A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain

A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain

Owen Hatherley

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 1844677001

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Back in 1997, New Labour came to power amid much talk of regenerating the inner cities left to rot under successive Conservative governments. Over the next decade, British cities became the laboratories of the new enterprise economy: glowing monuments to finance, property speculation, and the service industry—until the crash.

In A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain, Owen Hatherley sets out to explore the wreckage—the buildings 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 apartment complexes, art galleries and amorphous interactive “centers,” to shopping malls, call centers and factories turned into expensive lofts. In doing so, he provides a mordant commentary on the urban environment in which we live, work and consume. Scathing, forensic, bleakly humorous, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain is a coruscating autopsy of a get-rich-quick, aspirational politics, a brilliant, architectural “state we’re in.”

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Suburbs in the guise of inner cities, as Jonathan Meades claims. That even the Urban Renaissance redesign of Ocean Village won’t stick in somewhere as doggedly suburban as south-east England is indicated by the unfinished nature of this already cheap project. But Southampton’s hold on urbanity is light, indefinite. It is liable to crumble at a touch. Western Dock The port is divided into leisure and utility. On the one hand you have the cruise ships, on the other containers, with nothing much.

Morris wasn’t all that interested in Park Hill: although he liked the building, he had a wider story to tell. Critics of Park Hill have always demanded ‘homes with gardens’ instead—well, to artificially stimulate (sorry, ‘renew’) the housing market, Sheffield City Council spent a decade indiscriminately demolishing council housing, whether it was Modernist, in the form of Womersley’s obliterated Woodside Estate, or traditional, in the form of arts and crafts semis at Shirecliffe. Morris took me.

Oppositional, independent pop music has become a new museum culture in today’s Manchester, the Situationist critique of postwar urbanism has curdled into an alibi for its gentrification. I make no apologies for the Smiths quotation that names this chapter. In the ultra-gentrified context of twenty-first-century Manchester The Smiths, along with The Fall, seem to matter much more than the Factory Records lineage of sleek Modernism. Both Morrissey’s unforgiving wallowing in the grim, grotty horrors.

Great britain New Emerging Babylon Both approaches have an essentially nineteenth-century idea of the city as a place that should rise autonomously out of the activities of entrepreneurs and businessmen. The unplanned cities of the nineteenth century have long been a touchstone of a certain school of psychogeography—a term originally derived from the Situationist International. Under the influence of English writers Iain Sinclair and Peter Ackroyd, it has come to refer to an archaeological,.

(pre-1953, post-1987) Sheffield. Squaring this with the city I have read about in Viz for the last twenty years is difficult—at least until you see the remarkable women with their minuscule skirts, enormous heels and 157 the new ruins of great britain The Tyne Bridges imperviousness to cold, with their somewhat less glamorous, shirt-and-chinos male charges, emerge for an evening’s entertainment at around 9 p.m. Nonetheless, even some awful malls and Terry Farrell’s egregiously bumptious.

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