Beware “Important Building Syndrome”

“There is a tendency among world cities desperate for international status to look no further than the back list of Pritzker laureates when picking the designers of their star buildings. Thus, Abu Dhabi is getting itself not only a Gehry Guggenheim, but a Nouvel Louvre, a Hadid performing-arts centre, a Tadao Ando maritime museum and a recreation of Venice’s Biennale gardens, among much else. It is telescoping the usual centuries of cultural development into a decade. It’s when architects get to the point where you can’t keep track of all their work any more that the alarm bells start to ring.”