Marco Polo House (1987-2014)

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Marco Polo House (1987-2014)

Post by RobinCarmody »

No great fan of postmodern architecture or the general outlook of the era it symbolises, but considering its origins, there should be a thread to commemorate the removal of this edifice of the last stand of public commercial broadcasting.

Indeed, the grandiose nature of the building, especially when compared to the Isleworth bunker, sums up BSB's problems: spending money it didn't have as if it were going to be a monopoly, something it still believed - with its regulators - at the time the building was commissioned. The building, like BSB itself, could be said to embody what Thatcherism sold itself as being, to the extent that it represents an architectural style which defined itself against post-war concrete with all its socialist associations, just as BSB took the high-end stuff from old-style British broadcasting but not the radical-left elements; it is rather apt that it eventually suffered the same fate as its original occupant, of being destroyed by what Thatcherism actually was and its long-term legacy. The difference between the self-image of "quality" of the 1980s aspirational outlook the building encapsulates, and the pure greed of the super-rich that actually lay behind it. Might Boris Johnson have actively opposed BSB as "socialism in disguise" at the time?


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Re: Marco Polo House (1987-2014)

Post by fatcat »

Network Video was a bit like Thatcher- both pioneers- both subject to criticism every time they did something. In Network's case it might just have been a missing advert break bumper or a blob on frame number 112234 but people had quite easily forgot that there was virtually nothing in archive releases before Network, and perhaps should have shown them a little respect.? Likewise people had forgot how terrible things were before Thatcher and how exciting and optimistic the 1980s were and what the Marco Polo building represented - not for the miners agree- but that was yours and my fault for stop using steam trains, chucking out the coal fire in favour of gas central heating and of course complaining about air quality.

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Re: Marco Polo House (1987-2014)

Post by brigham »

Looks like the profligate waste which so typified corporate culture in the 1980s is alive and well, and living in Battersea.

I'm not entirely sure what the plethora of political italicism is in aid of, but it appears to perpetuate the popular myth that either the Thatcher administration, or Thatcher herself, was responsible for the collapse of British Sky Broadcasting.

Keep repeating the lie; it'll eventually become fact.

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Richard A
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Re: Marco Polo House (1987-2014)

Post by Richard A »

Robin, thanks for the link to this blog. I take an interest in matters architectural and The Rubble Club has some interesting articles.

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