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Fantasy Architecture Mid-century modern

Section based on exhibition Fantasy Architecture- see link (special thanks).
Image: Peter Cook
Design for Sleektower and Veranda Tower, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1984
Print, coloured (101 x 73.5 cm)
RIBA Library Drawings Collection
Stephen Rowland Pierce (1896-1966)
Design for postwar reconstruction of the "Metropolis of Britain", 1942
Brown pen and wash
RIBA Library Drawings Collection
Philip Armstrong Tilden (1887-1956)
Design for a tower for Selfridge's department store, Oxford Street, London, 1918
RIBA Library Drawings Collection
Will Alsop
The Fourth Grace, 2002
Digital print (dimensions variable)
© Alsop Architects Limited. Image by Virtual Artworks.
Alexander Carse (fl.1794-1838)
View of the Willow Cathedral, 1792
RIBA Library Drawings Collection
Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
Morecambe Nightview, 1991
Crayon and ink on film (162 x 860 cm)
© Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects
Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, Hood & Fouilhoux, and C. Howard Crane
Design for International Music Hall and Opera House, Hyde Park Corner, London, c.1935
Interior perspective of Grand Foyer
Gouache and gold paint
RIBA Library Drawings Collection
Étienne Louis Boullée (1728-1799)
Project for a metropolian cathedral in the form of a Greek cross with a domed centre, 1782
Pen and grey wash
RIBA Library Drawings Collection
Foreign Office Architects
World Trade Centre, New York, 2002
Digital Print (dimensions viable)
© Foreign Office Architects
John Pollard Seddon (1827-1906) and Edward Beckitt Lamb (1857-1934)
Design for the Imperial Monumental Halls and Tower, Westminster, London, 1904
Watercolour on board
RIBA Library Drawings Collection
Mason Canif, 1997
Digital image
© Softroom
FAT (Fashion, Architecture, Taste)
Princess Diana Memorial Bridge, London, 1988
Digital Print (dimensions variable)
Lodon of the "future". Cite Industrielle by Garnier, 1908. Citta Nuova by Sant’Elia, 1914.
Ville Contemporaine by Le Corbusier, 1934. Walking city by Herron & Harvey, 1963. Plug-in city by Cook, 1964 & Cook’s Tricking Tower, 1978-79.. These images illustrate Archigram’s two main concepts, expandablity and prefabrication.
Lang’s vision of future in Metropolis. Le Corb’s Plan Voisin, 1925. Mies’ glass skyscraper, 1922.
Imagined buildings, structures and schemes - from designs for palaces by medieval masters to futuristic film sets.

Featuring the work of visionary figures as diverse as Inigo Jones, Joseph Paxton, Robert Adam, John Soane, Edwin Lutyens, Archigram and Foreign Office Architects, Fantasy Architecture includes a wealth of historical and contemporary drawings. Paintings, models, collage, film and computer renderings of designs for buildings that might have changed our lives, or could still do so, are also presented.

An explosion of building activity across Britain has made headlines over the past decade, with lottery-funded projects transforming towns and cities. Architects' impressions, which herald these projects, have become familiar. Yet these designs for built and un-built projects have been produced for hundreds of years, from ink and wash drawings to the computer animations of today. Many were intended to enthuse and convince clients about real schemes, but some were private fantasies. This exhibition explores how the world might look today had the politics, the economics, the technical
possibilities and the tastes of our predecessors been different.

Fantasy Architecture is divided into eight sections;

Private Worlds
, looks at domestic environments, including the architect and design studio Softroom's 1998 commission for Wallpaper* magazine showing a radical alternative vision of twenty-first century domesticity.

Anchor Blocks; F.A.D. Richter & Co., Max Clenndining, Foreign Office
Architects, Ernö Goldfinger, Louis Hellman, James Kennedy-Hawkes, Edwin Lutyens, Christopher Nicholson, Ora-Ïto, Eric Parry, John Smythson, Robert Smythson, Softroom, Berthold Lubetkin, Ushida Findlay, Charles Francis Annesley Voysey, Clough Williams-Ellis

The Appliance of Science includes designs by the adventurous counter-cultural group Archigram, as well as NASA Ames Research Center's scheme for a space settlement developed in the 1970s.

Alsop Architects, Ove Nyquist Arup, Eduardo Fernando Catalano, James Clephan, Peter Cook, Ronald Aver Duncan, Richard Buckminster Fuller, Stephen Geary, Joseph Hartland, Ron Herron; Archigram, William Low, Greg Lynn; FORM, Virgilio Marchi, NASA Ames Research Center, Raymond McGrath, Nils Norman,
Geoff Shearcroft/AOC

Megastructure includes Asymptote's recent design for the New York Virtual Stock Exchange with streams of financial data as a dynamic virtual environment and Joseph Paxton's 1855 vision for a monumental ten mile Great Victorian Way, combining shops, hotels and restaurants with an elevated railway.

Asymptote, Charles Barry, John Belcher, Etienne Louis Boullée, W. Bridges, Peter Cook; Archigram, Constant, Freedom Ship International, Charles Holden, Marshall & Tweedy with Oliver Bernard and Partners, Leslie Martin, Joseph Paxton, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Superstudio

Vertical Visions reveals un-built plans for a new World Trade Center by Foster and Partners and a design for a bombastic tower commissioned by Gordon Selfridge in 1918 to perch atop his London department store.

Stefan Buzas, Peter Cook, Elgo Plastics Inc., Foster and Partners, MVRDV, Thomas Rickman and Richard Charles Hussey, R. Seifert and Partners, Paolo Soleri, Philip Armstrong Tilden, King Vidor, Wim Wenders, Alfred Waterhouse

Past Perfect shows visions of imaginary landscapes and panoramas inspired by legend and archaeological evidence.

Robert Adam, The Adventure Company/Wanadoo, Henry Carlton Bradshaw, Henry William Brewer, Alexander Carse, Charles Robert Cockerell, Raymond Erith and Quinlan Terry, Takehiko Nagakura, Andrea Palladio, Giovanni Pastrone, Arthur Beresford Pite, William Walcot, Paul Wegener and Carl Boese

City Futures offers a glimpse of things to come in works like Fast Forward, 2001, a film designed to test visual memory of London's skyline.

Michael Anderson, Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects, David Butler, George Dance, Balkrishna V. Doshi, EA Games, Maurice Elvey, Hayes Davidson, Zaha Hadid, Helmut Jacoby, Virgilio Marchi, Eric Mendelsohn, William Cameron Menzies / László Moholy-Nagy, William Noel Moffett, John Buonarotti Papworth, Stephan Rowland Pierce, Gaston Quiribet, Rodney Thomas, Clough Williams-Ellis

All the World's a Stage includes the lavishly ornamented Renaissance set designs of the Galli Bibiena Family and a sketch for a Fun Palace of 1974 by Cedric Price.

John Alexander, Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects, Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray, Hood & Fouilhoux and C. Howard Crane, Antonio Galli Bibiena, Giovanni Carlo Galli Bibiena, Guiseppe Galli Bibiena, Inigo Jones, Cedric Price

In Memoriam, is at once serious and humorous. It includes designs for a Princess Diana Memorial Bridge by FAT as well as Claes Oldenburg's 1966 maquette for a monument to the mini-skirt.

William Chambers, FAT, John Flaxman, Foreign Office Architects, Foster and Partners, Ernö Goldfinger, Francis Goodwin, Thomas Affleck Greeves, Thomas Harrison, Louis Hellman, Hector Horeau, Tom Mellor, Claes Oldenburg, John Pollard Seddon and Edward Beckitt Lamb, John Soan.
With special thanks to