False landscape syndrome

The poetry and propaganda of Andrew Jordan

Authored by: Owen Hatherley

The Routledge Companion on Architecture, Literature and The City

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781472482730
eBook ISBN: 9781315613154
Adobe ISBN:


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Unlikely as it may seem, there was a local preservation campaign to save the Tricorn Centre in Portsmouth from the demolition that eventually came to it in the mid-2000s. Once ritually voted ‘worst building in Britain’ and seen as a sort of national joke, the Tricorn was once something of a cause celebre, being praised by critics like Ian Nairn as an example of the avant-garde applied to the apparently commercial and mundane function of a shopping mall. There was a campaign to save it when, after years of plotting and promising, its owners began to make serious attempts to redevelop the site. 1 This is perhaps a very early example of the currently exceptionally fashionable campaigns for the preservation, restoration and archival perusal of Brutalist architecture, but little of this was an issue for the leaflet URGENT CALL TO ACTION! SAVE OUR TRICORN, handed out in 1997 by one wing of the campaign, which went by the name ‘PROLES 4 MODERNISM’ (Figure 12.1).

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