David Malott Passes the CTBUH Chairman’s Gavel to Steve Watts

Tuesday, 31 October 2017 | Sydney

An open letter to the members of CTBUH

Dear Members of the Council,

It has been my honor to serve as your Chairman.  

CTBUH was founded in 1969 by the brilliant engineers of that era who decided to share their knowledge with the world. It was a year of innovation and experimentation —the year humanity reached the moon—and building a skyscraper was as great a challenge. Our founders recognized it was as important to share in our mistakes as well as our successes. It is this discourse which makes the Council special.

In 2016, the world saw the completion of 128 tall buildings 200 meters or taller, a pace faster than one in every three days. It would appear that the Council’s mission is largely complete, but I believe our challenges are even greater. Mistakes are no longer confined to individual buildings—they appear at the scale of cities, and by extension, our planet and our future. We need to understand and harness the collective benefits of urban density—that our building, cities, and lives are intertwined. We have much work still to do.  

As I set out on a new adventure with my co-founders at AI, we carry the banner of CTBUH forward. The vision and ideals of the Council have left an indelible mark on us all. We pledge to join you in the stands, to carry out the work from the ground, and to go about the business of making the world a better place together.

In particular, I extend my gratitude to Antony Wood. Over the past several years we have forged a great partnership, and he has been a true friend. Thank you, Antony, for driving this Council forward, and to the staff of CTBUH, for your wonderful initiative.  

For years, the gavel of CTBUH has passed hands from one Chairman to the next, from our founders Lynn Beedle and Fazlur Khan, to Leslie Robertson, to our former Chairmen—Ron Klemencic, David Scott, and Kim Sang Dae—through me, and now to Steve Watts. The gavel is a symbol of the role of the chair as the steward of the Council. I take pride in knowing that the Council is in a stronger place than when I started, and that I leave the gavel in true hands. Steve Watts has shown exceptional leadership as a Trustee of the Council, and it is my honor now to call him Chairman.  

Congratulations to Steve, and thank you all!

David Malott, CTBUH Chairman, 2014-2017