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For reasons best known to themselves, the Art Museum of Monte Carlo summoned the three guys surviving out of the four or more who designed the Monte Carlo Entertainments Centre – or ‘Features-Monte Carlo’ as we called it. Won in competition in 1970. On the strength of it a real ‘office’ was formed, Frank Newby (the structural engineer behind many of James Stirling and Cedric Price’s work)got on the case and three years of interchanges with bureaux des etudes, specialists, working drawings went …..well, nowhere actually. A developer offered the Principality a deal : a free auditorium in exchange for a plot just under the nose of the Casino, and we were dropped.
One can speculate : what would have happened to us if it HAD been built. A giant UNDERGROUND cave with state-of-the-art equipment. Robots. collapsable this-and-that. In addition, a marvellous concept of the mound OVER the building being ‘bugged’ with sockets every two metres for a ‘plug-in stick’ that would have replay of the show going on inside, air fans, ice-cream, you name it?
So here we have Peter Cook and Dennis Crompton – of Archigram and Colin Fournier who was just out of the AA and half-French. Actually Colin was a key talent on the design itself and it can be said that decades later when Peter and Colin got together again on the GRAZ KUNSTHAUS….that it took off where Monte Carlo had stopped.
Today we will  be filmed and in a few months there will be an exhibition with many projects for Monte Carlo on show.
But today, bigger and denser, it is basically a generic upmarket resort full of leggy blondes and their lotharios or bunches of (mostly)English/American groups with leggy blondes on board. Actually, if we’re into generic upmarket resorts then I thought Vina del Sol in Chile was a better deal……but it’s a bit of a hike from London.
IN THE MUSEUM: NOT ONLY THE GHOSTS OF ARCHIGRAM SCHEMES, JEAN COCTEAU, THE BALLETS RUSSES DE MONTE CARLO OF DIAGHILEV…..HOW MANY MORE GHOSTS ……..AND DOES IT REALLY MATTER…?
ANYHOW >>>>>>>>>>>>>TOMORROW UP TO SWEDEN SO I CAN COOL OFF
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One thought on “ARCHIGRAM LOST IN TIME

  1. Archigram material is alive in our heads, it’s not even here yet, to my mind. It’s relevant, the sustainability issues, the energy, the environmentally friendly gestures, and the suggestions to celebrate, propel and propagate, how much more can we expect of good architecture. In spirit, it’s the new world and the opportunities are open even to this day to construct whatever was then merely a drawing. Bravo.

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