Thursday, 27 September 2007

Modern architects deny allegations of masturbatory fantasy...

London's listed Victorian Baltic Exchange (top left) - former centre of British Shipping, which was demolished to make way for the Gherkin (right) as near-neighbour St Paul's Cathedral (below) was a little dull.

Gravitas and Gherkins

Give me an imperious Romanesque building
That looks down on me from austere portico-hooded eyes
that issue their Orders, any day of the week
Rather than a prefab glass ‘n’ steel gherkin
That I can look down on and laugh at
Where is the grandeur or permanence in that?
I want to take my buildings seriously
If of my times they’ll bear testimony
Well you can have too much “inclusivity”
Too much excuse for landscape blots
‘Disabled access’ is just part of the plot
To demolish all that went before
Leaving us history and heritage-poor
I want to aspire to architecture
Not have it bend down to design me in
I want to marvel at buildings
As I marvel at the stars
I want them to be -
God-like in their awe-inspiring ability
Grandiose echoes of vastness
Emphasising my littleness
Monuments to craftsmanship
Memorials to the went-before of humanship
What’s so bad about Classical mausolea
If they stop you taking life for granted,
Urge you on and up to meet their greatness?
So dwarf me, tower over me,
Keep me in my place
Dominate me, intimidate me
Spare a thought for poor posterity
We can modify you in sympathy
With 21st Century needs
Buildings of a splendour rivalling countryside
Sure beat the pants off a landscape backside
If greenbelts must be tightened.
But look at the pennies saved
Spewing buildings short-lived as fashions
For impressionists in substance
Trapped in now egos

© LS King 2004


Rol Hirst said...

The gherkin is a bloody ugly building... but I enjoyed your writing.

Looking forward to reading more soon.

Steve said...

"I want to marvel at buildings
As I marvel at the stars" - now that is a line that should be made into an oath that all architects should be made to swear! A version of the hippocratic oath if you will!

captain p.pants said...

wow, great poem , yeh , an' look at all the lighthouses..