What kind of lunatic designs a building like that?

Daytime TV has a lot to bloody well answer for, but before the throw stuff at the tv freak shows masquerading as public service broadcasting, we had Lloyd Grossman stretching every vowel for a few minutes while we voyeurisly nosed around long forgotten celebrity’s houses. And with his sign off line, some unemployable z list wanabees would ask vacuous questions to the vain owner, while audiences clapped and cheered for no obvious reason.

It almost makes me greatful for Jeremy Kyle. Note the careful use of the word ‘almost‘. There are so many channels chasing so little content, I’m petitioning to bring back the test card. It offers far more intellectual stimulation than some twenty stone chubb-a-lubb decrying a loveless marriage as an excuse to why she has stapled cats to her ears.

Right, wrong rant but that’s understandable since my cerebral compost has been vigorously stirred by an experience that continues to shape a strong belief there are people of other worlds amongst us. And because you shall need help to identify them before their insidious industry causes more confusion, terror and even death, I shall come to your aid right now.

They can be found in expensive jackets over blue jeans, shirts will be colourful or for the uber cool alien at large, possibly a niche designer t-shirt. Their facial expression can best be described as “I will try and explain this to you insignificant person, but my brain is so large and you are so stupid“. If you – as I do – feel the urge to hunt them down with spears and axes, you can find them hiding in their shadowy cabals under the name of “architects”

Beware these outer-worlders, because they think nothing of designing buildings in the most expensive real estate in the world with great big sodding holes in the middle. This chasm “instructs brightness and light, delivers the outside inside, juxtaposes the ethics of work and play and” – let me use some earth words here “creates a great big bloody suicide pit right in the centre of the restaurant”

Now having created this gladiatorial Colosseum, are they done? Of course not, each floor has a vertigous walkway spanning the terrifying void, with only a tiny handrail between you and a splattery death some fifty feet below. To spice up life a litle more, who do you think they dispatch to the third floor with no way of entry except over the Death Bridge?

IT people that’s who – yes that notoriously stable group of well balanced individuals who spend most of their day shouting “twatty little bastard, start working RIGHT NOW or, by God ,I am coming in there to EAT YOU” at complex – but blameless – electronic equipment. Honestly a week of that and you’ll have them queuing up for a quick exit over the suicide rail.

Exposure and me don’t go well together, and I am not talking about baring my arse in Sainsbury’s here. But edges* close to or over bone breaking drops get me reaching for a set of blinkers and a strong drink. And my faith in even the handrail was shaken when a work colleague did exactly that while I watched in horror as it flexed and vibrated like a good-time latex girl. Now he’d shown what a shonky structure it was on the way in, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to get back out again.

Eventually I came up with an approach that, while it worked for me, worried all the other staff on the floor who have a panoramic view of each suicide attempt. I took on the mantle of a American police detective, and slapped the door hard, then rushing in back against the wall, fingers pointing gunwards at the criminal rail. If it tried anything like taking the floor with it, I was ready. I crouched low and shuffled towards safety whispering “Cover me Dan, if that rail so much as twtiches, blast the perp and ask questions later”.

Half way across I did a full 180 degree double take, and beckoned a frightened work mate across. At which point my knees gave way and – to my horror – I fell face forward towards the evil rail and it’s henchman the dodgy perspex. Deciding I preferred the view from floor level, I made a fast crawl for the exit door and, on reaching it, punched the air with a “yeah, yeah, OH YEAH, never in doubt NEVER IN SODDING DOUBT”.

At no point do I feel this damaged my professional credibility. As I attempted to smarten myself up a man with a proper sounding job looked me up and down before asking “Work in IT do you?

No idea what could have given him that impression.

* this honestly is a true story. My first proper** girlfriend firmly believed I was scared of hedges. My strange Northern accent made her extremely solicitous whenever we passed some aggressive topiary “you’ll be alright, just don’t look”. I assumed she was mental for going out with me in the first place, so didn’t really worry about it.

** one you’ve slept with. Holding hands or wanking doesn’t count. Your dad should have explained this to you.

4 thoughts on “What kind of lunatic designs a building like that?

  1. Do you mean an atrium?

    Handrail wobbling? Sounds like a problem with the engineering to me.

    Yours, the one in the twatty T-shirt. 🙂

  2. Alex

    No I mean great big bloody floor to 8th floor ceiling hole! The engineering may be shoddy, but the fact the shonky handrail is at groin height clearly shifts the blame back onto you alien people.

    I’ve seen ‘V’. I know you eat live hamsters and design deadly buildings. My friend David Ike told me all about you 😉

  3. Andy

    Architects have always stitched us up, and I suspect they always will. The sheffield arts tower was reputedly designed by the architecture students who, as a reward for it’s horror, we’re banished to it’s upper floors. Sadly, wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arts_Tower) appears to debunk this as urban myth. It’s only saving grace was an 18 storey paternoster which, for the uninitiated, is a continously moving lift with open compartments you have to jump into. Much mystery surrounded what happened at the top so prime student humour was to do a handstand in the lift and scream all the way down.

  4. Alex

    I heard about that. It looks terrifying. On the upside, it’s only students and art students at that. So not exactly a huge loss 😉

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