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Not only is the long-awaited Turner Centre finally getting the go-ahead, but its designer has just won the coveted Stirling Prize for architecture.
David Chipperfield got a boost last week from MPs who signed an Early Day Motion congratulating the architect on winning the RIBA’s top prize. It said the House of Commons “considers the fact that four of the six shortlisted buildings are overseas is a testament to the success of British architecture as one of this country’s most -successful exports”.
The winning project was Chipperfield’s Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach, Germany. It’s nice to know Margate’s now going to get some of what the Germans have been getting. But what has Margate done to deserve the honour?
The main thing Margate has going for it is the sky. There’s something about the way the setting sun glints off the silt at low tide that has captivated artists for centuries. Mr -Chipperfield says his building will “capture the same unique light that inspired Turner”. I should remind readers we’re talking about 19th century artist JMW Turner, not ‘perfect housewife’ Anthea, bright and gleaming though her surfaces undoubtedly are.
David Chipperfield tells us his building “retains a strong sculptural presence” and “the roofline has been changed to reflect more closely other architecture in Margate”.
Whether this refers to the squat, flat-roofed 1960s police station overlooking the site or the mono-pitch roof of the eel and whelk stall alongside is tantalisingly obscure at this stage.
Construction is a high-octane, high-stress industry – as any project manager who has ever run over budget or behind programme will tell you.
Most of us accept stress as part of the job and develop our own way of dealing with it. Professor Yehuda Baruch from the University of East Anglia has found that many employees use the same coping mechanism as me. Swearing at work helps them cope with stress.
Prof Baruch is all for a bit of sweary banter because it helps dissipate tension and can boost team spirit. So next time you’re treated to a rich mouthful of Anglo-Saxon from a grimacing operative, he’s not insulting you – he’s bonding.
Not that the professor wants to promote bad behaviour. “In most scenarios, in particular in the presence of customers or senior staff, profanity must be seriously discouraged or banned,” he warns.
“However, our study suggested that, in many cases, taboo language serves the needs of people for developing and maintaining solidarity, and as a mechanism to cope with stress. Banning it could backfire.”
Too ****ing right. I’ve got 20 minutes to finish this load of b******s, get it emailed to the ****ing editor, pack my ****ing bag and drive like **** to Stan*******sted to catch a ****ing plane and if I miss the deadline or the ****ing flight I’ll be right in the ****.
Oh, that feels so much better.