Joyfeed : Euphoria : The Bull Ring Car Park

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Of all the majestic architecture and brave public art on this tour, it is the vacant Bull Ring car park which most starkly embodies the dark poetics of post-war urban development. Viewed from the South, the city's skyline is dominated not by the hackneyed forms of the Rotunda, or BT Tower, but rather the living monument to a decaying dream: to take the new art of Park and Shop to the previously unimagined giddy height of complete automation. The motorist/consumer was to leave their vehicle in a reception area, wherefrom it would be transported, by a machine, and slotted safely into the correct space with robotic precision. The process would be reversed at the end of the shopping trip, ensuring maximum efficiency and pleasure. But this was to prove a labour saving device too far, as the mechanism jammed, and the unfortunate test vehicle was abandoned, along with the dream. Some say that it remains there still, frozen in time like an Egyptian king, entombed in the cavernous solitude of the proud, crumbling structure.

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