Celebrating the terrible importance of architecture and pudding
MONDAY. Emergency meeting of the Olympic Rebadging Task Force. It turns out that Zaha's splashtastic International Waterworld has been 'over-designed' while nobody was looking.
Olympics minister Suzi Towel and her coterie of moisturised consultants thought they'd grabbed a bargain when they bought it in at £70 million. Then the legacy people and Sky Sports insisted on pensioners' whirlpools, media suites, access roads and so on. Worse, some clever dick in a hard hat noticed that whichever way you held the masterplan it wouldn't fit on the site, and that there was a plague pit underneath.
Zaha was admonished, though not to her face. Despite a smaller roof and 'fewer architectural bits' costs have risen to £250 million. Clearly, we need to act fast to dampen expectations. The project was launched years ago with Prescott in his scuba diving gear, rashly telling everyone it would have 'the wow factor'. Then, at the time of the redesign, Suzi appeared in a bikini to downgrade public expectation by promising 'the yay factor'.
Agreed that the PM should now appear on the Andrew Marr show in a floppy hat and confirm the project is officially 'oh factor' status.
TUESDAY. Decline an invitation to join a regeneration superquango. I'm all for density, but nine syllables in just two words?
WEDNESDAY. To Docklands for the TVP100 Awards ceremony. This is held annually to celebrate premier UK design firm TVP making more money from architecture than anyone else. The other 99 practices are there to share costs and to proclaim that they're in the epic space premiership too.
This year's ceremony is being held in the Glazed Ovary, a massive atrium made of super-intelligent glass that allows only good views in. Non-twinkling London is filtered out by a special ionised 'green' membrane which also seals in heat, jazz, ariel ballet and the spoken bollocks of a thousand people in the 'design business' over four courses.
A procession of wankers and thankers take the microphone. TVP is thanked most of all, as it designed the Glazed Ovary itself and much of the view outside. And the dinner. And the entertainment. And the conversation - each table has a TVP project manager to co-ordinate things. The evening, though, is not just about money and power. It is about innovation. It is about the human spirit, and how that may be expressed through built art. It is about beauty and truth. And, in the end, love. And how all these structural elements may be combined to make money.
Architecture minister Dorothy Bungham is on top form as guest speaker. 'The fact that you are all here tonight proves how terribly important you really are' she says, peering over the podium. 'Existing buildings are also terribly important, as many of our new buildings have yet to be built. Now, I am your minister and it is a terribly important part of my job to promote you and all the architecturey things you do. You are growing at twice the rate of our economy, so perhaps it would be wise to forego the pudding tonight, boom boom!'
The evening climaxes with TVP chairman Arvin Sloan handing the TVP-designed TVP Trophy to himself in front of the vodka luge.
THURSDAY. Design an off-grid house for a humourless vegan couple from Wiltshire. For the greater good of society I locate it on a galeswept island in the Outer Hebrides, where they can bore the fucking sheep to death instead.
FRIDAY. God, London even SMELLS Tory now. My friend Loaf the mayor is out of town (zero-tolerance factfinder in Chechnya) so I hook up with Darcy the architecture critic. As usual, he is accompanied by Bauhau, the best-dressed dachshund in town. Today the yapping little bastard's wearing ultra-thin panels of brutalist concrete in a complicated spiral shape. 'My little Wayward Gallery, aren't you?' Yap. 'Yes you are'. Yap yap yip.
They're both 'prolapsed' at the thought of the impending London Freshtival of Architecture. 'There will be jelly breakfasts, cycling hubs, guided debates...they've even got a street magician who makes London landmarks out of balloons!' Yip yip.
It must have been like this in Rome, around 400 AD.
SATURDAY. Rule myself out of the RIPBA presidential contest by accidentally saying something interesting.
SUNDAY. Psychogeographical field trip in the recliner.