Grand Gestures

gta papers 4
Grand Gestures

2020. 21 x 29.7 cm, softcover
152 pages, 75 illustrations
ISBN 978-3-85676-407-4
CHF 25.00 / EUR 25.00

Edited by Adam Jasper and Stefan Neuner
Contributions by André Bideau, Maarten Delbeke, Berthold Hub, John Macarthur, Sarah Nichols, Liam Ross, Davide Spina, Daniel Weiss
Designed by büro uebele


Many political leaders wish for a Grand Projet to leave a monumental mark on the fabric of the city, but no one wishes to be remembered for a ‘Grand Gesture’. A grand projet is a symbolic project that shapes the identity of the city as much as it serves its physical needs. As the name implies, a grand gesture is a performance in which the intention never quite determines the result. Its size is always too big, and its logic is that of hyperbole. Modernity is populated by many grand gestures. If they tend to failure, it is failure of an interesting kind, one that sometimes inadvertently succeeds in abolishing the context that engendered the gesture. This issue of gta papers deals with urban history, and architectural historiography, as characterized by irony. Irony is, as it were, not merely the inevitable outcome of any grand historical gesture, but appears as a mysterious force, seemingly guiding events to maximize the resulting anti-climax.