A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain by Owen Hatherley

By Owen Hatherley

A darkly funny architectural consultant to the decrepit new Britain that neoliberalism built.
Back in 1997, New Labour got here to energy amid a lot speak of regenerating the interior towns left to rot lower than successive Conservative governments. Over the subsequent decade, British towns grew to become the laboratories of the recent firm economic climate: sparkling monuments to finance, estate hypothesis, and the carrier industry—until the crash.

In A advisor to the hot Ruins of significant Britain, Owen Hatherley units out to discover the wreckage—the structures that epitomized an age of greed and aspiration. From Greenwich to Glasgow, Milton Keynes to Manchester, Hatherley maps the derelict Britain of the 2010s: from riverside condominium complexes, paintings galleries and amorphous interactive "centers," to procuring shops, name facilities and factories became dear lofts. In doing so, he offers a mordant statement at the city atmosphere within which we are living, paintings and devour. Scathing, forensic, bleakly funny, A advisor to the recent Ruins of significant Britain is a coruscating post-mortem of a get-rich-quick, aspirational politics, an excellent, architectural "state we're in." 250 black-and-white photos and illustrations

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As it went up, curtain-walled office 10 southampton: terminus city blocks went down, wrapped in plastic like Laura Palmer before being thrown into the sea. Then came the strip malls of Western Esplanade, then some rather functionalist car parks, then the vast WestQuay, the retail behemoth for which the others were merely unsuccessful drafts—and to which we will return later. Southampton today is an experiment, exurban America without the sun or the space. 14 This, he claimed, was merely the return after several decades of the ‘Solent City’, which would destroy the local identity of such distinctive, delightful places as Chandler’s Ford, Havant, Paulsgrove and Locks Heath.

The South Western Hotel introduces into Southampton a robust urban scale that is replicated nowhere else in the town, with nothing taller (bar the Civic Centre clock tower) built for half a century. Its environs are one of the few places where you can get some idea of what the first skyscrapers might have been like, in that the two-storey surroundings are dominated by something four times their height, and nothing has really attempted to follow it in the immediate area, so it still suggests an imminent departure for somewhere more exciting, frozen in time.

The Arrawa docked at Southampton, under a cold sky so grey and low that I could hardly believe this was the England I had read and heard so much about. Small, putty-faced people moved around, shabbily dressed and with a haunted air. Looking down from the rail, I noticed that the streets near the docks were lined with what seemed to be black perambulators, some sort of coal scuttle, I assumed, used for bunkering ships. 10 2 southampton: terminus city Then he’s straight off to London, never looking back.

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