The Fun Palace the focus of 2nd Cedric Price Day

Staffordshire University is preparing to host a second event in celebration of the work of visionary Staffordshire architect Cedric Price.

architectural line drawing of the Fun Palace by Cedric Price

Cedric Price Fun Palace: Perspective sketch ca. 1963. Cedric Price fonds. Canadian Centre for Architecture© CCA

We’re delighted to be joined for this event by some leading academics and professionals from a variety of fields who share their own observations on his work and how the Fun Palace is of relevance today and for the future.

Dr Maria Martinez Sanchez, Course Leader for Architecture

The 2nd Cedric Price Day will focus on the legacies of the Fun Palace, a project he worked on with theatre director Joan Littlewood between 1961 and 1964, which remained unbuilt but which continues to inspire architects and those involved in community engagement, placemaking and regeneration.

Their imagined “Fun Palace” was a building linked through technology to other spaces and accessible to people who would not ordinarily visit an arts venue or place of learning. It has often been cited as an inspiration for the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

Taking place at Staffordshire University’s Film Theatre on College Road on Monday 12 September, the 2nd Cedric Price Day features two keynote speakers, the opening of the exhibition, a round table discussion and workshop.

Dr Maria Martinez Sanchez, Course Leader for Architecture said: “We’re delighted to be joined for this event by some leading academics and professionals from a variety of fields who share their own observations on his work and how the Fun Palace is of relevance today and for the future.

“Last year’s event was part of a European conference and it was successful in encouraging more people from the area to learn more about Cedric Price’s work and his influence. We plan to build on this through this annual event”

The first Cedric Price Day took place last September, coinciding with the architect’s birthday and the launch of Staffordshire University’s new BArch (Hons) Architecture degree course. This mainly focused on his project The Potteries Thinkbelt which envisioned the reuse of a railway line as a moving higher education facility to drive economic growth.

Price was born on September 11, 1934, in Stone, the son of an architect. He studied at St. John’s College, Cambridge University, before starting his own practice in London. Although his best-known projects were never realised, they helped to position him front and central of debates around urban planning and architecture. Price died in 2003, aged 68.

This year the exhibition, which continues in the Henrion Gallery until October, will include digital prints of the Fun Palace drawings which make up part of the official Cedric Price archive housed in the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.

Senior lecturer Martin Brown who is co-curating the exhibition said: “It also includes illustrations of the Fun Palaces initiative by Emily Medley who draws Fun Palaces activities which have taken place across the country and online since 2014.

“The Fun Palace is an exciting concept which correlates with my interest in community places and spaces and how architecture can enliven the lived experience.

“The event and exhibition will hopefully encourage more Fun Palaces in the area, not least because of the connection with Cedric Price. I think there’s lots of potential, and I am in discussion to do a Fun Palace next year with the local St Mark’s Church Shelton 'Under One Roof' project, and with our Architecture students linking up with the restoration architects HCR Ltd.”

 

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