters to show where their designs take place and invited us to a fun “Lunch and Learn” talking about large developments, and the future of high-rise and vertical cities. In the afternoon, after a stroll across the streets of London, they brought us into one of their last developments, the 110 Bishopsgate (Heron Tower).

London Trip – Day 3 

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) invited us to their London headquarters in Parliament Square to talk about Tall Building measurement systems and how professional surveyors relate to architectural designers. We had also the opportunity to climb to the rooftop of their building and enjoy the view of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey!

London Trip – Day 3 

On the third day of our trip we had the possibility to visit the One Nine Elms construction site, a group of towers designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. The tour was led by the team of Multiplex, who guided us through the complex, showing us the different stages of the construction process. It was an amazing visit!

London Trip – Day 2 

We had the honour to take a stroll with Peter Rees, managing Principal at The Bartlett, and learn through a walking lecture and a beer, how the city of London related to high rise and complex new developments. We chatted about access, materials, regulations, icons, shapes, architecture, real estate, urbanism, people, and gossip! We can’t imagine a better way to discover all the backstage details that have led to shaping the recent history and image of the city.

London Trip – Day 1 

Our London Trip kicks off with a visit at 22 Bishopsgate and a conversation with James Goldsmith, Head of Leasing at AXA IM, regarding the client’s point of view. All followed by a trio of insights and approaches to the construction of 22 Bishopsgate: Paolo Zilli from ZHA, providing the architectural overview, Corrado Bolzan from Permasteelisa Group, with the facade technology and installation input, and Diego Padilla-Philipps from WSP Global, who talked us through the project’s structural strategy.

Jonathan Guerrera, Victor Khoueiry, and Lorenzo Vannucchi from SAJO Inc. visited us at università Iuav di Venezia directly from their Canada headquarters to show us about their project planning practice based on the quality of design and multi-trade coordination. 

Cristiano Brambilla, Senior vice president at Hines Italy, visited us to hold a lecture on how market, client, constructor and designer come together in strategic mixed-use Real Estate developments.

It is time to gather all the lessons learnt from lecturers, professors, and experts in the various fields linked to the design and construction of a complex building and put them into practice. The aim of the Studio module is to assimilate and incorporate the first two modules of the master into a final project in which the program participants have to respond to the brief requirements of an ongoing real architecture competition. Off we go!

Milano Trip – Day 2.

The participants had the opportunity to visit Redesco Progetti S.r.l., who hosted in their offices two lectures on structural system solutions and LCA design approaches by Mauro Giuliani, founder and director, and engineer Francesco LomurnoThis was followed by a trip to Milano’s City Life, with a in-depth visit to Generali and Liebeskind towers, with a special focus on MEP design and its integration into the general design of high and complex buildings.

Milano Trip – Day 1

The trip began with the second lecture on Safety and Security held by Giuseppe Amaro and Ada Malagnino from GAe Engineering, together with a site visit to GIOIA 22 Tower. The lecture was followed by a visit to Corso Como Place, an interesting intervention in the urban built framework and aggregation of an upper structure that grows over the existing building. To wrap up the first day of the trip, Professor Paolo Rigone held a lecture at Politecnico di Milano on façade design.

The Program participants attended a 2-days training seminar held by Richard Peters, Founder and Director of Peters Research, on ELEVATE, a traffic analysis and simulation software for vertical transportation. The software is an essential tool for engineers worldwide to calculate the number, size and speed of elevators for all types of buildings.

A lecture held by professor Dario Trabucco on the future path of sustainable architecture, understanding the implications of concepts such as built environment emissions, energy efficiency, current regulations, and an introduction to life cycle considerations, embodied energy, Level(s) indicators and Environmental Product Declaration assessments.

Alberto Zanella, from GAe Engineering, gave an interesting lecture on how safety and security-related fundamentals can be incorporated in the design of complex environments. The lecture provided the tools required to identify the types of hazards and potential risks involved in vulnerability analysis and management, everything explained through the presentation of applicative case studies.

