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As the ultimate attempt to transcend, suicide relates to boredom. The intentional taking of one’s own life constitutes the definite disregard of the self and the world—a crisis of existential meaning, heightened by the qualities of the environment. Resonating with the postmodern concern with space and inhabitation, the case of No. 1 Poultry, a building in London by James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates, finalized in 1997, suggests that boredom and architecture organize a flux of information that, in an extreme and fatal manner, surfaces in suicide. Throwing themselves off the public terrace, 25 meters (80 feet) above street level, six deaths have been reported since the economic downturn of 2007. In 2015, a restaurant critic jumped to his death. He wrote in his last blog post, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; […] [Samuel] Johnson was right, I am not tired of London and never have been […] however I am tired of life”. In 2016, a salesman followed the same steps. In his phone, several unsent messages were found. The first read, “I am bored of life and the future possibilities disinterest me”; the second, “I no longer try to adapt myself to others”; the third, “I am not made for this world”; and the last, “I have cracked”. To explore the connection between boredom and architecture, this essay investigates these suicides in relation to the history and design of No. 1 Poultry.
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