|Title||Demolition figures: the appearance and expression of the topman and mattockman in LCC contracts, 1941–1951|
The Rescue man was not only working on the incident, he became a part of it […] he was the vaguely apprehended shape which suddenly appeared from the surrounding chaos as a human being […].
This paper explores a very particular form of building activity: demolition work. My aim is to show that the peculiarities of demolition work challenge how construction history contends with certain ontological and epistemological problematics. In the first instance, I am concerned with how the historical activity of demolition produces subjects which are held in distinct social relationships and material processes. In the second instance, I am concerned with how knowledge is produced in those relationships and processes, and further how knowledge of those relationships and processes might be made historically available. These questions are developed through an examination of archival material related to the clearance of the South Bank in the late 1940s in preparation for the Festival of Britain Exhibition and the Royal Festival Hall. The archived contracts are shown to have a specific status and effect for such an enquiry.
|Journal||Architectural Research Quarterly|
|Journal citation||16 (3), pp. 245-252|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1017/S1359135513000092|