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.
'Doesn't look much like Archigram.' - 'Looks more like the eighteenth century than the twentieth '.
Thus do I attempt the detoxification of expected critique by being the first to jump in, as it were. Certainly the dear landscape of the regatta that the temple reluctantly commands*, is one in which Lord Burlington would have felt quite at home. But upon the clothes hanger of Temple Island are hung some notions which intrigue the modern me. One is the notion of a building whose desired appearance i.e. as desired by its creator or creatrix...can only be observed through speeding...and I mean, really speeding, towards or away from it, (surely a shift from early Archigram, where it was the building itself that moved, or, at least, bits of it). Here the building moves, not through its own internal mechanisms, but rather as a result of the observer’s movements relative to it. The observer becomes a remote control Marionettist.
In orthographic projection systems the distance of the observer from the object cannot be determined, and is assumed to be unchanging. Here the distance is crucial, and it must change.
The other notion is how like an idiot savant a computer is; what wonderfully stupid things it does when fed the 'wrong' information or its circuitry malfunctions; and all without feeling bad or guilty. In this study I have attempted to replicate this category of idiocy. So the accompanying images of the study should be understood as light photons received by the retina emanating not from the landscape itself but from a computer screen of the landscape.
Henley-on-Thames, pop. 5187 (1957 census), dist. From London: 35 mi. west. Henley Royal Regatta, annually since 1859, first week of July, Wed.-Sat. for single sculls, doubles, coxed fours and eights. Umpires on motor launches MAGICIAN and ENCHANTRESS. Dist. From Start to Finish: 6950’, course width: 66’. Posts 5’ high at 50’ intervals define rowing lanes. Adjacent to the Start is Temple Island, 400’ long, ave. width 60’; upon which in 1771 was built a fishing lodge by James Wyatt, (archt.) superstructure of columned drum and cupola. Female statue nicked by student in 1951.
Summary: If the design for a new temple has emerged, it is the result of the journey towards it (and some electronic s.n.a.f.u.**); were the journey to be made in reverse, the new temple would revert back to the image of its incorporeal antecedent. The least transient manifestation of the new temple may be but that of a remembered image that, perhaps, comes to mind while watching a boring TV show.
*The temple, as seen from the finish of the regatta course defines (almost, but not quite, unfortunately)
the vanishing point, and therefore is at the centre of the universe. nevertheless, before its recent and disastrous renovation, it was partially hidden behind trees.
**s.n.a.f.u.: ‘situation normal all fouled up’ as my dictionary prudishly explains this WW II phrase.
Michael Webb Temple Island: A Study by Michael Webb, London: Architectural Association, 1987