FORUM A+P – Call for Paper

Nr. 25 Going high! The pros and cons of city verticalization.

Guest Editors: Fabrizio Aimar, Ermal Hoxha, Keti Hoxha

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 [1].

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 [2], 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.

[1] Aimar, F. (2016a). Edifici alti e grattacieli. Aspetti strutturali. Wolters Kluwer, Milan, Italy. ISBN: 978-88-6750-356-8

[2] Aimar, F. (2016b). Edifici alti e grattacieli. Facciate. Wolters Kluwer, Milan, Italy. ISBN: 978-88-6750-357-5


Submission Guidelines

FORUM A+P invites submissions of original research from scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students to be considered for the upcoming OPEN issue. From theoretical and empirical research to research methodologies, critical reviews, and case studies, this open call welcomes all work that seeks to establish critical areas of research, development, and reflections towards the topic of high-rise buildings and the culture of city verticalisation in the field of architecture, engineering, and urbanism.

The Journal welcomes the submission of manuscripts that meets the general criteria of significance and scientific excellence. After the abstract acceptance by the Editorial Committee, all articles will be single-blind peer-reviewed by the International Scientific Committee. The selected papers will be published as articles in monographic issue of Forum A+P, in November 2022.

By submitting your article, the author agrees to any necessary originality checks your contribution may have to undergo during the peer-review and production processes. FORUM A+P will not accept for review any manuscript, as well as sketches and images, which have been previously published, in whole or in part. Nor will we consider for publication any work concurrently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

The call for papers will remain open one month from today. The submitted papers need to be proofread. Only one paper per member is allowed to be submitted to the editorial committee.

Papers can be sent to:

For further specification concerning the authors’ guidelines, you can consult the dedicated page on our website: