Novelist attacks ‘lickspittle’ architects
Architects who worked on the Olympic Park should be ashamed of themselves, the writer Will Self told a literary festival.
They should retrain as dentists, where they would find a more suitable outlet for their sculptural skills, he said.
He described anyone who had worked for the Olympic Delivery Authority as a “lickspittle”.
His outspoken attack came during a London Literature Festival event at the Southbank Centre in which a panel discussed the Olympic site taking Cedric Price’s notion of a fun palace as its starting point.
Self, a novelist and self-described psychogeographer, said: “If you are an architect and involved in this obscenity then you should go home and consider retraining as a dentist… You might be able to use your creativity in a form that doesn’t do so much damage.”
He said the Olympic hype was “veneering over people’s looming sense of the inequalities in society with snake oil”.
But he said London would have the last laugh as it would endure long after the venues had gone.
Self also opened fire on Renzo Piano’s Shard which he said had been built with a 65-year-life span. He compared this unfavourably with a 300-year-old church on Borough High Street which appeared to be “embedded” in the Shard – but which would also be there long after it had been demolished.
The event, chaired by Sam Jacob, a director of Fat, also heard from Anna Minton, author of Ground Control in which she revealed that the private sector had contributed just 2% of the cost of the Olympics. The financial crash meant developer Lend Lease could not raise finance from the banks.
The other speakers were photographer Stephen Gill and academic Saskia Sassen.
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