International inspiration combined with local context should ideally drive the design of skyscrapers. This will be the subject of discussion at the upcoming 3rd Annual Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit being held later this month in Melbourne.

A typical city’s skyline is formed by a multitude of skyscrapers of all shapes, sizes, heights and designs, some featuring glass, others steel, and a few recent ones, timber. While some take inspiration from international styles, others respond directly to their cultural and climatic surroundings.

How do we design skyscrapers inspired by global icons that can also function to serve and even benefit their locales?

This will be the core subject of discussion at the 3rd Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit with speakers including Archistar founder Dr Ben Coorey; associate professor and director of the architecture program at UNSW, Dr Philip Oldfield; Hong Kong Atkins director Jason Hutchings; and Arup associate and sustainable buildings leader Samantha Peart.

Observing that internationally-inspired design should be balanced with the natural and cultural heritage of the place, Coorey, a leading parametric modelling expert, says Archistar is a strong advocate of data-driven designs that take into account local contextual factors.

“We practice design based on looking to international precedents for inspiration and strategies but combine this with new technology that provides an evidence-based approach to providing good and sustainable design.”

UNSW’s Oldfield, who will be joining Coorey at the summit on a panel about the challenges of developing and maintaining environmentally sustainable skyscrapers, agrees that tall buildings should be a mix of international best practice and local climatic and cultural response.

“Tall buildings will always be global icons, but their design needs to be better rooted in the way specific cities operate urbanistically, climatically and culturally.”

According to Oldfield, the benefit of designing contextually responsive skyscrapers in Australia lies in the country’s climatic diversity.

Keynote speakers include Atkins’ Hutchings who will present on Vietnam icon Vincom Landmark 81, and Arup’s Peart, who will reveal the culturally responsive elements of the upcoming ‘Olderfleet’ tower at 477 Collins Street.

The 3rd Annual Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit will be held on 25-26 June at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.