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Assorted mosques, and a luxury boutique world-class access space

Ian Martin delivers adjunctive elevation

MONDAY. The planners have turned down my planning application for a pop-up mosque.

It was a ‘bouncy mega-mosque’ and looked bloody great on paper. A gigantic, though modest, inflatable structure with a helium-stiffened minaret. Capable of holding 70,000 worshippers either on land (urban version) or afloat in the middle of the Thames Estuary (Olympic Legacy version).

Despite this inbuilt flexibility – I sought planning permission to inflate the mosque anywhere in London it could fit, thereby saving on paperwork – it has been refused because it is too big and ‘contentious’. I’m not sure what this means. ‘Likely to be opposed by people who don’t like giant inflatable mosques’?

It’s absurd. I’ll make it smaller and less contentious. Back to the pop-up drawing board.

TUESDAY. OK, here we go. I’ve halved the size, emailed it off to the planners and have even paid the £3,000 surcharge for a same-day decision.

Fingers crossed. This pop-up mosque is smaller AND it’s buried underground where nobody can see it. Plus, I’ve decreased the contentiousness by giving it a patronising tabloid nickname, the ‘Meccatrakka’.

The Meccatrakka is a magnetically accurate prayer hall inside a massive reinforced concrete ‘grindstone’. This doesn’t sound very demountable, but the ‘grindstone’ is built from thousands of ultra-thin folding Conquete® panels. I will reveal the actual construction process in due course, if I get planning permission.

This one holds a mere 12,000 worshippers and is suitable for any big-enough hole in the ground. Its unique Mosqnav® tracking system adjusts every three minutes to align with the verified source of project sponsorship.

Bollocks. Refused again. STILL too big.

WEDNESDAY. I am putting aside mosques for the moment to design a luxury boutique world-class access space. It is, obviously, brilliant. I am calling it The Decadent Egg.

The Egg is a prototype ‘gateway presence’ that can literally be rolled out, assuming a level rolling field, to any site in the world. A spun-Kryptogel® globe, double-skinned, a ‘nodule within a podule’. It can redeem the most unappetising new building in the world with its dollop of classy garnish.

From the bleak hospitality of an aerodrome in the Caucasus to the feeble grandeur of a chain hotel in Aberdeen, the Decadent Egg ‘delivers adjunctive elevation’. You may say: ‘what are you talking about?’ I’ll tell you. Adjunctive elevation occurs through the creation of vertical portals and analogical linkages, using inter-connecting layers of platforms to signify a dynamic, expressive mix of urban forum, windows, reception desk, human sounding board, hang-out space, niche sponsorship opportunities, ad hoc public observatory and quality piped music.

Furthermore, 3D mapping allows the visitor to see everything from slightly different angles by sequentially standing at different ‘node points’. Incredibly, I am taking the notions of fluid architectural form and functional interaction, then mashing them up into a totally innovative chapparal of blurred existence.

This innovative chapparal of blurred existence I will call ‘authentricity’. The authentic reassurance of affordable luxury in an easily-readable generic style. It sounds like the opposite of authenticity, but it isn’t.

THURSDAY. Try the heritage approach. Submit my ‘midi-mosque’ for planning permission.

It’s a retro plug-in prayer space, compatible with all pre-1995 power channels. Holds 500 worshippers in a matt black pop-up cardboard tube. Dry bar with free wi-fi. Would easily fit on a defunct petrol station or library site.

The minaret’s invisible within a slender cardboard tube, which has a brick veneer and looks like a chimney. Pick the bones of contention out of THAT.

FRIDAY. Ugh. Turned down on three grounds. Firstly it was ruled ‘unsustainable’; cardboard is apparently not a ‘local’ material.

Secondly, they hated the chimney: ‘visual misrepresentation under the Aesthetic Trades Description Act 1894 (to wit, not a chimney); contravention of the Passive Air Act 2002 (to wit, promoting the inference of airborne smoke)’.

Thirdly, the entire scheme ‘breaches the Common Law of Contention Governing Lawful Assemblies of Mohammetans 1067 (by encouraging same)’. I think this is pretty bad to be honest, discriminating against mosques on the basis that they contain Muslims.

But not as shocking as the cardboard thing. Thanks to Amazon and the supermarkets, cardboard is now an abundant local material, surely. Bastards!

SATURDAY. Invent the iMosq, a single-use numinous helmet for individual worshippers. Keep it to myself this time.

SUNDAY. Large lunch, then push the limits of tolerance in the recliner.

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