The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.
Professor of Comparative Literature, Hong Kong University and UC-Irvine
Ackbar Abbas is Professor of Comparative Literature at Hong Kong University, and Professor of Comparative Literature at University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books, including Hong Kong: Culture and The Politics of Disappearances. He is a Senior Fellow at the India China Institute and a Visiting Professor at Parsons The New School for Design.
CEO, Professional Property Services Limited
Convenor, Heritage Hong Kong
Margaret (Maggie) Brooke has worked in the Asia Pacific region for over 20 years and is responsible for the management and coordination of her firm's corporate real estate assignments, selected regional consultancies, and the management of PPS and its relationship with alliance partners. In addition, Mrs. Brooke is involved in local and regional tenant and owner representation assignments, development consultancy studies in China and regional market surveys and studies.
Prior to her arrival in Hong Kong in 1980, Mrs. Brooke worked for Cluttons, a leading firm of Chartered Surveyors based in London and helped her husband, Nicholas Brooke, to establish the firm's Middle East offices in Dubai, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi which were largely set up to service the property portfolios held by the local ruling families. She established residential and commercial agency departments in each of the offices and was closely involved in formulating the property management systems and services that the firm introduced into the various markets.
Mrs. Brooke has long been involved with the property profession, having worked at The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) where she was involved in the planning and expansion of the educational and promotional programs for all branches of the profession. She later resumed this role in Hong Kong when she became administrator to the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors and the RICS (Hong Kong Branch).
Chairman, Professional Property Services Limited
Nicholas Brooke, JP, BBS, FRICS, FHKIS, RPS is the Chairman of Professional Property Services Limited, a specialist real estate consultancy based in Hong Kong, with clients across the Asia Pacific Region.
Mr. Brooke is a recognized authority on land administration and planning matters and has provided advice in these areas to several Asian Governments as well as the US State Department. He is a Justice of the Peace, and a former Deputy Chairman of the Hong Kong Town Planning Board and member of the Hong Kong Housing Authority. He currently sits on the Board of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service, the Hong Kong Harbour-front Enhancement Committee, and is the Chairman of the Hong Kong Coalition of Service Industries, which is the voice of the service sector in Hong Kong. He is also a member of the Election Committee responsible for the selection of the future Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR.
Mr. Brooke was the 2003-2004 President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the premier organization for property and construction professionals worldwide, which was founded in 1868 and has an international membership of some 110,000. In 1999, Mr. Brooke was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR for his dedicated public service in Hong Kong, and in particular, his valuable contribution to the work of the Housing Authority. He is an active member of Vision 2047, a group of long term Hong Kong residents dedicated to the support and promotion of Hong Kong.
Chair, New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning
Amanda M. Burden, an urban planner and civic activist, is Chair of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning. Since her appointment in 2002, she has spearheaded Mayor Bloomberg's economic development initiatives with comprehensive urban design master plans designed to catalyze commercial and residential development throughout the city and to reclaim its waterfront. Among these are master plans for the East River Waterfront in Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City and Jamaica in Queens, as well as the Hudson Yards on the far west side of Manhattan. The Hudson Yards plan, the city's largest and most ambitious rezoning proposal, will create much needed office space and new housing as well as a network of new parkland and public open space.
Under her direction, the Department of City Planning has also initiated rezoning plans that provide significant new housing opportunities in neighborhoods such as Greenpoint/Williamsburg in Brooklyn, East and Central Harlem, and Port Morris in the Bronx. She has championed and facilitated the preservation of the High Line in Manhattan, part of the West Chelsea/High Line plan, and the recipient of a 2006 National Planning Award from the American Planning Association. Ms. Burden is also overseeing the transformation of the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island into a world-class park. Recognizing the value of neighborhoods of special character, she has sponsored rezoning to protect numerous low-density neighborhoods throughout the city.
In 2005, Pratt Institute awarded Ms. Burden an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration, and the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented her with its 2005 Center for Architecture Award. Ms. Burden's dedication to design excellence was recognized by the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, which presented her with its 2004 Design Patron award. In l987, Ms. Burden received the Sidney Strauss Award from the New York Society of Architects "for outstanding achievement for the benefit of the architectural profession."
