The Spectre at Vauxhall Cross: Architecture of the State, between Community and Monarchy

Janina Gosseye*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper examines the matter of “architecture of the state” through the development history of the Esso site at Vauxhall Cross in London, which since the early 1990s houses the headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), designed by Terry Farrell. The story of this site’s decades-long redevelopment saga calls into question what (or who) precisely “the state” is. Is it the (imagined) community that belongs to a state? Is it the governmental institutions and elected officials managing its operation? Or does the constitutional monarchy embody and symbolise the state? What the history of the Esso site and the design of the SIS building demonstrate is that these different groups who are all somehow encompassed in the definition of “the state” do not necessarily hold the same ideas about who “architecture of the state” is to serve, address, or represent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-422
Number of pages30
JournalFabrications
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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