Urban Transformations through Exceptional Architecture focusses on the nexus between architecturally exceptional projects and the city. It addresses the following questions: How can the complexity of these projects be comprehended? What roles do the political contexts play in the commissioning of such projects and what audiences do these projects serve? How has the granting of professional recognition for architects changed and what will this change mean to measures of exceptionality in architectural design? What roles do the architectural competitions play in the process of commissioning the design of architecturally exceptional projects, and do design competitions as an urban planning tool grant high value designs? Architecturally exceptional projects are situated in physical urban fabrics. How can this situatedness be analysed and what different values does the urban design dimension of these projects add?
By considering diverse aspects of architecturally exceptional projects, the chapters in this book utilise a variety of research methods. They bring into dialogue a range of themes regarding the architectural, urban design and political aspects of these projects. This volume illustrates that multidisciplinarity might well be the best strategy to balance the risks of over simplification and the challenges of complexity in analysing these exceptional projects and the city in its ever-transformative process.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Urban Design.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Urban transformations through exceptional architecture
Nadia Alaily-Mattar and Alain Thierstein
1. Repositioning cities through star architecture: how does it work?
Nadia Alaily-Mattar, Johannes Dreher and Alain Thierstein
2. One icon, two audiences: how the Denver Art Museum used their new building to both brand the city and bolster civic pride
3. Crowdsourced and crowd-pleasing: the new architectural awards and the city
4. Local politics and planning over transnational initiatives: the case of Guggenheim Helsinki
Davide Ponzini and Sampo Ruoppila
5. Architecture competitions in an urban planning context
6. The impacts of mandatory design competitions on urban design quality in Sydney, Australia
Gethin Davison, Robert Freestone, Richard Hu and Sarah Baker
7. The challenge of urban design in securing post-event legacies of Olympic Parks
Renata Latuf de Oliveira Sanchez and Stephen Essex
8. Responsive cohesion in the art and artfulness of urban design: some case studies in Helsinki
Antony Radford and Tarkko Oksala
Nadia Alaily-Mattar is currently Research Felllow at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She is a Research and Teaching Associate at the Chair of Urban Development of the Department of Architecture, Technische Universität München, Germany. She is a trained architect, graduate of the American University of Beirut. She received her Master’s degree in Housing and Urban Regeneration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, and her PhD in Planning Studies from the University College of London. Her research interests revolve around star architecture and its media effects, the narrative performance of architecture, futures oriented urban planning and the role of architecture in urban development. Together with Alain Thierstein and Davide Ponzini she has co-edited the book About Star Architecture: Reflecting on Cities in Europe.
Alain Thierstein is Full Professor for Urban Development at the Department of Architecture, Technische Universität München, Germany. He also is affiliated with the consultancy of EBP Schweiz AG, Zurich as partner and senior consultant in the area of urban and regional economic development. He received his Master degree and PhD in Economics from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He is involved in research on urban and metropolitan development; spatial impact of the knowledge economy, in particular the visualisation of non-physical company relationships as well as spatial interaction of locational choices for residence, work and mobility; and the role of star architecture for repositioning medium sized cities. His work is extensively published internationally.