By Owen Hatherley
An anatomy of failed-state Britain, by way of the writer of A consultant to the hot Ruins of serious Britain.
In A advisor to the recent Ruins of significant Britain, Owen Hatherley skewered New Labour’s architectural legacy in all its witless swagger. Now, within the yr of the Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, he units out to explain what the Coalition’s altogether assorted method of monetary mismanagement and civic irresponsibility is doing to the areas the place the British dwell.
In a trip that starts and results in the capital, Hatherley takes us from Plymouth and Brighton to Belfast and Aberdeen, when it comes to the eerie urbanism of the Welsh valleys and the much-mocked splendour of modernist Coventry. all over outdoor the bogus Southeast, the construction has stopped in cities and towns, which languish as they look forward to the subsequent bout of self-defeating austerity.
Hatherley writes with unrivalled aggression in regards to the disarray of contemporary Britain, and but this is still a booklet approximately probabilities remembered, approximately not likely successes in the course of likely inexorable failure. For in addition to trash, historical and sleek, Hatherley unearths indicators of the hopeful nation Britain as soon as was once and tricks of what it may become.
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Extra resources for A New Kind of Bleak: Journeys through Urban Britain
It would have been wrong to cheer on rioters against corner shopkeepers trying to defend their already small livelihoods; but it is equally wrong to pretend that this had nothing to do with the demonization of the young and poor, nothing to do with our brutally unequal society and our pathetic trickle-down attempts at palliation. Then we line up with those who think that looting Foot Locker is worse than the looting of an entire economy. Something snapped in August 2011, and it was a long time coming.
In the xxxv a new kind of ble a k face of accusations that unions are lumbering pre-modern dinosaurs, Cole points out that Unison has the the largest intranet in Europe, and Michael Poots lists with equal pride the building’s impeccable environmental credentials. Given the evident success of the internal arrangements and the lightness and airiness of the place, it’s a shame that its design language stays at such a low voltage. That’s something which becomes especially clear with the transition to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson building.
That’s a lot, for a town this small. The town of Gravesend, like Chatham Dockyard, is a minor revelation, a memorable small town both distant from and a cousin to London, able to breathe some of its metropolitan air without completely swallowing its bullshit. There’s not much to Gravesend, but what there is is fairly fascinating. Firstly, there’s the most hated building in Gravesend – I have this on good authority – the Thamesgate Car Park. Arndale Brutalism, massive and 7 a new kind of ble a k monumental, it adjoins a completely uninteresting shopping centre, but is actually a very smart and dramatic building; in rich red brick around sculpted, ribbed concrete, its overhanging volumes have a hint of the early work of Frank Lloyd Wright.