More Than 200 Projects are included in the Archigram Archival Project. The AAP uses the group’s mainly chronological numbering system and includes everything given an Archigram project number. This comprises projects done by members before they met, the Archigram magazines (grouped together at no. 100), the projects done by Archigram as a group between 1961 and 1974, and some later projects.
This project was motivated entirely by a desire to make a model out of fibreglass – a magical material.
As an introduction to this whim, it should be seen in the context of a project I tried to do at art school in 1958 to design an air terminal in the style of a Buck Rogers drawing. It was made out of fibreglass panels attached to a metal frame. I was advised, quite categorically, that external elements would never be made of this reprehensible, shoddy material. In 1959, now working in a London practice, I fond myself detailing some cladding panels in glass-reinforced plastic. Remembering the advice of my tutor, I decided to revisit the technology of spray plastics.
At this time this was quite a new material and not only did the resin smell quite divine, the ‘skin’ of the model could take on a translucency that was impossible to achieve with other materials. The model was made in my Hampstead bed-sitter and in the absence of the facilities to make a positive mould to form panels to lay the glass fibre on I mimicked the way the mosque model had been made by constructing a wire frame first.
It is called Bournemouth Leisure Centre but there is no particular reason for this. I had no programme in mind at all whilst making the model and as far as a site was concerned anywhere in the climatic zone was suitable as long as it had a cliff – Bournemouth is a big holiday destination and has good cliffs, perfect! And maybe, it was a small tribute to Peter Cook, Bournemouth being the place where he had got his degree in Architecture. ‘Leisure Factory’ might have been a better title but it might have just as well been ‘office building’ or ‘Bulgarian Embassy.” So even then the modernist assertion that had been so firmly placed in innocent young minds at architectural school was appearing more dubious and un-sustainable… but this is all beside the point. The motivation of the project is clear – to explore the potential of a new material to produce new architectural shapes, forms and spatial possibilities.
David Greene The Disreputable Projects of David Greene, Written and edited by David Greene and Samantha Hardingham, (London: Architectural Association, 2008)