Cedric Price Architects was established in 1960 and this book features works from its early years - iconic projects such as The Fun Palace and Potteries Thinkbelt, built projects such as London Zoo's Aviary, and many less well-known schemes and writings. Additional essays are contributed by eminent architectural historians Reyner Banham, Royston Landau and Robin Middleton and colleague/critics such as David Allford, Peter Cook and Warren Chalk.
The Square Book is a faithful reprinting of an original book entitled Cedric Price: Works II, published in 1984 by the Architectural Association (AA). Ron Herron and AA Chairman Alvin Boyarsky had invited Price to make the book to coincide with an exhibition of the work of his office at the AA in June the same year. Price complied "as a favour" to his dear friends although he has always been resistant to the crystallisation of his work in book form, being more inclined towards the immediate and ephemeral nature of magazines and journals. Price states that "there is a point reached where if too much time is required to produce something its operational integrity is marred." This remark is central to Price's thesis that Time is the fourth dimension in architecture and that Change is its champion.
It is timely that such a book should be reprinted. Its purpose is not to provide material upon which to reflect but to serve as fuel to students and practitioners of architecture - a profession that continues to institutionally resist change at the beginning of a new millennium. We are reminded, as Peter Cook writes, that "Cedric is our reference. Our conscience".
Table of Contents
The Creative Iconoclast David Allford; A Philosophy of Enabling Royston Landau;Plus ca change…Peter Murray.
ACTION and inaction:
Life-Condition C.P.; Potteries Thinkbelt; Atom; Phun City; Air Structures/ Trucksafe/Airportable; Zoo Aviary.
TIME and timing:
The Case against Conservation C.P; Non-Plan; Clyde Competition; McAppy; Birmingham & Midland Institute HQ; British Airports Authority Office; Westminster Pier; Pop-Up parliament; He and His ‘How?’ Warren Chalk: Steel Housing; Game-Keeper’s Cottage; Manor Farm/Selsdon House.
UNCERTAINTY and delight in the unknown:
ECHOES C.P.; Fun Palace; Inter-Action Centre; Cedric Price: a Private View Robin Middleton; Oxford Corner House; Detroit Thinkgrid; South Bank; Munich Olympic Village; Parc de la Villette; National Gallery Extension.
BENEFICAL CHANGE and inevitable ageing:
Expediency C.P.; Southend Roof; Hair Tent; Abu Dhabi Breakwater/Air Structures Research; B-Air; Westpen; Cedric Price Precisely Ranulph Glanville; Blackpool Restaurant; BTDB Computer Centre; CP Aviary; Two-Tree Island; Claverton Dome.
FREE-SPACE and its operational matrix:
Public Spaces and Private Spaces C.P.; Generator; The price is Right Reyner Banham; Greenbird; DOM Offices; Robert Fraser Gallery; Worthing Pavilion; Castel House; On one occasion the white collar was loosened Peter Cook.
Biography; Bibliography; Articles by Cedric Price; Bibliography; Selected References to Major Projects; Chronology; Members of Office 1960-84 and Major Consultants.