From Tim Burton’s steamy, gothic megalopolis to Christopher Nolan’s cold, Miesian jungle, Gotham’s malice has always been manifested in its architecture. Writer Chip Kidd and artist David Taylor have pulled this nefarious background character to the forefront in the tale of Batman Vs. Mega-starchitect, entitled Batman: Death by Design
Read more about Batman : Death by Design after the break...
This week we’re going to spotlight one of our greatest contemporary filmmakers, Tim Burton. In the 1989 film Batman, Burton generates a whole gothic environment, full of art deco and art nouveau buildings within Gotham City. Locations were inspired by urban spaces from New York City, Los Angeles, West London, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Tokyo, to Hong Kong (even though Gotham City was a well-known nickname for New York City, before Batman was ever written).
If you didn’t check out our article on Architecture & Batman, do so now – and let us know which Director you think does Gotham best in the comments below…
There is no other comic saga more influenced by architecture than Batman. Gotham, and the fictional architects that built the city, have been main characters since the first plots. Writer and architect Jimmy Stamp describes in these essay the fascinating architectural references and metaphors that have filled Batman stories for the last 60 years.
Batman, Gotham City, and an Overzealous Architecture Historian With a Working Knowledge of Explosives
By Jimmy Stamp
New York, Dubai, Tokyo, Moscow, Gotham. Every city in every atlas—real and fictional— has a unique character shaped by history and geography. More than a mere sense of place derived from architecture and planning, cities have a feeling that pervades the consciousness of those who live there until themselves become a a piece of the urban fabric, a fractional embodiment of the city itself. Perhaps more than any other person—real or fictional—Batman is integrally linked to his city, the city he has sworn to protect. In every sense of the word, he is a true avatar of Gotham. And Gotham City itself is an avatar, not only of the dreams of its fictional architects, but of our collective urban paranoia.