Star architecture as tool for urban regeneration and its implications

Authors: Johannes Dreher*, HCU HafenCity University Hamburg, Alain Thierstein , Technical University Munich , Nadia Alaily-Mattar, Technical University Munich
Topics: Tourism Geography, Cultural Geography, Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: urban regeneration, bilbao effect, star architecture, iconic architecture, culture-led urban regeneration, museum
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 2:00 PM / 3:40 PM
Room: Studio 6, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The “Bilbao effect as an urban policy in motion” (Gonzales 2011) fostered the belief in iconic star architecture as the essential element in the use of museums for urban regeneration. While research remains imprecise, as it examines star architecture museum projects as an entity and focuses on the question, which role those projects play for urban regeneration, we concentrate on the impact of the architecture, and include the implications for the museum itself. Considering the case study of the Kunsthaus Graz in Austria, we discuss the influence of architecture on 1) the function, the program of the exhibition house, 2) the operating institution and 3) the city. Methodologically, we use document analysis, expert interviews, surveys, and an analysis of urban morphology to draw the following conclusions. First, architecture has important consequences on the function it houses. The decision for an exceptional star architecture has changed and increased the requirement for the program the building is offering. Second, the running institution faces increased expectations regarding the museum's success. However, they can use the star architecture to attract sponsors and financial support. Third, iconic architecture can increase civic acceptance and approval despite challenging circumstances, such as an unpopular programme or a negative media coverage.  Fourth, we find out that the City of Graz makes use of the star architecture as a gateway for global networks, as a catalyst for urban regeneration and as a new landmark that is used for tourist marketing. 

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