The use of brand architecture today is widespread since it is supposed to have broad positive effects such as improving the urban environment, skyline and media visibility. This article examines some of these assumptions by comparing two case studies: Agbar Tower in Poblenou, Barcelona and Doha Tower in the West Bay District in Doha, Qatar. Ateliers Jean Nouvel designed both buildings for hosting similar office functions and for distinguishing the image of the respective cities. The two cities have quite different historic development and urban environment, urban planning and design institutions, which we analyze. Drawing from this evidence, the article criticizes the simplistic assumptions that circulate internationally, calling for a deeper understanding of urban design, planning and policy factors. In particular, if urban actors expect to improve material and immaterial features of a city, they should strengthen relevant urban design and planning procedures, rather than simply investing in brand architecture.

Urban effects of the transnational circulation of branded buildings: Comparing two skyscrapers and their context in Barcelona and Doha

Ponzini, Davide;
2017

Abstract

The use of brand architecture today is widespread since it is supposed to have broad positive effects such as improving the urban environment, skyline and media visibility. This article examines some of these assumptions by comparing two case studies: Agbar Tower in Poblenou, Barcelona and Doha Tower in the West Bay District in Doha, Qatar. Ateliers Jean Nouvel designed both buildings for hosting similar office functions and for distinguishing the image of the respective cities. The two cities have quite different historic development and urban environment, urban planning and design institutions, which we analyze. Drawing from this evidence, the article criticizes the simplistic assumptions that circulate internationally, calling for a deeper understanding of urban design, planning and policy factors. In particular, if urban actors expect to improve material and immaterial features of a city, they should strengthen relevant urban design and planning procedures, rather than simply investing in brand architecture.
Barcelona; Doha; Star architecture; Urban design; Urban landscape; Urban planning; Geography, Planning and Development; Urban Studies
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1037775
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