Harriet Welch

projects manager


This essay appears in NOIT–5 : bodies as in buildings

“How can you be more beautiful, on the inside?”

“The year was 2000. Greenwich peninsula. The Millennium Dome. SE10 0DX. An ethylene tetrafluoroethylene tent crafted from material less than one millimetre thick became a utopian world waiting to be discovered by the visiting public. Smooth plastic, expanses of glass and sculpted metal became human flesh. Poured resin grotesque giant arteries pumped ‘blood’ and oversized organs in shades of sickening pastel candy colours ‘breathed’. Fourteen pavilions were arranged in a circular shape and explored what it meant to be human in the new Millennium. The body, mind, faith, self portrait, work, learning, rest, play, talk, money, journey, shared ground, living island and home planet. Within ‘the body’ flesh was hard, plasticised, and false. Privatised civic sponsored space played host to a public ‘body’ which invited visitors in to explore its giant ‘veins’. The dome structure was designed by Richard Rogers : one1 kilometre wide and fifty-two52 metres high – one metre for each week of the calendar year. The diameter of the dome was 365 metres – one metre for each day of the year and an allusion to the Greenwich location, implicitly pitched as the Eurocentric ‘beginning of time’. twelve12 masts, each 100 metres high, marked the circular shape of the dome like the hands on the face of a clock. ‘“Nowhere else is doing anything like it, and it promises and will be, the most fantastic day out in the world’

~an extract from NOIT—5: bodies as in buildings