‘’The delight I get out of doing buildings is to say: Screw you, it can be built’’ says Architect Peter Cook in conversation with Louisiana Channel, where he discusses his determination to communicate ideas through vivid Architectural drawings and the skepticism he has faced in regards to his ambitious design proposals and their outlandish appearance.
Peter Cook was interviewed at his studio in January 2022 prior to his exhibition ‘City Landscapes’ at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. As the first artwork displayed that has been produced by an Architect, it explores his reverence for hand-drawing as an Architect's primary medium. The work depicts innovative new ways of exploring the city and our physical space in striking and evocative texture and color.
Cook’s interest in Architecture began from a young age, originating from his mother’s artistry and his exposure to grand houses, where he began to illustrate his own towns and cities, layering both the contemporary and historic forms and shapes. Despite his passion for the skill he vocalizes that he was never a natural and fluid drawer.
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Because I was not a natural drawer, I realized that I was determined to communicate ideas. I was arrogant enough to say: 'I'm sorry, I'm not just going to sit at the back of the process and specify door handles, I'm going to be a creative architect. -- Peter Cook
In particular, he outlines his comparative nature during Architecture school and how he was always surrounded by those with superior drawing skills. His persistence and tricks of the trade have allowed him to expand the language of Architecture itself through creative illustration. Exposure to creatives offered methods of improvement, including the fabrication of organizational drawings and straight edge aids to better his ability.
He offers insight into the benefits of hand-drawing techniques over more contemporary methods of computer-aided design. Suggesting that hand-drawing is a lengthy process that encourages you to ponder the design process in a greater depth. Drawing as a tool for Architects is fundamental.
Despite controversy in regards to his pioneering new ideas, with many proclaiming them to be unrealistic and Utopian, he insists that most of these drawings are buildable, challenging but in fact very buildable. The Kunsthaus Graz, ‘The Friendly Alien’ by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier is a key example of the implementation of one of his futuristic works. An Art Center with translucent skin and a plexiglass screen, which acts as a huge media façade, has become a cultural icon in the City of Graz, success within the urban landscape.
By the critics and the regular people saying it’s Utopian, you put it into a pigeonhole that says: ‘Oh, those sorts of architects are Utopian, but we are normal architects. -- Peter Cook
As one of the founding members of the futuristic, Avant-Garde Archigram movement during the 1960s, Peter Cook has been an influential figure for the better part of six decades, where he is renowned for his visionary project the ‘Plug-In City’. The vibrant design portrayals are still popular today and continue to inspire Architecture professionals all over the world.
To see more architecture videos, check ArchDaily's full coverage of Louisiana Channel's series of interviews.
News Via Louisiana Channel.