Future City: Experiment and Utopia in Architecture from 1950 to Now

From Archigram to Zaha Hadid, Future City traces the history and development of international experimental architecture since 1950. This exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre runs from June 15 to September 17, 2006, and features 60 visionary building projects and urban plans from around the world. These ground-breaking projects illustrate the energy and experimentation that characterise radical architecture, and raise questions about the nature of buildings, cities and society.

Comprising original models and drawings, films and photographs, the exhibition invites us to envisage radically new ways of living in the city. Highlights include a model of Constant Nieuwenhuys’s New Babylon (1956-74), conceived as a society where people are freed from daily work; collages of Peter Cook’s Instant City (1968-69) a “travelling metropolis” reflecting Archigram’s interest in popular culture and science fiction; and the intricately layered model of Daniel Libeskind’s urban project City Edge, Berlin (1987).

More recent projects include computer imagery of a 21st-century plug-in building, (Un) Plug Building (Tour EDF) (2001), by R+Sie; and models of the prize-winning project Yokohama International Port Terminal (1995-2002) by Foreign Office Architects. The majority of the projects on display remain unrealized but they demonstrate what architecture can be if pushed to the limits of the possible. The exhibition draws heavily from the world-renowned collection held by the Fondation Rgional d’Art Contemporain – Centre Rgional, Orlans, France.

For more information, please visit www.barbican.org.uk