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Starchitects uncovered

Contemporary American novelist Bruce Wagner, famed for his characterisation of the shallow side of Hollywood life, has, in his latest novel, turned his poisonous pen towards the cult of celebrity that is so pervasive in global architecture. Which is a good thing, as Wagner is hilarious and all Astragal’s favourite globe-trotting starchitects are ripe for satire. In his latest book, Memorial, they apparently all make appearances, including cameos from both Renzo Piano and Frank Gehry. Unsurprisingly the best lines appear to be saved for – surprise, surprise – London’s favourite architectural diva. Wagner attributes Zaha’s fame to her ‘unkempt, fat actress, kohl-smeared, gypsy-soprano look’. If this is anything to go by, Memorial appears to be a book worth watching out for. Happy reading.

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