Fans of Cedric Price gathered in Alfred Place, London, this morning (Friday) for the unveiling of an unofficial blue plaque marking the location of the late architect’s office
A group including architectural luminaries Will Alsop, Peter Murray and the AJ’s Paul Finch gathered outside the building to toast Price, who died in 2003.
The plaque reads: ‘English Eccentrics: Cedric Price – Architect and Philosopher 1934-2003, who worked here 1965-2002’.
The celebration began a day of events to mark the publication of Cedric Price Works 1952–2003: A Forward-Minded Retrospective, a two-volume anthology of the architect’s projects, talks and articles.
Those present enjoyed drams of brandy, Price’s favoured beverage and an appropriate homage to his colourful character. He christened his office “East Grinstead” so his secretary could send people away by (truthfully) telling them ‘he’s in East Grinstead’!
Flashmob brandy drinkers celebrate Price’s plaque in Alfred Place
Price is viewed as one of the most influential British architects of the 20th century, though his built work amounts to comparatively little and he is not widely known by the general public.
He predicted the London Eye when, in 1984, he suggested erecting a giant ferris wheel on the South Bank. His work on the Claverton Dome with Buckminster Fuller arguably foreshadowed the Millennium Dome, and his exploration of flexible space was an inspiration for Rogers and Piano’s Pompidou Centre. Price also worked on the London Zoo aviary with Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon, and previously with greats such as Erno Goldfinger and Denys Lasdun.
The anthology is written and edited by Samantha Hardingham and co-published by the Architectural Association and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. How long the guerilla plaque will survive remains to be seen.
Cedric Price Works 1952–2003: A Forward-Minded Retrospective