Introduction: Star Architecture in and Across Cities in Europe

  • Davide PonziniEmail author
  • Nadia Alaily-Mattar
  • Alain Thierstein


In the last three decades, urban decision makers in the Western world increasingly promote and build exceptional architecture projects such as iconic museums, spectacular infrastructures or public spaces not only for branding their city image and boosting media attention. Star architecture remains somehow a vague term, and the attention to the exceptional powers of architects still dominates the architectural, planning and public debates. More recently, research and publications can be found that make attempts to mix perspectives from architecture to urban planning to geography, economy and media studies, yet a consistent framework for these debates is missing. This introductory chapter provides a framework, problematising the definition of star architecture and its interplays with the transformation of the urban environment; it explains the reasons why studying the topic in the European context is important and useful for a world audience. This chapter presents the various disciplines involved and the multiple perspectives and methods adopted in each of the respective chapters. The structure of the volume and contents of each chapter are outlined to introduce the readers to this edited book.


Star architecture Multidisciplinary Transformation Urban development Europe 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Ponzini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nadia Alaily-Mattar
    • 2
  • Alain Thierstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Architecture and Urban StudiesPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Urban DevelopmentTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany

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