The Halley VI Antarctic Research Station designed by British practice Hugh Broughton Architects will be officially opened today. The product of eight years of research and design for extreme climates, the architects claim it is a "laboratory and living accommodation capable of withstanding extreme winter weather, of being raised sufficiently to stay above meters of annual snowfall, and of being relocated inland periodically to avoid being stranded on an iceberg as the floating ice shelf moves towards the sea." But the project bears an uncanny resemblance to Ron Herron's 1964 Walking City project and the project's description is pure Archigram in spirit: "an innovative concept (of) hydraulically elevated ski based modules, ensuring the station can be relocated inland periodically as the ice shelf flows towards the sea. The station combines seven interlinking blue modules used for bedrooms, laboratories, offices and energy plants, with a central two-story red module featuring a double-height light filled social space. Interiors have been specially designed to support crew numbers ranging from 52 in summer to 16 during the three months of total darkness in winter when temperatures at the base drop as low as -56C."
Posts tagged with "Archigram":
Dennis Crompton and Michael Webb plugged into the London launch of the Archigram website on Monday from New York City via a Skype connection to Westminster University. The two Archigrammers were meant to be present at the launch, but the Eyjafjallajökull volcano grounded their planes and kept them from joining Peter Cook and David Greene, who was scheduled to be at the event. So Crompton walked the assembled Londoners through the website from his Skype-enabled computer screen in Lower Manhattan. Crompton pointed out the significant but still burgeoning content to be found on the site and was able to see and hear the audience reacting to the virtual tour on his screen, while the audience watched Dennis and Michael on their large screen. Westminster organizers Kester Rattenbury, Clare Hamman, and Murray Fraser described the cross-Atlantic evening as “very Archigram,” but Cook was not sure if something was missing, and wondered if the real Archigram spirit was not more alive in various out-of-the-way pockets of experiment and energy than on this evening on Regent Street. For his part, Webb thanked those who worked on the site and came out to the event, but Greene was nowhere to be seen or heard—at least on this side of the Atlantic. A second launch in New York with Archigrammers reporting from London is in the works—and perhaps Greene might even walk us through his version of the site?
It’s hard to remember that the phenomenally influential Archigram only worked together as a group for two years: 1962–1964. But all six members (four are still living) carried on extremely active practices on their own, sometimes in combinations with other members, and they produced an amazing body of work. The University of Westminster has embarked on an archival project to assemble this creative output in digital format and make it available online. Though this monumental task is far from complete, the university has amassed almost 10,000 images, and will go live with the website on Monday at 7 p.m. London time at a special event. I have been planning on flying over for the occasion, and, should Iceland’s volcanic eruption permit, will be in Westminster to report on it next week.
A derelict old German mint in Berlin has been taken over until November 2 by Megastructure Reloaded an exhibit of 1960's visionary architecture drawings, models, and films. Descending into the mint’s basement/bunker Archigrammer Dennis Crompton has created an installation that includes Yona Friedman’s la Ville Spatiale, a film of the Archigram guys walking around The Centre Pompidou with Cedric Price, and a toy-like model of a Constant Nieuwenhuijs skyscraper. The dilapidated ground floor has series of interpretations of the themes by young megatsructuralists like New Yorkers Tobias Putrih and Katrin Sigurdardottir. A weekend symposium with young architects and activist planners took place in an inflatable bubble by raumlabor_berlin who provided wonderful waffles with fresh figs and pomegranates. Planners serving waffles in their own inflatable, transportable bubble. Something funny is happening in Berlin.