Thursday, July 10, 2008

Demolished Heritage: radical classicism

The Spectator: "Hail Quinlan Terry: our greatest living architect"

Since the early 20th century, Western society has been in the grip of a culture of repudiation -- rejecting one by one the institutions, offices, traditions and achievements of the past, while having often little but sentimental emptiness with which to replace them. (...) Le Corbusier burst on the scene. His plan was to demolish Paris north of the Seine and to put all the people into glass boxes. Instead of dismissing this charlatan as the dangerous madman that he clearly was, the world of architecture hailed him as a visionary (...) That was how things were when Quinlan Terry, our greatest living architect, entered the Architectural Association as a student in the 1960s. (...)

Richmond Riverside [Radical Classicism] showed that all those traditional goals could be achieved at a density and a cost that trump the rival plans of the modernists. As Terry has frequently pointed out, modernist buildings use materials that no one fully understands (...) No one has been more malicious in the attempt to deprive Terry of work than the great guru of modernism, Richard Rogers (...) the darling of New Labour, heaped with honours for his achievements (...) For the modernists, it is a matter of life and death that the classical tradition should not be allowed to resurface. Once people begin to discover that classical buildings are not just more beautiful, less pretentious and less offensive than their modernist rivals, but also more economical, longer-lasting and more adaptable to changing human needs, the modernists will be out of a job. God speed the day. >>>

Updated: 10th July 2008

These photos of the site described in the posts "Demolished Heritage" on The Lighthouse and Politeia hopefully convey a sense of the desacration that is going on in what could with right be termed, the cradle of Western civilization. It's no coincidence, of course: all ties with the past must be severed for the lie to be credible: equations, suggesting free, moral choice are suppressed in the nihilist Dystopia.

think it makes the case for the reconstitution of medieval torture practices for a few classes of humans, contemporary European architects being a prime contender. That out of the way, I'd like to say that the blessings of capital punishment are vastly underrated. I am pleading for a public discourse on the matter.

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