The barbarians

Piano lesson

I’m going to do this to your pleasant little market town. It’s my vision, you see

They want to turn the whole world into Dubai

Renzo Piano (pictured) is a barbarian.

Jean Nouvel is a barbarian.

The greatest barbarian-desecrator of them all is Lord Foster. The buildings Foster foists on us are of course modern — grotesquely, charmlessly, incongruously, inhumanly so. But he is broadminded where his own person is concerned, for he also likes ancient stuff, such as his title. He is Baron Foster of Thames Bank. (The rank was introduced in England by William I.)

These architects, writes Dalrymple, like the ISIS iconoclasts or the Chinese Cultural Revolutionists,

are barbarians, albeit using a slightly subtler method of destruction, namely that of entire townscapes in order to impose their so-called vision, which is indeed visually inescapable, on what already exists, thereby in effect destroying it, turning the whole world into Dubai.

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