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Heathrow Hilton

Author: • Oct 7th, 2005 •

Category: architecture, features, photography

Photos from a recent sojourn (en route to Singapore and Bali) at Ballard’s favourite location, the Heathrow Hilton. “The Heathrow Hilton, designed by Michael Manser, is a masterpiece. It is my favourite building in London, and keeps alive the spirit of the 20th century’s greatest architect, Le Corbusier. Beautifully proportioned, it resembles a cross between a brain surgery hospital and a space station. I am always supremely happy in its vast atrium, and I wait for the day when the whole of London resembles this future classic.”

Ballardian: The World of JG Ballard

“It’s part space-age hangar and part high-tech medical centre. It’s clearly a machine, and the spirit of Le Courbusier lives on in its minimal functionalism.”

Ballardian: The World of JG Ballard

“Sitting in its atrium one becomes, briefly, a more advanced kind of human
being. Within this remarkable building one feels no emotions and could never
fall in love, or need to.”

Ballardian: The World of JG Ballard

“I’d like everything to be like that. I’d like England to look as if everybody
was getting ready to leave for Mars.”

Ballardian: The World of JG Ballard

What happens when airport hotels and duty free complexes are allowed to inhabit
a whole city can, of course, be seen in Singapore.

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5 Responses »

  1. “I’d like everything to be like that. I’d like England to look as if everybody was getting ready to leave for Mars.”

    Yes, an understandable reaction to life in England. Indeed, the sub-autistic feel of the interiors in ‘2001’ (where nobody need ever fall in love) can be regarded as Kubrick’s reaction to his moving to the home counties.

  2. [...] Left: photography by Tim Chapman, from JG Ballard: Conversations [...]

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  4. [...] and people there are always falling in love.[Heathrow Hilton by Michael Manser, 1992 | image source]Hans Ulbrich Obrist: And what is your favourite museum and why? What do you think of the evolutions [...]

  5. […] Experimental Travel is the art of travelling in new ways, including such sub-genres as Aerotourism (‘in which a tourist visits the local airport and explores it without going anywhere’) and Erotourism (‘in which a couple travels separately to the same city and then tries to find each other’). These sound like a mash-up of early Paul Auster, the photography of Martin Parr and the aesthetic sensibility of JG Ballard. […]

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