Hill in Marble Arch + Mario

“What on earth do you mean,” we hear you say, “by ‘a new hill’?” Trust us, we’re as baffled as you are. It turns out that The Powers That Be (Westminster Council) commissioned a £2 million hill next to Marble Arch, for some reason, and yesterday, the 26th of June, was the launch day (although how exactly one “launches” a hill is unclear).

Visitors, tourists, and mound fans were expected to pay £8 (EIGHT! POUNDS!) for the privilege of climbing the small hill, which was apparently lowered to £6.50 after people calculated that each of the 130ish steps would therefore cost 6p to mount. According to gleeful reports, the hill was so pants that everyone has already been offered refunds.

You would think that the government could have figured out that the public was not best pleased at this potential waste use of taxpayer money, but they ploughed on nonetheless; as a result, the hill was unveiled on Monday, surrounded by bins and scaffolding. We’re not going to say it’s a great analogy for anything, because we don’t want to get in trouble, but, well, yeah.

It is rather… polygonal, as people have pointed out, comparing it to Bob-Omb Battlefield, Minecraft, and “PSOne graphics energy“.

Quite frankly, all of those comparisons are a bit too nice for our liking. At least Bob-Omb Battlefield had something fun at the top — apparently, all the Marble Arch mound has is disappointment.

But it is a bit like a video game — because you can go inside it, and see the wireframe. It looks cool, but there’s nothing in it yet. Apparently there might be a café in the future. Right now, it’s just a few hand sanitiser stations, which you can try dunking your biscuits in if you’re brave enough.

Scaffolding inside Marble Arch hill
Image: Dan Barker

Apparently, the hill was designed by MVRDV, a Dutch architecture firm, which promised “a new perspective of the future”. Maybe they’re going to turn the whole of London into Super Mario 64? The Thames can serve as Dire Dire Docks; Big Ben is Tick-Tock Clock (obviously); Cool, Cool Mountain can be the penguin exhibit at London Zoo.

What are your thoughts on this hill? Let us know in the comments. And don’t hold back.





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