Iconic buildings are important meaning generators in cities. This study explores the role that iconic buildings in-the-making have in the discursive construction of city identity in public debate. Through the examination of the Locarno PalaCinema case (Switzerland), our study proposes that iconic buildings – during their planning – can serve as aspirational identity artefacts: objects that are mobilised in discourse to inform productive idealisations of city identity by powerful urban actors. Findings identify the mechanisms through which the aspirational artefact and city identity interact in discourse, showing that iconic building projects orient city identity claims, while at the same time city identity meanings taken from collective memory, present understandings and future aspirations are used by actors to infuse the evolving project with meaning. This study aims to contribute to debates in urban planning and city identity by discussing the identity anticipation role of the planning of iconic buildings and how they can be a productive ground to reflect, re-orient and re-claim the unique features of a city’s identity while aspiring to achieve a different future.
标志性建筑是城市中重要的意义生成器。本研究探讨了在公众的辩论中，正在建设中的标志性建筑在城市身份的话语建构中所起的作用。通过对 Locarno PalaCinema 案例（瑞士）的考查，我们提出，标志性建筑在其规划过程中可以作为理想的身份制品：强大的城市行为者在话语中调动这些对象，解释富有创造性的、理想化的城市身份。我们的研究结果确定了理想的制品和城市身份在话语中相互作用的机制，表明标志性建筑项目对城市身份主张进行定向，同时，行为者利用从集体记忆中获得的城市身份的意义、当前的理解和未来的愿景赋予不断发展的项目以意义。本研究旨在通过讨论标志性建筑规划在身份预期方面所起的作用，以及它们如何成为反映、重新定位和重新获得城市形象独特特征的富有成效的基础，为城市规划和城市形象的讨论做出贡献，同时致力于实现不同的未来。