Amanda Burden has been involved for many years with the city's cultural community and with civic groups dedicated to improving the quality of life in the city. She served as Chair of the Board of Creative Time, Inc., was a Member of the Board of the Center for Arts Education, of the Nature Conservancy, of the Architectural League and of the Fund for the City of New York, and she is a Trustee of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation.
Executive Vice President of Design and Planning, The Related Companies
Vishaan Chakrabarti is Executive Vice President of Design and Planning at The Related Companies, where he previously served as senior vice president. Before joining The Related Companies, he was the head of the Manhattan office of the Department of City Planning, where he was involved projects such as The World Trade Center site and the Hudson Yards, the two most prominent examples of large-scale transit developments in NY.
Prior to joining the Department of City Planning, Chakrabarti was an Associate Partner and director of urban design for Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill, LLP where he oversaw numerous projects including the new New York Stock Exchange, and master plans for the World Trade Center site, Columbia University, and Long Island City. Chakrabarti holds a Master's degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a Masters degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Convenor, Urban Design Alliance
Professor, Chu Hai College of Higher Education
Paul Chu is a Hong Kong Registered Architect and combines architecture and urbanism research with design. He is currently Head and Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture of Chu Hai College, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the University of Hong Kong (HKU). A graduate of HKU (B.A. (Architecture Studies) (Hons) and M.Architecture (Distinction), Chu obtained M.Science (Architecture and Urban Design) at Columbia University, where he was made a William Kinne Fellow.
Awarded the "Hong Kong Young Architect Award," Mr. Chu was a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council for art, architecture and culture interflow in US, and of Hongkong Land for heritage conservation study in Europe. Chu believes that "informal architecture" forms an important basis of Asian culture and has been intrigued by the diversity of the Hong Kong cityscape and the dilemma of the co-existence of both planned and spontaneous urbanism.
Property Director, MTR
Thomas Ho has served as the Property Director for the MTR since 1991. He is responsible for the development and management of all properties above and adjacent to MTR stations and depots. He leads a multi-disciplinary team of managers involved in the planning, design, construction and management of large-scale property developments.
From 1971-1990, Mr. Ho worked for the Hong Kong Government in land administration and latterly held a directorate post in the Lands Department, responsible for formulating policies and procedures to make land available for the airport and the Airport Railway project. Mr. Ho qualified in 1974 to become a chartered surveyor in Hong Kong. He is serving The Community Chest of Hong Kong as a Member of the Campaign Organizing Committee and a Co-Chairman of the Corporate and Employee Contribution Program.
Principal, Howeler + Yoon Architecture
Eric Howeler is an architect, architectural writer and co-founder of Howeler + Yoon Architecture. He has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to forming Howeler + Yoon Architecture, he was a senior designer at Diller + Scofidio, and an Associate Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, where he worked on many Hong Kong high-rise projects. Howeler is the author of Skyscraper: Vertical Now.
Partner, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
As Partner in the New York office of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Paul Katz focuses on the planning, design, and development of office, mixed-use, and high-rise buildings. He has senior responsibilities in all aspects of commercial architecture, including business development, management, and design. Mr. Katz helped to establish KPF's strong presence in Japan and Hong Kong, and has been instrumental in setting up the firm's China operations in Shanghai.
Mr. Katz is currently working with several leading commercial developers in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including Canary Wharf, Mori Building, Sun Hung Kai, Hongkong Land, and Shui On Land. His recent projects include: 505 Fifth Avenue, New York Sports and Convention Center, part of the New York 2012 Olympic Games bid; the Clifford Chance office tower in Canary Wharf, London; Roppongi Hills, which includes facilities for Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and a Grand Hyatt Tokyo; and the Shanghai World Financial Center, now under construction.
An active member of the Urban Land Institute, he has helped promote its activities internationally. He co-authored Building Type Basics for Office Buildings, published by Wiley in 2002. Mr. Katz has provided expert interviews in tall building design to print media such as Newsweek, The Economist, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Wired, among others.
