By Owen Hatherley
A darkly funny architectural advisor 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 below successive Conservative governments. Over the subsequent decade, British towns turned the laboratories of the hot firm economic system: sparkling monuments to finance, estate hypothesis, and the provider industry—until the crash.
In A consultant to the hot Ruins of serious 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 condominium complexes, paintings galleries and amorphous interactive "centers," to procuring department stores, name facilities and factories become pricey lofts. In doing so, he offers a mordant observation at the city atmosphere during 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, a super, architectural "state we're in." 250 black-and-white pictures and illustrations
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Additional resources for A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain
If Eastleigh has a history, it’s made up of grids, planning, towns appearing out of nowhere, industrialization and infrastructure, closely linked to the metropolis to the point of originally being inhabited by Londoners—but with its renamings and pseudo-Victorian architecture it tries to rewrite itself into a quaint little town, which it never actually was. The Solent City is nearer to the historical reality of this place than the bizarre village fantasies of Benny Hill Close. Eastern Dock Like the abortive Solent City, Southampton itself has two centres, or a centre and an ex-centre.
Eastern Dock Like the abortive Solent City, Southampton itself has two centres, or a centre and an ex-centre. The ex-centre is where you could almost believe that you were in a great port city rather than a failed, dead yachting and shopping town. It is centred on two explaces: the former Southampton Terminus, closed by infamous 1960s Conservative rationalizer Dr Richard Beeching, and the Eastern Docks, where the Titanic set sail in 1912. Heritage Southampton is entirely obsessed with the Titanic, not for any good reason, but because it’s famous.
This is how J. B. Priestley opens English Journey, and so begin the accounts of sundry other English travellers from the Edwardian era up to the 1970s. Until Heathrow replaced it, Southampton was where most visitors or returning travellers entered the country. Now, however, the main entities to land at and depart from Southampton are consumer goods, manufactured in China, unloaded at the city’s Container Port, and freighted round the country by rail and lorry. What hasn’t changed about the town is the way it appeared to Priestley as something indistinct, something that wasn’t quite a place.
A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain by Owen Hatherley