Jean Nouvel Criticizes the Rise of Starchitecture in Cities


In an interview with Jean Nouvel today in Spain’s La Vanguardia newspaper, the famed architect and author of Barcelona’s very own Gherkin–offically called the Agbar Tower and unoficially nicknamed “the suppository” in Spanish, complained that what his suppository really needed was a good scrub. “They’re dirty. Or is it that people here like ‘mineral’ architecture?”

Laughs aside, we thought it worthwhile to highlight some of his comments on the development of cities over the last decade, which are quite interesting, coming from, well, Jean Nouvel.

“We were building day and night and out of the blue buildings would just appear that had no personality or integration with their context. Building that popped up like mushrooms, as if they had parachuted in by the numbers in various cities. Because they did not know how to take advantage of prosperity, those cities have now lost their wealth.”

“Cities wind up becoming clones of each other as their urbanism and construction increasingly respond to the same logic: maximum benefit in the minimum amount of time.”

You can read the original interview in its entirety in Spanish here.

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