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 internal towns left to rot below successive Conservative governments. Over the subsequent decade, British towns turned the laboratories of the hot firm economic climate: gleaming monuments to finance, estate hypothesis, and the carrier industry—until the crash.
In A consultant to the hot Ruins of significant Britain, Owen Hatherley units out to discover the wreckage—the constructions 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 condo complexes, paintings galleries and amorphous interactive "centers," to purchasing department stores, name facilities and factories changed into dear lofts. In doing so, he offers a mordant statement at the city surroundings within which we are living, paintings and eat. Scathing, forensic, bleakly funny, A consultant to the hot Ruins of serious Britain is a coruscating post-mortem of a get-rich-quick, aspirational politics, a super, architectural "state we're in." 250 black-and-white images and illustrations
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Extra resources for A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain
The process is partial and unevenly scattered, but reaches its most spectacular extent in the miles of luxury flats in the former London Docks, the new high-rise skyline of Leeds, the privatized retail district of Liverpool One, and the repopulation of central xxx introduction Manchester. Irrespective of the virtues or otherwise of these new spaces, this urban renaissance is widely considered to have ended in aforementioned city centre flats standing empty, as if the exodus from the suburbs to the cities was a confidence trick.
It won an Evening Standard award for housing, and whether or not it was deconsecrated, the move from God to property seems highly symbolic. Some of what I remember is still there, but the inner streets—Cranbury Road, where I lived, Desborough, Chamberlayne, Derby Road, Factory Road—have a drinking ban in place to stop general ultraviolence from occurring in the residential area. It’s not hard to see why this might occur, as the place looks traumatized. ’ I remembered that when I grew up here most of my friends were second/third generation Asian, and I wondered, looking round town at all the white faces, whether they all escaped to the other side of the M27, or hopefully further than that.
Victorian planning created The Avenue, a tree-lined boulevard that ran all the way to the ‘Gateway to Empire’, a series of central parks; while the interwar years saw the building of the cohesive, verdant garden estates designed by the Quaker architect Herbert Collins. Collins’s little Letchworths in the northern suburbs were inadequately emulated by the city council in the form of the inept Flower Estate adjacent to the university, its ‘workers’ cottages’ and treeless streets the incongruous setting for perhaps the nastiest of its wide variety of nasty places.