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Ian Martin: The Post-Architectural Society

Ian Martin
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This week: The Brexit Vision of Britain debate; a seafront museum for Southend-on-Sea; the Eco Platinum Holiday Paradise

MONDAY There’s a grim mood shift in the air. Public opinion, shaped as always by the sinister mainstream media, is becoming stupider and nastier.

It’s all very well, commentators reconfiguring England as a spiteful, racist blimp held aloft by halitosis. But what about ME? What about my craft, my métier? Suddenly architecture is part of a conspiracy by the ‘metropolitan elite’, along with rudimentary Italian and knowing where an apostrophe goes.

Is this what the Brexiters want? Entire urban landscapes unredeemed by any civic concession to art and beauty? Because at the moment that’s happening almost entirely by accident. It would be a bold move indeed to commend architecture-free buildings as wilfully patriotic. Perhaps the Prince of Wales could offer some comforting words. I’ll give him a nudge.

TUESDAY Charles doesn’t want to wade into the Great Brexit Vision of Britain debate. He texts: ‘Sozzo. Some of one’s best friends are fascists, or fellow princes investing in post-architectural development or ying tong iddle aye BOTH [emoticon: spooky pumpkin wearing crown]’.

WEDNESDAY Put the finishing touches to my masterplan for Heezy Woke Common in north London.

At the moment it’s 100 hectares of publicly-owned railway sidings and scratchwood. But with a wave of the Opportunity Wand – hey presto! A regeneration zone ready to be transformed by a development corporation working very much in concert with experts from the private sector. Specifically, my client. That IS magic.

Something ‘bold and deliverable’ is required, so I send a case of gutsy Argentinian Malbec.

THURSDAY Glad to get another crack at designing a seafront museum for Southend-on-Sea.

The local council abandoned an earlier design competition, and nobody could blame them. The original brief called for ‘a celebration of everything that’s great about Southend’. But it became increasingly apparent that the only interesting thing about Southend was its proposed museum. Also, the marketing was clownishly inept. The competition had been sponsored by a sports footwear company and the logo read ‘Southend – get out and keep running!’

Of course everyone knows the building will primarily be a car park, gift shop and ‘light bites’ restaurant under a fancy landmark roof, just like every other museum these days. Luckily, I have an unused museum design for Skegness that’s been put on ice, along with all ‘cultural projects’ between Harwich and Whitby, on the wholly reasonable grounds that the east coast is ‘taking back control’.

Yes, my spare ‘light bites’ museum will be perfect for Southend. Inside, plasmic bioforms arch, billow and fold to resemble a massive cockle. It’s encased in a special polybicarbonate bivalve carapace in ridged white gold. Looks fucking amazing in my ‘auteur’s impression’. It could even in due course become a banging nightclub, if that were at some stage to be deemed less elitist. Call it Winkles, or something like that.

FRIDAY The cynical reaction to my Eco Platinum Holiday Paradise project has been disappointing, though unsurprising. Corrosive envy is the price one pays these days for singular talent.

Of course I, as head of spatial imagineering and conceptualisation, am but a click in the clockwork. The Eco Platinum Holiday Paradise is being realised by a genuine labour force of love. I am proud to be one of those innovators, and one of the first to invoice.

Phase One went very well – collecting all the funding pledges from billionaire investors. It may surprise the sneering critics, but plenty of people in the so-called ‘One Per Cent’ actually WANT to give something back to the planet in the form of a tourism destination. And what after all could be more satisfying than creating an opportunity for thousands of others to give something back too?

Phase Three – architectural overview – went well too. The consensus is that an artificial island in the South Pacific will provide a real aquatic platform for new urban forms, free from the shackles of a meta-urbanism and accessible only by sea. The design vibe is Bali Hai-Tech meets Wiki Wiki Po-Mo.

Now for Phase Two, the actual creation of the artificial island. Obviously, a great deal of aggregate will have to be sourced. I wonder how much it would cost to ship out Britain’s pulverised post-war estates?

SATURDAY Tamworth Witchburning Festival. We turn the clocks back by 83 years. Brr. Dark now, isn’t it?

SUNDAY Consciousnexit in the recliner.

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