Architects (1961-1974)

Archigram dominated the architectural avant-garde in the 1960s and early 1970s with its playful, pop-inspired visions of a technocratic future after its formation in 1961 by a group of young London architects – Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb. Prosperous and self-satisfied after a decade of post-war reconstruction, British architecture – the “staid Queen Mother of the arts” as the critic Reyner Banham described it – chose to ignore these changes. Determined to develop their own approach, rather than risk being co-opted into the architectural establishment, the Archigram group inveighed against what Cook later described as “the crap going up in London, against the attitude of a continuing European tradition of well-mannered, but gutless architecture that had absorbed the label ‘Modern’ but had betrayed most of the philosophies of the earliest ‘Modern’.” Although most of Archigram projects remained unbuilt, its conceptual contribution has been considerable.