Chris Rogers  |  Writer on architecture and visual culture

The Archigram Opera

By Chris Rogers, Nov 23 2018 06:25PM

More than sixty years ago six Brits came together to form Archigram, an architectural collective whose varied experiences, age and backgrounds found common purpose in an explosion of thoughts, ideas, designs and schemes that simply ARE the Sixties and early Seventies. Exploring the world of today (back then) and what it might be, they took inspiration from technology (their name comes from ARCHItecture + teleGRAM), science fiction, organics, pop culture and more, and envisaged walking cities, pop-up cities, houses that you could wear cars that emerged from houses and much, much more. All of this was put ‘out there’ through their self-published magazine and a multimedia presentation of slides, music, narration and sounds that was the Archigram Opera. Last night at the Architectural Association, three of the surviving founders introduced the new, digitised version of what proved to be stunning split-screen experience, best listened to with your choice of period rock music playing in the background – here’s mine, along with some shots from the show.











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Chris's first book examines the career and works of British architect Michael Pearson, the third generation to head the practice founded by his grandfather in 1904. Pearson's presidency of the Architectural Association and his pioneering and prescient Burne House building are covered.

 

"Throws light on significant achievements" 

 

 Patrick Duerden, Practice Director, Donald Insall  

   Associates

 

Black Dog Publishing, 2010  

 

ISBN  978 1 906155 73 5

PoP as pub - cr

Become an architectural detective with Chris's second book, investigating the styles of a thousand years of building in the world's most visited city from the middle ages to the present day. Illustrated and with photographs, maps and addresses, also included are a list of resources and a two-part introduction.

 

"A little gem"

 

Terry Philpot, Tablet

 

Ivy Press, 2016 with Larousse (French edition) and Akal (Spanish)

 

ISBN 978 1 78240 406 4  

 

cover apr 16

Chris's third book - a publisher's best-seller - reveals the hidden gems as well as the iconic landmarks of London's rich built history, from shops that survived the Great Fire to the 2012 Olympic village. Covering the West End, City and Docklands, the book follows the same format as How to Read Paris.

 

"Rather wonderful"

 

  – Don Brown, The London Society

 

Ivy Press, 2017  

 

ISBN 978 1 782404 52 1  

final cover L

Chris is one of more than a dozen specialists whose essays fill this fresh examination of the charms of Paris, which is edited by John Flower. Looking at the French capital's history, culture and districts, each item can be read in just half a minute and is illustrated with its own collage-style spread.

 

Ivy Press, 2018  

 

ISBN 978 1 782405 44 3  

Portfolio - cover BSMC

Commissioned from Chris by the Chief Magistrate for England & Wales to mark the closure of Bow Street Magistrates' Court, this pamphlet celebrates the world-famous institution and its final home. It was given exclusively to guests at a commemorative reception.

 

"I really like both the research behind it, and its clarity and accessibility"

 

Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive, Her  

   Majesty's Courts & Tribunals Service  

 

Private press, 2006        

Building-for-Business-cover-scaled

The Twentieth Century Society’s new peer-reviewed Journal on commercial architecture in Britain since the 1920s includes Chris’s piece on Fitzroy Robinson's pioneering atrium buildings in the City of London. The piece is founded in original research including archive imagery, interviews and site visits.

 

Twentieth Century Society, 2020

 

ISBN 978 0 955668 76 0