Secretary for Development, Hong Kong SAR
Mrs. Carrie Lam was appointed Secretary for Development of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on July 1, 2007. Prior to assuming this prestigious and powerful position, Mrs. Lam served the Government as an Administrative Officer for 27 years.
Mrs. Lam has served in various bureaus and departments. She was the Director of Social Welfare; Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands (Planning and Lands); Director-General, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, and Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs.
Assistant Project Director, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Ltd.
After graduating from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Architecture, Julia Lau returned to Hong Kong to practice as an architect. In 1994, she joined Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., started as a Senior Architect on various large/ small scale mixed-use projects including schools, churches, residential developments, and large scale retail projects that featured ice-skating rinks and cinemas. In 2000, she joined the Project Management Team to start the master planning of the International Commerce Center (ICC) complex - part of the Kowloon Station Development (KSD), which is 11 million square feet. She was the Project Manager for the record breaking luxury residential development "The Arch," which is also situated within KSD; and continued on as the Assistant Project Director for ICC, which when completed will be 492 meters in height, the tallest tower in Hong Kong.
In addition to being a member of the Election Committee in selecting the Chief Executive Council in Hong Kong in 2007, she has been active in serving the community in various organizations for over ten years. She currently serves on the boards of both the Hong Kong Arts Center & The Board of Management of the Chinese Permanent Cemeteries to help direct development. She is actively engaged with the art community to encourage, promote, and steer public art projects, a collaboration among architects, designers, and artists.
Architect and Associate Professor, Chinese University of Hong Kong
CEO, Civic Exchange
Christine Loh is well known for her wide-ranging intellect and her background in law, business, politics, media and the non-profit sector has given her considerable knowledge and insight and experience to become a leading voice in public policy in Hong Kong. In 2000, she founded Civic Exchange with Lisa Hopkinson, and is responsible for charting the think tank's long-term strategic plan.
Trained as a lawyer, Ms. Loh enjoyed a highly successful 12-year career as a commodities trader, eventually rising to the position of managing director, before spending another two years as a Director of Business Development with a Hong Kong company.
Appointed to the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 1992, she had a popular career as a politician until 2000 when she chose not to seek re-election. Her legislative successes were many and Ms. Loh is particularly proud of the law amendment that enabled the indigenous women of the New Territories to inherit rural land, restructuring the controversial section 30 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, and sponsoring the historic Protection of the Harbor Ordinance.
Associate Professor of Urban Design, Parsons, The New School for Design
James A. Robinson
Executive Director, Hongkong Land Limited
James Robinson was appointed Executive Director of Hongkong Land Limited in June 2002, and is responsible for the project management functions of the Company's investments.
Mr. Robinson joined the Company in 1988 and has been responsible for a number of major development projects including Chater House in Hong Kong, One Raffles Quay in Singapore and currently the One Central mixed-use development in Macau, and the Marina Bay Financial Centre development in Singapore.
Before joining Hongkong Land, Mr. Robinson worked for 10 years with the Hong Kong subsidiary of a major American architectural/engineering firm, gaining extensive regional project experience in Hong Kong, Korea, China and the Philippines.
Mr. Robinson was educated in the USA and holds bachelor degrees in both architecture and construction engineering from Iowa State University. He is a registered professional (emeritus status) in both disciplines in the USA.
Executive Director & CEO, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA)
Elliot Sander oversees an organization that provides 2.4 billion subway, rail and bus trips each year to New Yorkers--the equivalent of about one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders. MTA Bridges and Tunnels carry more than 300 million vehicles a year--more than any bridge and tunnel authority in the nation.
Mr. Sander has over 25 years of public and private sector experience executing high profile transportation programs and projects in the New York metropolitan area. He is a former Senior Vice President at DMJM Harris, a global transportation infrastructure firm, and former Director and Founder of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School for Public Service at New York University.
In his public service career he has served in a variety of positions, including Commissioner of New York City Department Of Transportation, Commissioner on the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, Director of Transit for New York State Department Of Transportation, Deputy Commissioner for the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, where he oversaw the State's rent regulatory system, Assistant General Manager for MTA New York City Transit, where he ran the Manhattan Bus Division, and Executive Director of Operational Services at the New York City Department Of Transportation, where he oversaw the City's municipal parking system and borough traffic engineering.
