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.