Ian Martin redesigns the green belt, taking it in a notch
MONDAY Designing Heathrow Terminal 2B. It’s on spec, but then what isn’t these days? Everything’s on spec now. Life is on spec. The future itself is on a zero-hours contract.
Believe me, Terminal 2B will be amazing. I’m creating millions of cubic metres of monetised air, but - here’s the twist - I’m celebrating the ‘romance of foreign travel’! Ingenious. Yeah, for the first time anywhere in the world, an airport will be a place of mythologised adventure.
As the slogan for Greater Heathrow goes: ‘Every journey starts with a journey. Come join us on the journey to that journey …’
Let us put modesty aside for once. My masterplan creates a contemporary cathedral of glamour so compelling that even Jonathan Meades couldn’t be sarcastic about it, even WITH the BBC’s sophisticated graphics.
More importantly, Terminal 2B will be an economic powerhouse, bringing much-needed prosperity to the sealed, hard-working world of Heathrow Airport, to the hard-working world of its shareholder beneficiaries, and to the hard-working world of taxi drivers and their latest competitors.
It’s a win-win-win solution. Economics plus the romance of air travel equals the speculative journey of a lifetime. That’s just simple architectural calculus.
TUESDAY Redesign the green belt, taking it in a notch.
WEDNESDAY It’s not often that I praise the integrity of politicians, but God bless former Labour Party deputy leader Des Lampmullet. He at least has had the guts to publicly defend my award-winning Badger’s Arse housing scheme against accusations that it has somehow ‘failed’.
As Des says, ‘it’s absolute bloody balls. I remember signing off on that and it were all bloody plastic. How can anything go bloody wrong with plastic? It’s bloody PLASTIC’.
Things are a little more complicated than that obviously, but his heart is in the right place. All ultra-innovative projects have teething problems - that’s the nature of PAA (Pretentiously Auteured Assemblage) schemes. How serious these problems are depends on your relationship with the insurers. One man’s ‘water pouring through the bastard roof’ is another man’s ‘moisture ingress’.
Badger’s Arse was all about pushing the envelope. Blended carbon panels fixed together using a unique ‘gravity and traction’ system. Plumbing and electrics combined in space-saving binary tubing. Printed kitchens. Load-bearing walls bundled together from blocks of plasticated .pdf folders. Rhetorical cladding that made everything resemble modular seafood, which I have to say looked terrific in the magazines.
Oh, but they’re all coming out of the woodwork now. I’m not talking about the door hinges of course, but the critics, who are calling for the scheme’s Clever Design Award to be taken back, torn up, set alight and stamped on. Frankly, if this is how we treat people like me, I’m not sure I want to be part of people like us any more.
THURSDAY Putting some nice finishing touches to the bespoke ‘Glampfabulous Poddy-Wod’ I’m creating for Russell Brand to ‘flop about in’ during Glastonbury.
It’s a fibreglass Gothic castle set in a wild, tousled garden designed by my friend Isis de Cambray the magic arborealist. All tall grasses, wild marshland flowers, mysterious wooden cages and dead, twisted trees. The pitch was ‘True Detective At The Chelsea Flower Show’. I have got artificial snow covering the roof, and fake lightning bolts going off randomly.
The Glampfabulous Poddy-Wod is designed very much with the 19th-century dandy rapist client in mind. It’s ‘post-democratic’. There’s no light or water or toilet facilities because why bother installing services, they’re all the same.
FRIDAY To a seminar, Winning In Third Place. Summary: everyone works everywhere on their laptops now, so let’s turn this New Everywhere into one big pop-up workspace.
Basically, the seminar is four hours of tancabbed school-leavers showing us slides of churches, pubs, offices, taxable bedrooms, bars, train carriages, free schools, A&E departments, etc. Every image has been clumsily populated with generic ‘third space crosswork pioneers’. The men wear indoor hats; the women giggle into phones.
The key session comes at the end of the afternoon. Audience members sort of just sit around working on their laptops, occasionally pausing to drawl aloud an idea about how we might combine connectivity and individualism. We’re all wearing headphones, but I assume someone’s taking notes.
SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist hypotheticalised political football. Advanced Pre-Distribution 0, Cauterised Social Conscience 4, after extra term.
SUNDAY Explore the New Everywhere, in the recliner.