David Scott is Chairman of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, and a Principal at Arup, the international engineering design firm, where he is a leader of the New York office and responsible for the Building Business. Mr. Scott has extensive tall building experience that began with Norman Foster's landmark Hongkong Bank Headquarters Building in 1981. During his fifteen years in Hong Kong he led the design of many towers in China, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan. He has worked on award winning and innovative projects, such as the Biological Sciences Building at HKU, the International Airport Terminal Building in Hong Kong and the 300-meter Cheung Kong Center for Hong Kong's largest developer.
Mr. Scott moved to New York in 1998 to assume a key role in the Arup Buildings Business in the United States. Since 9/11, he has been extensively involved in the industry review of design standards and procedures for tall buildings in extreme events. He has authored papers on Fire Induced Progressive Collapse, and was a reviewer of the US Governments (GSA) design requirements to mitigate progressive collapse, that were issues in 2002. He also worked extensively with Daniel Libeskind on the WTC masterplan and his design for Freedom Tower.
Peter Cookson Smith
Director, Urbis Limited
Dr. Peter Cookson Smith is an architect, city planner and urban designer, and the founder and director of Urbis Limited, one of the first planning, environmental, and landscape consultancies in South-east Asia. Since 1977, the firm has worked on over 1500 projects in Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific area, earning more than 70 local and international awards. The company has won more than 100 local and international awards for their work including the Waterfront Center Excellence on the Waterfront Top Honour Award, and the Global Award for Excellence from the Urban Land Institute, for projects undertaken with the HKSAR Architectural Services Department in 2007.
Dr. Smith has directed a large number of planning, regeneration and urban design projects in Hong Kong, the PRC and other parts of S.E. Asia. He is the author of 'The Urban Design of Impermanence' on Hong Kong, and the forthcoming 'The Urban Design of Concession' on the Chinese Treaty Ports. He writes and lectures regularly on the subject of urban design and is an Honorary Professor at the Department of Architecture, the University of Hong Kong; a Visiting Lecturer at the Centre of Urban Planning and Environment Management (CUPEM); and the Architectural Society of China's Continuing Education Program. He is the 2007 Convener of Hong Kong's Urban Design Alliance made up of representatives from various professional institutes.
Robert B. Tierney
Chairman, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
Robert B. Tierney is Chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Commissioner Tierney oversees a staff of 70 with a budget of $4.6 million. Under his leadership, the Commission has granted landmark status to nearly 1,850 buildings, 82 percent of which are located outside of Manhattan. During this time, the Commission also has approved a record 50,000 permits for preservation work.
Prior to his appointment, Tierney was a visiting scholar at New York University's Taub Urban Research Center, where he focused on issues of state and local governance, and before that, was Director of Public Affairs at AT&T. He also served as Counsel to New York Mayor Edward I. Koch and as Assistant Counsel to New York Governor Hugh L. Carey. He earned a B.A. at Yale University and a J.D. at Vanderbilt University Law School.
Chairman Tierney currently serves as Mayor Bloomberg's representative on the Board of the Museum of the City of New York and on the Board of Directors at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Christopher Ward is currently the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey This is Mr. Ward's second tenure at the Port Authority. He previously served as Chief of Planning and External Affairs, as well as Director of Port Redevelopment from 1997 to 2002.
Immediately prior to being appointed Executive Director of the Port Authority, Mr. Ward served for over two years as Managing Director of The General Contractors Association of New York, Inc. (GCA), where he directed and managed the major trade association that represents the heavy construction industry in the City of New York. Before joining the GCA, Mr. Ward spent a year as Chief Executive Officer of American Stevedoring, Inc and served as Commissioner of the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the Bloomberg Administration. During his tenure at the DEP, he oversaw the maintenance and ongoing construction of the City's water supply, distribution and wastewater system, carried out Federal Clean Water Act and Clean Air regulation, and managed all conservation programs and hazardous and asbestos material emergencies and remediation.
