Out of the box
00:00 / 00:00
19 January 2017
Photo: Jo Schmaltz
This week we look at those slightly unusual structures that make you ask: how did that get built and what does it say about the city that hosts it? We cover some very obvious eyesores, peculiar street furniture and divisive buildings challenging all architectural norms and models. Is it time for us to embrace them?
19 January 2017
Photo: Bradley Howard
Yugoslavia had mixed fortunes when it came to architecture. Skopje was flattened by an earthquake in the 1960s, forcing a radical rebuild, and Belgrade has been bombarded so many times that maintaining architectural integrity has become a nigh-on impossible task.
Share chapter 1
The Spanish city of Alicante, known for its beachfront high-rises and perennial sunshine, also has a lesser-known but infinitely more colourful attraction: some rather large, shiny and undeniably controversial mushrooms sprouting along the entire Calle San Francisco.
Share chapter 2
With the world seemingly being sanitised to create acceptable aesthetics and urban experiences, it takes courage to build a truly ugly thing – because in the end the ugly often rises from convictions about form and use.
Share chapter 3
Since its opening in 1977, the Pompidou Centre in Paris has divided opinion. The museum is due a major renovation for its 40th anniversary but no compromise will be made on the original vision of architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers.
Share chapter 4
Want more radio episodes like these in your inbox?
Sign up to Monocle’s email newsletters to stay on top of news and opinion, plus the latest from the magazine, radio, film and shop.
The Urbanist - latest episodes
We visit one of one of Paris’s many overlooked architectural treasures – a musically inspired set of postwar buildings in northeastern Paris.
We discuss why now is the time to push for a green recovery and how indigenous city builders can help urban design act as a tool for social change.
Monocle’s David Plaisant visits the reopening of an astounding built experiment in a seaside town near Rome.
We take a trip around the world with our correspondents to check the pulse of the cities that they call home.
Monocle’s Georgina Godwin heads to southwest London to visit a wine company that harvests its bounty from vines across the city.
Can density still be done right? We assess how big a threat the global pandemic is to the very idea of the city.
Monocle’s David Stevens discusses the joy that simple luxuries can bring when you’re halfway through a trip around the world.
We gathered some of the sharpest minds in hospitality and city living to discuss how the world should move forward. Topics ranged from urban forests to mobility, the future of the office and tips from the mayor of Athens…
Monocle’s Kimberly Bradley visits a Cold War-era spy base to investigate the secrets buried beneath.
As cities begin to plan for the future, we look at how urban designers can cater for public health. We also head to New York to see how the city is protecting the welfare of its most vulnerable residents.
We look to one of the more mundane structures in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District that still manages to catch the eye from across the water.
Just over a month after the explosion that shook the Lebanese capital, we assess the damage, reflect on the causes and muse on the future for this bruised and battered city.
We climb the stairs to a small Croatian town where canny street design harnesses the best – and quells the worst – that the coastal winds have to offer.
We explore a recent documentary on regeneration through the arts and see how the 2020 European capital of culture is fighting back against a tumultuous year. Plus: a look at the growing trend of mass timber construction.
We visit the Werkbundsiedlung in western Vienna, a little-known gem of early 20-century modernism.