Star Architecture: Reflecting on Cities in Europe

Davide Ponzini, Politecnico di Milano
Alain Thierstein, TUM

This edited book is an investigation into star architecture in the European context. It provides an insight in the roles and impacts of branded architecture projects on contemporary cities. An innovative theoretical framework is provided and discussion on how star architecture projects can be studied, using multiple qualitative and quantitative approaches in a consistent manner. Various issues are addressed related to star architecture in European cities, including heritage preservation, tourism and media perceptions.

Cities worldwide have been resorting to star architects to brand projects, spark urban regeneration and market the city image internationally. This book shifts the attention from star architects to star architecture, arguing that the process of implementing architectural and urban projects is not the product of any single actor. Star architecture can, in fact, be better studied and understood as assembled by multiple actors and in its relationship with urban transformation. The 19 chapters present a multidisciplinary collection of expert contributions in the fields of urban planning/ economics, architecture, media studies, geography, and sociology, uniquely collated to deal with this topic. Through an array of case studies and analytical techniques over 20 cities in Europe, the book shows the positive and more problematic impacts of star architecture with reference to the preservation of built heritage, tourism and media.

A seminar series “Flagship Architecture, Multinational Design Firms and the Urban Transformation of European Cities” over a period of three years, called together experts in architecture, urban planning, urban and economic geography. The objectives was to discuss the urban implications of this global trend and the specific effects over the European cities, with particular reference to medium sized cities in France, Italy and the German speaking countries in Europe. The process culminated in this book titled “Star Architecture: Reflecting on cities in Europe”.

Book Cover
Table of Contents