Before joining DEP, and his original tenure at the Port Authority, much of Mr. Ward's professional career was spent in service to the City of New York in various capacities such as Senior Vice President for Transportation and Commerce at the Economic Development Corporation, Assistant Commissioner at the Department of Telecommunications and Energy and as Director of Research at the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Alexandros E. Washburn
Chief Urban Designer, City of New York, Department of City Planning
In 2006, Alexandros Washburn joined the Bloomberg administration as Chief Urban Designer at the Department of City Planning, under Chair Amanda Burden. Mr. Washburn received a M.Arch from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1988 and was licensed as an architect in 1991 in Washington, DC. In 1993, he joined the Capital Hill staff of the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, covering issues of environment, transportation and federal architecture. He worked with Senator Moynihan to launch an effort to rebuild New York's legendary Penn Station in the Farley Post Office.
In 1996, he moved to New York and founded the Pennsylvania Station Redevelopment Corporation, now known as the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, where he raised $800 million for a new train station for New York, led its award winning design, and secured the first round of public approvals. In 2001, he returned to private practice as a partner of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture LLC in New York until 2006 when he returned to government. His responsibilities again include the Moynihan Station, city-wide urban design policy, and design review of scores of new projects that are now being planned to accommodate a million more New Yorkers in a period of rapid climate change.
Even with regards to the most complex infrastructure projects, he judges success from the point of view of the pedestrian. In urban design, he tries to achieve the "quantity of Robert Moses with the quality of Jane Jacobs." And for this missing link - between the human-scale and the mega-project - he turns to another great New Yorker, Fredrick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, for inspiration. He sees the integration of urbanity and ecology as the next great wave in city-building. He is currently writing a book, The Nature of Urban Design.
Founder and Director, The Skyscraper Museum
Carol Willis is the founder, director, and curator of The Skyscraper Museum. An architectural and urban historian, she has researched, taught, and written about the history of American city building. She is the author of Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago (Princeton Architectural Press, 1995), which received an AIA book award and was named "Best Book on North American Urbanism, 1995" by the Urban History Association. She has written introductions to numerous monographs and collections and has appeared in numerous television documentaries and radio broadcasts.
Ms. Willis is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Urban Studies at Columbia University where since 1989 she has taught in the program The Shape of Two Cities: New York and Paris in The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning.
Visiting Scholar, The Ford Foundation
As a national housing and community development expert, economist Mark
Willis previously served as executive vice president of JPMorgan Chase
Bank and as head of its community development group. There, he coordinated
a national community development program that focused on increasing
affordable housing and growing small businesses. In addition, he oversaw
community relations and corporate oversight of the Fair Lending and
Community Reinvestment Act compliance. Before joining JPMorgan Chase in
1989, Mr. Willis was deputy commissioner for development of the New York
City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and served as
senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
During his tenure at the Ford Foundation, Mr. Willis will be working to identify best practices for the financial services sector and new ways in which it can better serve the low- and moderate-income people who are suffering the most in the volatile economy.
Executive Director, Regional Plan Association
Thomas K. Wright is the Executive Director of the Regional Plan Association,
America's oldest independent metropolitan policy, research and advocacy group.
Based in Manhattan, RPA promotes plans, policies and investments needed to improve
the quality of life and competitiveness of the New York Metropolitan Region, America's
largest urban area. As the chief operating officer for the association since 2001,
Mr. Wright manages a staff of 30, oversees budgeting and fiscal planning for a $4 million
organization and staffs a 60-member Board of Directors. Projects he has directed at RPA
include the Draft Vision Plan for the City of Newark (2006) and A Region at Risk: The Third
Regional Plan for the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut Metropolitan Area (1996). He also
participated in planning and organizing "Listening to the City," the historic electronic
town hall forum on the World Trade Center site held in July, 2002 at the Javits Convention Center.
Mr. Wright lectures widely on growth management, regional planning and redevelopment, and rebuilding New York City after the September 11th attacks to the Word Trade Center. He is a Visiting Lecturer in Public Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Since 1998 he has also been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Prior to taking his current position at RPA, he was the Deputy Executive Director of the New Jersey Office of State Planning, where he coordinated adoption of the New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan (2001) and wrote the Executive Summary of the State Plan.