'Architects, Demolish! The Dual Nature of Creation and Destruction...Architecture comes and goes, who shall be the inflictor? Who shall be entitled to swing the wrecking ball?'
– Thomas AP Van Leeuwen
Building demolition is a major lucrative global enterprise, a source of employment and a political instrument. This project poses the question: can demolition become a mode of architectural production and what is the design protocol that enables demolition as a space-making tool? Can a demolition economy in which buildings are simultaneously cultivated and harvested or built and unbuilt subvert existing economies by altering the long-standing cultural habit of regarding buildings as financial instruments?
The thesis is tested on the contested site of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre; currently under demolition to make way for 7,500 luxury homes. In response to mounting opposition to the scheme, the developer contract a specialist architect who combine outlandish demolition practices with meanwhile use. The local community is invited to collaborate by enacting Nietzsche’s theory of 'active forgetting' as a means to ease the loss of a loved icon and familiar territory. By reinventing interim use as integral to the demolition programme, can its power to subvert the plans of the developer be renewed?