It Can Be Built
“The delight I get out of doing buildings is to say: Screw you, it can be built."
Meet British architect Sir Peter Cook who here talks about the possible benefits of drawing by hand and explains why he disagrees with critics calling his architectural ideas utopian. Read more …
“By the critics and the regular people saying it’s utopian, you put it into a pigeonhole that says: ‘Oh, those sorts of architects are utopian, but we are normal architects.’”
Cook (b. 1936) grew up in the city of Lester in the latter part of the second world war. The city had a lot of cultural activities, and he accompanied his mother, who was a frustrated artist, to galleries, operas, and symphony concerts from a very young age. Around the age of eleven, he started reading books about architecture and was already fascinated by the modern by then. When he started studying architecture at art school, he was both intrigued and challenged by the practice of drawing.
“Because I was not a natural drawer, I realized that I was determined to communicate ideas. I was arrogant enough to say: ‘I’m sorry, I’m not just going to sit at the back of the process and specify door handles, I’m going to be a creative architect.’ And so, you just bloody well had to do it like an artisan.”
As a founding member of the avant-garde neo-futuristic group Archigram in the early 1960s, Cook helped to project radically new possibilities for architecture. For over half a century he has been a pivotal figure in the global architectural world. One of the most significant works from his time with Archigram, The Plug-In City, still holds the potential to invoke debates on technology and society to this day. His more recent works, including the Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria, have brought his ideas to a wider audience.
Peter Cook was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner at his studio in London in January 2022 just before the opening of Peter Cook’s exhibition City Landscapes at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark.
Camera: Kyle Stevenson
Edited by Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan
Produced by Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, C.L. Davids Fond og Samling and Fritz Hansen.
Louisiana Channel’s videos on architecture are supported by Dreyers Fond.
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