Earlier this week, Gary Steficek, founding partner of Gilsanz Murray Steficek, spoke at the 6th annual IUAV International Conference on Tall Buildings in Milan. The program was divided into two sessions, one on new technologies and a second on new uses for existing tall buildings. His presentation, “Reinventing Woolworth: Adaptive Reuse of an Historic Skyscraper,” was part of the Existing Structures Session.

The conference was held in the new CityLife center in Milan which features the new Office Towers and Residences by Zaha Hadid, Arata Isozaki and Daniel Libeskind. A representative from Ms. Hadid’s office presented on their work at the center and throughout the world and Mr. Libeskind closed the event with an interactive interview session on his contributions here and abroad.

The presenters were a mix of international architects, engineers and scholars speaking on new Tall Building projects, Smart Buildings and urban design. Presenters offered fascinating insights into restoration projects including the intricate restoration of the iconic Milano Pirelli Tower which had been damaged by a small aircraft crash in 2002 and groundbreaking data on ‘Life Cycle Thinking’ where research is being done on the real impact, both in cost and on the environment, of new construction versus restoration. There was also a presentation on the Bosco Verticale in Milan, billed as the world’s first vertical forest and winner of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2015 Best Tall Building Worldwide.