Please note the abstract submission deadline of 26 March has now passed and we are no longer accepting submissions.

CTBUH is issuing a Call for Abstracts to all scholars of history and colleagues with an expertise in this field (including architecture, architectural history, construction, economics, engineering, and beyond) to answer the prompt, “What skyscraper could be considered a ‘first’ in a particular technological field or other dimension?” and to state upon what criteria this assertion is based. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Symposium Steering Committee, comprised of leading experts in skyscraper history. Selected abstracts will be developed into full papers and presented at the First Skyscrapers | Skyscraper Firsts Symposium on Thursday 31 October, which will also be included in a subsequent CTBUH & SAH publication. Because of the nature of the subject and the organizations behind it, this event, and its consequential outputs, will receive worldwide press and interest. The symposium is kindly being sponsored by Otis Elevator Company.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, outlining the structure of your argument in answer to the question, “What skyscraper could be considered a ‘first’ in a particular technological field, and what are the criteria for determining this?” Please take note of the following conditions:

  • Only projects that qualify as a “building” under CTBUH criteria will be considered. To be considered a “building”, at least 50 percent of the height of the building must be occupiable (where “occupiable” space is environmentally conditioned and designed to be safely and legally occupied by residents, workers, or other building users on a consistent basis. This does thus not include service or mechanical areas that experience occasional maintenance access). Structures that do not meet the 50 percent-of-height-occupiable threshold are not eligible for consideration in this Symposium.
  • The submitted building must have resulted from a process of industrialized construction, that is, mass production, foundries, etc. Therefore, any structure that predates the Industrial Revolution is unlikely to be considered.
  • The submittal must include: (a) an explicit set of criteria for determining “What skyscraper could be considered a ‘first’ in a particular technological field?”, in less than 300 words, plus (b) full details on a single building that meets these criteria.