Published  04/11/2005

Up Ending

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Following the excitement over the Stirling Prize (see above), it is pleasant to observe that the work illustrated by artist Simon Starling, entitled 'Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2)', has been shortlisted, not for the Stirling Prize, but for the Turner Prize and is on exhibition at Tate Britain today. Such have been the euphemisms spread about on the subject of the Scottish Parliament, winner of the Stirling, that it is truly inspiring now to see the word 'architecture' used as a positive description. After all, Starling's work initially stood as a building on the bank of the Rhine, but, sensing its poetry, the artist dismantled the timber structure and floated it down the Rhine, as a boat, before rebuilding it as it stands today. Enriq Miralles was interested in the forms of upturned boats as the inspiration for his Parliament chamber. Starling's structure is (pace. Niklaus Pevsner) certainly an architectural work and exudes materiality. That, too, was a quality that Miralles strove for but that the Parliament building lacks - the result of the £4 million budget overspend claimed by the bureaucrats and meddled with ad infinitum. Could a piece of the Parliament building now be hived off and floated round the east coast of Britain, up the Thames, to come to rest in front of Tate Modern? Which piece? Answers please, by email, to:

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