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Architecture and Power: Cities (and Regions) Within a City

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Cities (and Regions) Within a City: Subnational representations and the creation of European imaginaries in Brussels.

This presentation explores how sub-national institutions - representations from cities and regions - help create a European imaginary in Brussels. Political scientists and other scholars have noted the importance of these city and regional institutions, but have paid little attention to their physical form. The talk analyzes the vast impact that an intervention very small in scale--the use and re-imagination of select buildings by the subnational institutions--has on Brussels’ urban form and function. Through a select set of case studies, focusing on representations from German states, notably the city-states of Hamburg and Bremen, and including select other city and regional offices, the presentation offers some first ideas of how the physical presence of these small entities transforms European Brussels. It asks how the selection, construction, reuse and restoration of buildings for the subnational institutions reshapes the urban patterns of Brussels, how their architecture and external decoration contributes to the creation of a European narrative within the city, and how the institutional actors use Brussels’ buildings in their print marketing and web presences constructing entangled European and regional identities. 

Organized as part of Facades of Governance in collaboration with Designing Democracy, Sandberg Institute Amsterdam.

Carola Hein
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 11:30
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