How closely were you paying attention to architectural events this year? God, were you even AWAKE? Ian Martin tests your memory.
Patrik Schumacher introduced audiences to something new in 2008. What was it?
c) Momo the comedy glove puppet, who squirted him with a water pistol every time he said ‘paradigm’.
As the credit crunch tightened, senior members of the profession advised British architects to seek new work opportunities. Where?
a) Second Life.
b) Pizza Hut.
c) Wealthier, sunnier parts of the world where women are kept indoors and it’s illegal to be gay, but where architectural innovation is highly valued so that’s OK then.
What did the Mayor of London envision in the middle of the Thames Estuary?
a) Bus lanes for amphibious Routemasters.
b) A floating, carbon-neutral amnesty growth hub with herbaceous borders.
c) New GLA headquarters, in the style of Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli.
Oh we’re all so clever, aren’t we? So what was the chief FUNCTION OF ARCHITECTURE in 2008?
How was architecture used to promote the Beijing Olympics?
a) Herzog and de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest Stadium was unveiled - the world’s first building designed with load-bearing CGI.
b) Modelling software converted a Tibetan monastery into a maximum security community centre.
c) The CCTV building by Rem Koolhaas tied itself in a knot to form an ethical metaphor.
What was the highlight of Liverpool Capital of Culture 2008?
a) More than 45,000 people crammed into Anfield and broke the world record for synchronised crying.
b) Sir Paul McCartney headlined the Sir Paul McCartney Benefit Concert at the Sir Paul McCartney Stadium in the recently renamed Liverpool suburb of Sir Paul McCartneyton, with Ringo Starr.
c) A giant spider marched through the city centre, then ate Will Alsop’s Cloud.
Which Frank Gehry project was scrapped recently?
a) The Jerusalem Museum of Political Satire, located in Israeli air space above a Palestinian cemetery.
b) An iconic development of luxury flaps at Hove.
c) The DIY SOS Serpentine Pavilion.
RIBA Gold Medallist Alvaro Siza told the AJ: ‘The one thing that is fundamental for the education of architects is the experience of different types of…
c) …psychological distress’.
Olympics minister Tessa Jowell commissioned a ‘top-level review’ this year. Of what?
a) The feasibility of removing the ‘top levels’ of Olympic buildings to save money.
b) Whether to appoint more consultants to test the value for money of auditors appointed last year to monitor the fiscal prudence of additional financial advisers charged with keeping consultancy costs down.
c) Mamma Mia!
What did New Urbanist matinee idol Andres Duany describe as ‘amazingly rude’?
a) British shoppers, with their garish colours and vulgar clothes with writing on.
b) A mischievous planning application to build a giant cock-shaped tower at Seaside.
c) Everyone ignoring him.
How will celebrity British architects redesign Mecca?
a) They will put in new carpets and bring back the bingo.
b) They will give it a swirly, pixellated, non-fundamentalist feel.
c) They will masterplan a new ‘Mega-Mecca’ incorporating a theoretical mosque accommodating three million worshippers, then with straight faces await further instructions from their bubble-headed client, who lives in a palace made of solid platinum, has the moral stability of a deranged toddler, and may by then be utterly distracted and want a shopping centre on Mars instead.
How did Pritzker Laureate Jean Nouvel explain his credo of Non-Generic Specificity?
a) ‘I work with the analysis of a lot of parameters – words, ideas and bollocks. Then I take great care to separate them out into different psychic compartments in my head so that I may talk words, ideas and bollocks in a rotational regime’.
b) ‘For me architects and cities are like people; they have different characters, some are fat, some are bald and morose, some are gentle and some are very fucking angry! Bastards! Where is my peanut butter on wholemeal toast, I ordered this at least 15 minutes ago! This is one shitty hotel, in my expert opinion’.
c) ‘Specificity is the testimonial of an attitude. I am very different from a lot of architects who use always the same typologies, the same materials, the same interns to carry out the more tedious drawing tasks. I am the opposite of a clone. I am unique. I do not look like other architects, for instance. I look like I am on the door of a nightclub. This is why I have the Pritzker. Other architects approach me, they say I too would like to have the Pritzker Prize. I put my beefy hand on their chest and say your name is not on the list, you are not coming in. Clones. Pff’.