Despite giving the appearance of a man who has undergone monastic ‘tonsure’, Alain de Botton is about as atheist as they come. So much so that the Swiss born author of ‘Religion for Atheists’ has announced a new and bold plan to build a series of Temples for non-believers around the UK. Questioning why religious folk should get all the best buildings, de Botton has begun work on his first Temple – a huge black tower in the City of London.
Designed by Tom Greenall Architects and Jordan Hodgson designs, the tower will stand at a whopping 46 meters tall – a little under the height of Southwark Cathedral. Each centimeter of the structure equates to one million years on earth, with a millimeter band of gold at the base to represent mankind’s time on earth. Dedicated to the idea of perspective, notably the staggering insignificance of, the tower has caused a degree of controversy especially with prominent fellow atheist Richard Dawkins who suggested last week that a temple for atheism might not only be a waste of money but a contradictions in terms. Other people are more supportive of the £1 million structure, with 55% of people in a Guardian poll in favour of it.