Worlds in the city: Manhattan transfer and the ascendance of spectacular space

Anthony D. King
1996 Planning Perspectives  
Contemporary architecture is deployed at the service of cities to offer competitive distinction in the global economy. This phenomenon is discussed primarily within the context of consumption, but only occasionally in light of aesthetics. This paper puts forward a set of ideas about urban distinction, created by singular works of architecture that embody a particular form of the sublime, called convulsive beauty by the surrealist Andre Breton. Convulsive beauty stands in direct contrast to
more » ... ct contrast to classical, harmonious forms of urban design, like City Beautiful or postmodern contextualism. An architecture of convulsive beauty, unlike spectacular or monumental architecture, is urbanistic by nature, and an appropriate form of architecture for the provisional city, in which contingency and transformation are the constants.
doi:10.1080/02665439608559398 fatcat:rlwayeaywvaobggadsrktarbby