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Pure gold

ASTRAGAL

The RIBA's decision to award the Royal Gold Medal to Archigram is a welcome acknowledgement, all too rare in British architecture, of the power of ideas. Archigram built little, but the influence of the group has been immense, both as a result of the hundreds of projects produced in the 1960s/'70s, and by the subsequent teaching careers of all the group, but in particular Herron, Cooke and Greene. After a period in the fashion doldrums, the work of the group, with its brilliant graphic presentation, won new (young) fans in the 1990s, not least because of the exhibition, which has been trundling round the world for several years. It looks like it is coming London, where the iconic power of the work can be properly displayed. But rather than show it at the Institute, the Hayward Gallery is an obvious suggestion; like Archigram, it has an enduring quality. Incidentally, David Rock was the right person to write the encomium for the group. He funded the printing of its first magazine.

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