Forum A+P Vol.25
Call for Papers for Forum A+P Nr.25
Going high! The pros and cons of city verticalization.
Main topic: The high-rise is recognized worldwide as a symbol of ‘progress’ and ‘technological’ power, an ‘urban monument’ capable of turning the spotlight on itself, bearing praise and criticism .
No doubt, by its sheer size and shape, the skyscraper is first of all and inevitably a sign, minimally a sign of itself, even (or especially) when its referentiality is putatively kept at a minimum.
Yet, no sooner has the skyscraper announced its absolute, vertical self-referentiality than it starts to work laterally and horizontally, to conjure, structure, and mobilize a field of other signs, objects, contexts, neighbourhoods, buildings, styles, cultures, technics, knowledge, ideologies, and desires.
Tall buildings are also influenced by the physical features of a specific form and context-related aspects. Working on such a typology of edifices requires specific skills for an out-of-the-ordinary performance, with indirect effects that spill over into the ordinary design of other city buildings , a difficult task in which experimentation and research play significantly.
To think about the skyscraper, then, is to think about what it is around, about the whole city, the whole environment, the whole landscape, and the whole discourse. The skyscraper, as that which “Goes High!”, becomes the organon of the whole as such.
It is the ambition of this call for papers to debate the skyscraper inter-disciplinarily, in its very multi-dimensionality: both as a freestanding object and an urban field or disposition; as a technological and social infrastructure; as an architectural typology and an economic instrument; as an architectural, engineering, environmental, and urban concept, and as both a contemporary and historical sign.
Consequently, the call for papers aims to inquire and speculate about the skyscraper as a global condition yet framed from the context of an unbridled verticalization of the city of Tirana in the last two decades, and how such phenomenon is currently affecting and will bear on the transformation of the city.
Research topics: Four topics are proposed with related keywords to widely debate the topic, as follow:
- High-rise buildings and history (#liberalism, #international style, #modernism, #architecturalcriticism);
- High-rise buildings and concept, design studio, and form-finding (#process, #case studies, #software, #climatechange, #forms follow function, #forms follow climate);
- High-rise buildings and urbanism (#urban morphology, #social impact, #public transportation, #services);
- High-rise buildings and cladding (#typologies, #materials, #wind action, #facade assembly);
- High-rise buildings and structural aspects (#soils, #foundations, #vertical frames; #horizontal frames, #materials).
The debate of this call for papers on the high-rise phenomena wants to be guided by one conceptual idea: that the topic of the skyscraper should not be seen just about the skyscraper as a vertical object, but also about what is around it (including the neighbouring urban settings, or the city in broad terms). In other words, it is about an object and a field. This aesthetic and political premise intends to allow participants and contributors to unpack the concept: socially, economically, anthropologically, technologically, and so forth. An approach that can also be well contextualized in Tirana, and replicable in any other city and society.
 Aimar, F. (2016a). Edifici alti e grattacieli. Aspetti strutturali. Wolters Kluwer, Milan, Italy. ISBN: 978-88-6750-356-8
 Aimar, F. (2016b). Edifici alti e grattacieli. Facciate. Wolters Kluwer, Milan, Italy. ISBN: 978-88-6750-357-5
Introduction from the Editors
The high-rise is recognized worldwide as a symbol of ‘progress’ and ‘technological’ power, an ‘urban monument’ capable of turning the spotlight on itself, bearing praise and criticism to the entrepreneur, the architect, and the engineer, and often to authorities as well. The high rise – commonly and often indiscriminately referred to as the tower or skyscraper – is by now, a global phenomenon. We see it everywhere in the world, from East to West from the Global North to Global South, from its cities of origin in the New World such as New York and Chicago to the historical cities of the Old World like Paris, London, Berlin, and even Rome, and in Chinese metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai. But we also see it in small, developing, and often perceived as ‘peripheral’ countries like Albania, whose capital Tirana has unapologetically risen to the thirtieth floor in the last two decades… No doubt, by its sheer size and shape, the skyscraper is first of all and inevitably a sign, minimally a sign of itself, even (or especially) when its referentiality is putatively kept at a minimum, as in the case of the Seagram building in Manhattan, a building that screams through its Miesian silence: I am a skyscraper! The skyscraper is perhaps the only sign that is both a decorated shed (Venturi et al., 1972) or a “lobotomized building” (Koolhaas, 1978, p. 82) insofar as there is a disjunction between the outside (decoration) and the inside (function), and a duck insofar as the skyscraper is a symbol of itself, insofar as it cannot but look like a skyscraper …, always already self-referencing and exclaiming: I am a skyscraper! Read more
Verticality in Milan Between Past and Future 40
Invisible Tools: Shaping New York City's Skyscrapers 49
The Balkan Skyscraper: How Tall is Tall Enough? 56
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Vertical Cemeteries: a Changing Paradigm 84
Fear and Awe in the Vertical City: the Affective Space of "Going High" 92
FEDERICO DE MATTEIS
An integrated inhabiting: What are we Talking About When we Talk About it. 108
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TAW 2022 as a Vantage Observatory of an International Phenomenon. The Horizontal Dimension of Verticality. 118
FABRIZIO AIMAR, ERMAL HOXHA, KETI HOXHA