On a recent episode of 'New Tricks', the Battersea Power Station featured prominently. This sparked two trains of thought for me. Firstly, and in line with this blog's interest in dead-tech, etc., I was curious to follow up the current status/use of this building. Not surprisingly there are many websites devoted to it, which, in part, outline the many proposals for its future; these include a massive redevelopment which would see the building housing restaraunts, cinemas, shops, etc., !
Secondly, in the show, the character Brian remarked that in mid-20th century Britain, the Battersea Power Station represented a "quasi-religious monument to electricity and power", and how appropriate then that its' art-deco exterior was designed by the architect of Liverpool Cathedral, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott . These comments reminded me of a paper written about the "sacred" importance of the science and technology "megaprojects" undertaken by mid-20th century totalitarian regimes (characterised, most recently, by Michael Burleigh as political religions). Such movements sort to bring about their 'mission' of creating 'heaven on earth', indeed, the very remodelling of humanity itself, through, among other things, the implementation of massive social engineering, building, and modernisation projects. Viewing people as "clay" to be reworked as necessary, death on a massive scale was inevitable.