Buildings that are designed to layer stories and memories, evoke a sense of aspiration, define cultural narratives, and build a national identity will always be important in all societies. When buildings have this power to shape communities, make an impact on a city’s image, and change the course of socio-economic growth, then they can be identified as iconic. Though the term “iconic” is subjective, it is one that pushes the boundaries of architecture in any context. It calls for spatial originality, proposes innovative material technology, and necessitates a radical socio-economic investment to be realized.
However, since the economies of developing countries in the global south cannot meet the requirements of these architectural structures, is there a more suitable socio-economic model for monumental structures in this context? Can the incremental principles of small adaptable changes and growth be applied to the finite iconic aspiration of this architecture?