Professor Dario Trabucco sketched a master class on vertical transportation, outlining the evolution of such systems over time and considerations to take into account while developing complex buildings in relation to core elevator shafts, flows of people, devices and systems, design, distribution, and an introduction to rational calculation.

Diego Bertesina, MEP Systems Project Coordinator at Manens-Tifs s.p.a., went through the basics of MEP systems typologies, to give the students the tools to be able to critically discuss architectural implications depending on MEP strategies, and how these impacts on sustainable, health and wellbeing outcomes. The lecture introduced the topic of performance-driven design to address future climate scenarios.

An important part of the learning process of the Programme consists of connecting with different experts and understanding the numerous bridges between professions. It is essential to be able to communicate in a comprehensive and efficient way. Held by Dario Trabucco, it certainly was a practical, unconventional and fun public speaking class!  

Paolo Rigone, Associate professor at Politecnico di Milano, Façade Engineeer at ABeC and consultant, covered a wide variety aspects regarding the design of curtain wall systems, individuating the different existing typologies, and went over a number of façade design processes, performance aspects, cost-analysis and cost-optimization issues.

In the beautiful setting of Palazzo Ca’ Tron, engineer Mauro Giuliani, owner of Redesco Progetti S.r.l., visited us to give a lecture on the components that are structurally involved in complex constructions, as well as an overview on how the architectural language relates to the intrinsic structure. The lecture also covered an introduction to load distribution and structural balance.

TBD participants had the opportunity to experience an exciting visit to the Intesa San Paolo mixed-use iconic skyscraper in Torino designed by RPBW with a focus on Tall Building Safety & Security Design provided by GAe Engineering.

AGC Glass Europe opened its doors to TBD participants to get an insight on the ”Factory of the Future”, its groundbreaking facilities in Cuneo. The visit included an on-site lecture on the industry 4.0. glass manufacturing process, including float glass production, coaters for high energy performance, and anti-reflective glass. All conducted by AGC’s expert representatives, together with Giuseppe Amaro and Ada Malagnino from GAe Engineering.

The last BIM classes were dedicated to develop a deeper understanding on how schedules, schemes and parameter sorting work within Revit. The class focuses also on the basics of Revit families and creation of custom step-by-step personalized families.

Architect Paolo Zilli did a roundup of ZHA’s projects of complex and tall buildings, showing their particularities. The focus has been put on Torre Generali project in Milan, outlining its unique characteristics, the design challenges and other technical aspects.

The class explores singularities regarding Project management and layout arrangement, going through the graphics, visibility, display of construction details and viewports coordination.

Professor Elena Giacomello discussed about greenery technologies and Bosco Verticale by giving the lecture “Greenery Systems on Buildings and Tall Buildings

Engineer Luca Papaiz, Head of Technology and Innovation at Pellini SpA, held the lecture “Dynamic Transparence“.

Building confidence with fundamental software is an essential part of the learning process. Architect Denis Mior accompanied the students through the basis of Revit workflow.

Architect Denis Mior, CEO and Founder of Square Solutions, introduced the BIM topic by giving the lecture “What is BIM?

Professor Dario Trabucco held the lecture: “Skyscrapers: Evolution of Tall Buildings”.

Professor Dario Trabucco talked about skyscrapers and their characteristics (height, area, etc.) by holding the lecture: “What is a Tall Building? Trends and Markets“.

Professor Carol Willis held the lecture: “Skyscrapers: Global Adoption“.

The program schedule and organization has been introduced by professor Dario Trabucco, with the support of Paolo Zilli, associate director at Zaha Hadid Architects

Professor Carol Willis held three lectures: “Origin Stories: New York and Chicago“, and “Skyscrapers: American Invention“.

In the afternoon, the first lecture of the master program “Skyscraper History: Past, Present, & Future” has been held by Carol Willis, professor at the Columbia State University and director of the Skyscraper Museum.

Iuav representatives professors Giuseppe D’Acunto and Francesco Musco, the sponsors of the program and other important guests such as professor Aldo Norsa and architect Paolo Zilli took part in the kickoff meeting event led by professor Dario Trabucco during the morning.

The Tall Building Design postgraduate specialization program has been officially launched!