Why is this a parody?

The Garden Museum in London is running an architectural competition for the design of a pavilion for St Mary’s Gardens, a leafy enclave next to its premises in a converted church in Lambeth, south London. I am a member of the interview panel. The winner has yet to be chosen, but I can reveal that it won’t be a submission from one Minecraft builder that shows a blue-tinged skyscraper that occupies the entire footprint of the garden.

It comes with a justification based on the menace of “very bad” grey squirrels to Britain’s ecology: “How do we stop grey squirrel[s]?” it asks. “Squirrels eat nuts. Nuts grow on trees… if we remove the trees we stop the grey squirrels,” the submission explains. So “to remove trees we build a big tower. It will also sell for a lot of money because it’s so big.” It ends with a sop to whoever might be troubled by the loss of green space: “It can also have a garden on the roof.” It’s meant to be a joke and, as I say, it won’t win. But it deserves some kind of a prize: as a parody of the bogus arguments whereby towers are allowed to trample over British cities, it’s genius.

Think of how much of Surrey can be saved if we put a big tower in a couple of acres of Lambeth…..

10 thoughts on “Why is this a parody?”

  1. It’s that peculiar fixation with building out not up but preferably not building at all. Generally expressed by those who’ve got what they want but don’t see why anyone else should have it. So you don’t get what I live in. Spacious apartments stacked 8 up or more & two levels of parking under. Gardens & parks. A city with a sizeable population you can walk across in half an hour.

  2. A pavilion. No doubt he sees it as a facility for him & his chums with most other people excluded. If it was for everybody he wouldn’t be calling it a pavilion but something derogatory & opposing it. He’s just staking his claim to a plot of ground. The outstanding cuntishness of some people is impressive, isn’t it?

  3. The implication about it being made in Minecraft, a children’s game where everything is a 1 metre x 1 metre x 1 metre cube might just give it a way.

    Then again I have not seen the raw submission.

  4. I saw a story -I think in The Register – a few years back, where a flight simulator flew over a city into the airport. The developer had a typo in his program and made one building on the flightpath 10,000 metres tall

  5. HB it is and has been for some time, in Shitholistan.

    (Actually my grandfather was from Brixton and served with the East Surreys in WW1)

  6. Urban green space is more highly prized than rural. We know this because people pay a premium to live near a nice park. The less green space a neighbourhood has, the more the mob will fight to keep it green. Even hypercapitalist cities like Singapore have green spaces.

  7. “It can also have a garden on the roof.” Lacks ambition: how about a medieval church and its graveyard too? I’m sure there are lots in England that could be moved.

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