Architecture : A fun palace full of activities defined by pieces of…

Cedric Price was an English architect, influential teacher and writer on architecture. One of the well-known projects was the east London Fun Palace (1961) developed in association with theatrical director Joan Littlewood. According to Stanley Matthews (2005), the Fun Palace was not a building in any predictable sense, but was instead a generally interactive mechanism, highly flexible to the shifting cultural and social surroundings of its time and place. So unlike most of the architecture at that time, Price’s Fun Palace promised to keep people engaging with movements though it was never built. His drawings composed of lots of people engaging in different activities which gave the drawing more realistic sense.

Price was mesmerized by new technology and understood that it should both serve the community and promote human liberty. He was sure that his effort would not force physical or psychological constraints upon its users nor diminish them to an ordinary structure — contrasting to characteristic modern architecture (MoMA 2018). Following his technique, I tried to draw the Strand Arcade where I maintained a one way perspective i.e. a diminishing point. I also added lots of movement by adding people to make it more realistic as stated by Obrist (2009,p. 11), ‘ The idea of these interventions is not to occupy space, but to trigger relations and social spaces, stimulate new patterns and situations of urban movement in the city’. I used tracing paper for adding more details in my drawing as Price’s work was keen to details.

Price believed that through proper use of new technology the public could have unmatched control over their surroundings resulting in a building that could be reactive to user’s desires and the many actions intended to take place there (Glynn 2005). He was less fascinated by buildings and believed them fixed, motionless, nonflexible and outdated and was focused more on structures that could anticipate future change and use (Moon 2017). I too believe that modern technology should be used to create spaces which can engage people through movement by allowing total freedom. Architecture is all about mixing with people’s lifestyle and surroundings. So, as visualized by Cedric Price, we should focus on creating a city that can blend with the fast pace lifestyle of city dwellers.

Referencing List:

Glynn, Ruairi, 19 October 2005, ‘ Fun Palace-Cedric Price’, Interactive Architecture Lab, viewed on April 18 2018, <www.interactivearchitecture.org/fun-palace-cedric-price.html>

Mathews, Stanely, 2005, ‘The Fun Palace: Cedric Price’s experiment in architecture and technology, Technology Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research, volume 3, no. 2, p. 73.

MoMA 2018, Cedric Price: Fun Palace for Joan Littlewood Project, Stratford East, London, England (Perspective) 1959–1961, 11 West 53 street, Manhatten, viewed 19 April 2018, <https://www.moma.org/collection/works/842>

Spatial Agency 2003, Cedric Price, London viewed 21 April 2018, <www.spatialagency.net/database/price#contents>

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