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Archigram Archive Opens Online

Imagine Piccadilly Circus ringed by tall buildings with a spaghetti like mess of roads running through it, or building that can walk? Both of these are just a few of the projects you can check out at the Archigram Archival Project, an online collection of the work done by the seminal architecture magazine.

Starting off with covering relatively sensible projects modernist that were planned in the late fifties, often done by London County Council Architects, you can see the increasing levels of creativity and outlandish ideas that came to the fore as London started to swing in the sixties.

Some of it has become reality - the architectural style so called Structural Expression that is so favoured by the likes of Richard Rogers can clearly be seen to surface in Peter Cooks ideas from the early sixties with Metal Houses, and more famously Plug In City that's been realised with the advent of container housing.

At the same time, the layout of the magazine itself gets taken over by increasing levels psychedelic and pop art influences that seem to be out to translate the look of Yellow Submarine into the real world with grey Britain becoming increasingly day-glo.

The 1969 Trocadero Study by Ron Herron looks suspiciously like what we actually got with its elevator junctions although the grooving hippies never hung out there as the model hoped, whilst the Walking City has become reality thanks to the British Antarctic Survey base at Halley VI near the South Pole. Even Crater City has been designed for real by Atkins for the Songjiang Quarry near Shanghai.

Not everything Archigram featured happened though... there's an interesting example of what could have been at Euston Station with the whole area masterplanned all the way to Euston Tower by Taylor Woodrow, and an ITV building to stand on the South Bank by London County Council Architects that's rather more elegant than the Kent House we got.

If you want to check out the fascinating archive that's been compiled with the assistance of Westminster University and stretches from 1961 to 1974 then visit http://archigram.westminster.ac.uk/index.php
Walking City For Real?
Walking City For Real?
Atkins Take On Crater City?
Atkins Take On Crater City?