By Owen Hatherley
A darkly funny architectural advisor to the decrepit new Britain that neoliberalism built.
Back in 1997, New Labour got here to strength amid a lot speak of regenerating the interior towns left to rot less than successive Conservative governments. Over the following decade, British towns turned the laboratories of the hot firm financial system: gleaming monuments to finance, estate hypothesis, and the carrier industry—until the crash.
In A consultant to the recent 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 house complexes, paintings galleries and amorphous interactive "centers," to purchasing department stores, name facilities and factories become dear lofts. In doing so, he offers a mordant observation at the city surroundings within which we are living, paintings and devour. Scathing, forensic, bleakly funny, A consultant to the recent Ruins of serious 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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Extra info for A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain
Heritage Southampton is entirely obsessed with the Titanic, not for any good reason, but because it’s famous. The recently elected Tory Council had planned to sell off part of what is the City Art Gallery collection, one of the finest in non-metropolitan Britain, for the sake of creating a Titanic Museum in a ‘cultural quarter’ by 17 the new ruins of great britain the Civic Centre. Plans were laid to flog parts of a collection that features Picasso, Rodin, Blake, Flemish masters and Vorticists, Op Artists and Renaissance altarpieces, in favour of yet another attempt to drag tourists kicking and screaming to an increasingly provincial town.
The Isle of Wight ferries 20 southampton: terminus city depart from here, and were the focus of solidarity actions with the Vestas wind turbine factory occupation on the Island in 2009, a reminder that the city is not as defeated as it may first appear. The wonderfully silly Edwardian dock building adjacent is now Maxim’s Casino. The area around the former eastern docks and the former Terminus is where most new residential development is concentrated. New Southampton looks much the same as New Everywhere Else, with the proviso that it took them a little while longer to cotton onto the pseudomodernist turn, so pitched roofs and ‘decorative’ banded brickwork continued here for longer than in other cities.
By the mid nineteenth century, this was the only country in the world which had more urban than rural inhabitants. Even now, after a century of sentimentalism about the countryside, around 90 per cent of us live in essentially urban areas, and although around 70 per cent of the landmass is still agricultural land, only 300,000 people actually work it. This might be an urban island, but extraordinarily Penguin Books were able to release a set of twenty books in 2009 called English Journeys, in obvious reference to Priestley, every single one of which dealt with the countryside.
A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain by Owen Hatherley