Illusions of Grandeur

Back in the Spring, I observed the imaginative solution adopted by Kettering Borough Council to the problem of having a Restaurant Quarter with no restaurants, only empty shops – (Facades) 

Now I see the practice seems to be spreading to London.

Exit St. Pancras and see how the works at King’s Cross are hidden from view by this lovely verdant hedge, a little piece of suburbia in urbe.

The trompe l’oeuil artist at work again.  Is it not somehow greener, lusher, more real than this genuine hedge in Market Harborough?

I do wonder whether this might not be extended to larger projects?  I’ve already a suspicion that – given the speed at which it’s going up – the Shard is made out of chicken wire and papier-mache.  Given that the purpose of these buildings seems to be to create a striking skyline when seen at a distance, from some imaginary vantage point –

rather than serving any useful purpose, I propose future high-rise buildings should be constructed at minimal cost using balsa wood, or possibly simple two-dimensional constructions in hardboard cut into interesting shapes and painted to look like prestige developments.

The only limit would the limit of the “architect”‘s imagination, and – if people didn’t like it – it could simply be removed and replaced with something else.  Perhaps – as a little jeux d’esprit to entertain and welcome our Olympic visitors – a hardboard Eiffel Tower or pop-up Taj Mahal could be made to appear on the horizon overnight?

In these straightened times, I feel all solutions – however outlandish they may appear – should be given serious consideration.  We must all think the unthinkable – however meaningless and impossible that might be.

I shall forward my proposal to the Mayor of London forthwith.

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