Master in Tall Building Design

 In Architecture

A university Master’s degree to train students in tall buildings: this is the aim of the new ‘Master’s degree in Tall Building Design‘ that will start at the Iuav University of Venice in October 2021.

The main objective of the master’s degree (annual and second level, therefore aimed at architects and engineers who have already completed their standard educational course) is to transform recent graduates and young professionals who take part in it into highly specialised figures, capable of joining a large architecture or engineering company with a strong international vocation, with a rich curriculum in the design of complex buildings.

The skyscraper topic is therefore used as a paradigm for various other types of buildings in which the technological, constructional, plant engineering and structural aspects play a fundamental role in the definition of the project, the management of the order and the making of the work.


The course is divided into four training terms. During the first term (called ‘Tall Building Basics‘) the general aspects of tall buildings will be analysed from the point of view of typology, history and the urban role they play in the city (especially in Europe).

The second term (called ‘Tall Building Advanced‘) introduces and analyses the main technical aspects related to the design of a tall building, providing the future professional with the necessary skills to coordinate the team of consultants and specialists involved in the design of a complex building. The course covers structural, system, façade and lift design, as well as safety and security issues. The most up-to-date technical framework for the professions of architect and engineer will also be covered, including knowledge of BIM (building information modelling), business development and the operation of an international design studio (starting with the management and commercial aspects).

The third term (‘Tall Building Design‘) is focused on the drafting of a complete architectural project. Using Iuav University’s traditional scheme of integrated design workshops, the course students will develop their project, guided by an architecture lecturer and the lecturers of the various technical subjects involved.

The fourth and final term (‘Tall Building Practice‘) is focused on a professional experience, which will see the students engaged in an internship in renowed design studios.

Among those that have already signed an agreement with the University are Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Zaha Hadid Architects, UNStudio, KPF, Richard Rogers Partners, OneWorks, ACPV, Mario Cucinella Architects, Werner Sobek, and many more for a total of 25 internships.

All the master courses will be taught by important professionals, actively involved in the design of tall buildings in Italy and abroad. These include Paolo Zilli from Zara Hadid Architects (for architectural design), Mauro Giuliani from Redesco (for structural aspects), Carol Willis from the Skyscraper Museum in New York (for historical analysis), Richard Peters from Peters Research for any in-depth study relevant to vertical transportation, as well as numerous lectures given by leading Italian and foreign experts and professionals.

A number of companies and industrial groups have agreed to sponsor scholarships to help graduates and young professionals gain access to the course. Information on how and when to enrol is available on the IUAV University of Venice website and on the master website www.tallbuildingdesign.eu, where a competition for scholarships will be launched.