Between Architourism and Architerrorism

Joan Ockman 

One of the stunning architectural developments of the late twentieth century was the phenomenon of the spectacular building as a new kind of tourist attraction. The triumph of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry, revindicated “bricks and mortar” – that is, glass and titanium – in a world increasingly riveted on pixels. For the hypermobile pilgrims of a global culture, architourism remapped the world into a new set of destinations, giving rise to a giddy sense of optimism about the transforming effect of such interventions on local contexts. Claims were even made, in the case of Bilbao, that the regeneration of the urban economy would prove a countervailing force against Basque terrorism... [+]

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