Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

How to deliver an oligarchitecturalopolis

  • Comment

Ian Martin resigns his post as honorary chair of the Buildings That Look Like Penises Appreciation Society

MONDAY Thank you for your patience. I’m redesigning your ‘reader experience’ by slightly tweaking my level of indifference.

TUESDAY Ugh. Entrapment is the ugliest of all journalistic ploys and I condemn it unreservedly.

It is outrageous that I should have to resign my post as honorary chair of the Buildings That Look Like Penises Appreciation Society. I shall be writing to the Independent Press Standards Organisation about this affair, which has been maliciously timed to cause maximum embarrasment and loss of status. The muckrakers and bastards of Buildings That Resemble Breasts Quarterly have much to answer for.

Summary: a reporter posing as an attractive young building restorer contacted me via the social epic space media platform Wobble. We exchanged innocent messages about Brunelleschi’s early theories of linear perspective.  Then late one night ‘Clemency’, who said she’d had one too many proseccos, offered to send me explicit photographs of the Hagia Sophia. I agreed, and had to admit they were impressive. In a moment of recklessness I now bitterly regret, I sent her a picture of me in a sleepsuit holding a model of the Jean Nouvel-designed Torre Agbar, in the Barcelona area.
And so - snap! - the trap sprang shut. But what possible public interest is served by publishing such private folly?

WEDNESDAY I have informed Buildings That Resemble Breasts Quarterly that I am putting it in the hands of my lawyer. More sniggering. Insufferable.

THURSDAY A micro-exhibition has been curated by radical post-architectural thinkers Shayne and Molly Bellow, who are always impeccably dressed and taken very seriously.

The Bellows have transformed a flat in a condemned Glasgow tower block, built in 1969 and designed by celebrated Brutalist architect Ernie Beatles, using ‘furniture, contents and decoration of the time’. The idea was to show how an ordinary Scottish working class family might have lived when the flats were new and hadn’t been not maintained properly yet.

In her Notes From A Curator, etched on responsibly sourced tie-dyed vinyl of the era, Molly Bellow writes: ‘1969 was a time of great cultural upheaval. The first Led Zeppelin album. The Austin Maxi. Much, much more, just check out Wikipedia! What might a working class home of the time have looked like? We decided to find out by buying antique items on eBay marked ‘1969’ and arranging them in the flat.

‘But, surely, critics will say, working class families in 1969 did not have the wherewithal to simply go on eBay, search for items made ‘now’ and decorate their flat from scratch? Fair point. Some things would not necessarily be ‘unique to 1969’, which is why we have incuded in the exhibition a Tretchikoff print and a bottle of advocaat …’

I applaud this approach, and pay homage to the Bellows by only ‘visiting’ the exhibition on the internet.

FRIDAY Lunch at the latest London restaurant you need to go to if you only visit one London restaurant before you die. It’s so fashionable it hasn’t even got traction on Twitter yet.

I say restaurant.  Technically it’s an ‘experiential ingestion hub’ called Denial.

The premise is that consuming food, like consuming art, should be a struggle between what we think we know and who we think we are. Is this my lunch? Or AM I the lunch somehow? Is the lunch paying for ME?

Am I to include starters and a pudding?

The menu lists all the items you’re not allowed to have. You tell the waiter I DON’T want the chicken livers to start, etc. They pretend they won’t bring you the food you’ve refused to order but then they do.

Brilliant. Denial is run by a former architect. Of course it is.

I’m here to meet my old mate Loaf, the mayor of London. Hoping for some ‘inside frack’ on his latest scheme to help minorities in London, which is called OLIGARCHITECTURALOPOLIS.  The idea is to nurture the often misunderstood billionaire community.

All Loaf will tell me is that a shortlist of imagineers will be selected on the basis of ‘1. Design, 2. Delivery and 3. Commercial drivers’.

Ah, the fat Beef Wellington I didn’t order has arrived.


1. Half-scale central St Petersburg in Mayfair.
2. Delivery via de-unionised delivery system, eg Addison Lee.
3. Commercial drivers - as above.

SUNDAY Keep Gherkin, etc, to self, in recliner.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.