Friday, 6 September 2013

Architecture or Arson: What next for the Glass Towers?

Of all the STUPID things to do! No wonder the “general public” thinks contemporary architects are all barking academics, locked up in their ivory (and glass) towers, with as much a sense of reality as any politician. After the events on Fenchurch Street last week, I’m beginning to believe that this word-image has a semblance of truth. What makes it worse is that the same architect who designed the building for developers Land Securitas and Canary Wharf, designed a hotel that caused meltdown in Las Vegas in 2003. The concave hotel produced similar symptoms; singed sunbathers and melted deckchairs. With reference to the London fiasco, the architect has admitted to “making mistakes”, and has also said that “there was a lack of tools or software that could be used to analyse the problem accurately”. Well, lawksamussy! Any school kid can start a fire with a magnifying glass. If only he had hired a mathematician to do a few calculations with mirrors and magnifiers before finalising the design for the Walkie Talkie – surely the shortage of STEM graduates isn’t that dire? Well, what do I know? We could do worse than to take the power of old Sol, the great and burning eye in the sky, on board. On that note, it seems only yesterday that we had an opposition leader who boasted a wind turbine on his house, and went everywhere on a bicycle. Today, the same geezer is poncing about in a hard hat and waxing lyrical on the joys of fracking. In all of history, I ask, has there ever been such a political metamorphosis? Just imagine, if a few unguarded glass windows can toast baguettes and fry eggs on Fenchurch Street, then just think what a comprehensive, nationwide network of solar panels harnessed to the national grid, could do to lower power consumption and lessen global warming. Sadly, I can’t do the maths but those of you who can, out there, send the calculations to the Prime Minister - and then save us all from arson-mad architects.

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