Michael Webb. Furniture Manufacturers Association Headquarters, project, High Wycombe, England, Elevation. 1957-1958

Michael Webb Furniture Manufacturers Association Headquarters, project, High Wycombe, England, Elevation 1957-1958

  • Not on view

Michael Webb, who became a founding member of Archigram, the radical British architectural collaborative, designed the Furniture Manufacturers Association Headquarters as a fourth-year studio project at the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Architecture in London. He was influenced by the organic forms of Frederick Kiesler and John Johansen, and by the atmosphere of nonconformity prevalent among his fellow students. The unrealized biomorphic structure is divided horizontally into three different programmatic zones: the lower, a furniture showroom; the middle, administrative offices; and the top, rental office space. The bulbous form visible to the left in the side elevation was to be a freestanding lecture theater. The eminent architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner described the project for a BBC radio audience as, "A lot of stomachs sitting together on a plate, connected by bits of gristle."

Publication excerpt from an essay by Bevin Cline and Tina di Carlo, in Terence Riley, ed., The Changing of the Avant-Garde: Visionary Architectural Drawings from the Howard Gilman Collection, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002, p. 38.
Medium
Graphite and ink on tracing paper mounted on board
Dimensions
24 x 21 1/4" (61 x 54 cm)
Credit
Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation
Object number
1315.2000
Copyright
© 2021 Michael Webb
Department
Architecture and Design

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