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Archigram's Entire Archive Purchased by M+ Museum in Hong Kong

Archigram's Entire Archive Purchased by M+ Museum in Hong Kong
Archigram's Entire Archive Purchased by M+ Museum in Hong Kong, © Deutsches Architekturmuseum
© Deutsches Architekturmuseum

The M+ Museum in Hong Kong, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, has purchased the entire archive of the prominent Archigram group. As reported by the Architect’s Journal, the collection was sold for £1.8 million, having been given the go-ahead by the UK’s Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright.

The sale has not been without controversy, with opposition from the Arts Council’s reviewing committee on the export of works of art and objects of cultural interest. The committee had sought a delay in the sale until a buyer was found who would keep the collection in the UK.

© Peter Cook © Deutsches Architekturmuseum © Archigram Archives © Archigram Archives + 7

© Deutsches Architekturmuseum
© Deutsches Architekturmuseum

The 1960s avant-garde group, whose surviving members are Peter Cook, Michael Webb, David Greene, and Dennis Crompton, have been seeking a buyer for the collection for decades. While a deal was agreed in March of 2018, the export was delayed due to the committee view that the collection should remain in the UK, due to its “outstanding significance in relation to architectural history.”

© Peter Cook
© Peter Cook

© Archigram Archives
© Archigram Archives

As described by the Architect’s Journal, only items over 50 years old can be blocked from export, and as Archigram’s collection spans both sides of this limit, the Culture Secretary concluded that it was of overriding importance to keep the collection together, and hence permitted the export to the Hong Kong Museum.

© Archigram Archives
© Archigram Archives

The archive is currently in storage in a facility at Southend on Sea in the UK, following years of international touring, and an extended stay at the University Of Westminster, as part of an initiative to digitize part of the collection.

© Peter Cook
© Peter Cook

The M+ Museum of Visual Culture is set to be opened in 2020, designed by Herzog & de Meuron. The scheme will form the centerpiece of the West Kowloon Cultural District, a key venue in creating an interdisciplinary exchange between the visual and performing arts.

© Archigram Archives
© Archigram Archives

Incorporating elements from science fiction, comics, advertising imagery, pop-art, poetry, and collage in their work, Archigram upheld the tenets of neo-futurism, mass-consumerism and contemporary technology in post-war Britain. They rejected the modernist straitjacket by spewing out fantastical designs of buildings and cities which were mobile, adaptable, and far more technologically advanced than anything that the modernists had built to that point.

News via: The Architect’s Journal

"Creative Cynic" Peter Cook Explains Why Archigram Designs Were Always Meant to Be Built

Last week ArchDaily attended the 2016 World Architecture Festival in Berlin. We chatted with Sir Peter Cook and asked him about the current state of global affairs (Brexit, the US election, etc). He explained how his experience and work has influenced a career that has spanned over five decades, and reminds us of the inspiring power of architecture.

About this author
Cite: Niall Patrick Walsh. "Archigram's Entire Archive Purchased by M+ Museum in Hong Kong" 28 Jan 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/910328/archigrams-entire-archive-purchased-by-m-plus-museum-in-hong-kong/> ISSN 0719-8884

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