Thursday, October 16, 2014

One Cheer for the Liverpool Everyman Theatre

While I continue to take a dim view of competitions and prizes based on matters of aesthetic judgment, I have to say that I was pleased with the awarding of the 2014 Ribe Stirling Prize for architecture. Watching World Service News on television over lunch, I appreciated being given a brief tour of each of the shortlisted candidates; and I have to say that the Liverpool Everyman Theatre caught and sustained my attention most of all. By the same count I have to say that, however striking its appearance may be, the more I see of the Shard. If ever there were a monument to the many dimensions of capitalism, the Shard would have to be it, even more so than the old World Trade Center buildings. It is one thing to acknowledge the massive amount of power that has now accrued to commitment to market-based thinking. However, like Max Weber, I believe we should devote more attention to the corrupting influence of that thinking, rather than celebrating it with architectural monuments.

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