London festival

Launch of the London Festival of Architecture 2021

The 2021 London Architecture Festival is upon us. Returning in its 17th year, the beloved annual architectural summer celebration is anchored this year on the issue of ‘care’ – and rightly so, given the wealth of old and new challenges that the ongoing pandemic has brought to light. . Responding to changing world needs and Covid-induced restrictions in the UK capital, while celebrating London architecture, the festival this year combines a program of physical and digital events to ensure there is something for everyone tastes. Topics range from the relationship between art and architecture, and London’s architectural icons, to pressing issues of climate change, diversity and inclusion in the industry and beyond – you will be introduced to in the form of a film, a lecture, an installation and a tour, and everything in between. Here is our selection of events not to be missed.

30 objects 30 days

For the second year of the initiative, the organizers of the London Festival of Architecture asked 30 key industry figures to “nominate an object that they believe best represents this year’s festival theme, ‘care’ and ‘Architecture’ and share a video explaining why ‘. The result will be broadcast as a video every day in June – the first three are produced by the multidisciplinary studio Projects Office; space designer Betty Owoo; and architect Steve McCloy of McCloy + Muchemwa.

June 1-30

House fronts

Image: Huren Marsh

Addressing the ever-pressing housing problem, this north London installation examines the legacy of social housing in London’s Haringey district “through a series of 30 black and white photographs of housing that reflect a societal sense of” care. ” Scheduled to remain open throughout June at the Hornsey Library, this event explores its subject matter while initiating a discussion about housing in the UK capital and beyond.

June 1-30, 6 am-11:45pm

City benches

Photography: Agnese Sanvito

From a giant teacup to a wave made from recyclable materials, the winners of the annual City Benches competition have just been announced by the London Festival of Architecture 2021. Fun, imaginative and engaging, the structures were selected for their functionality that offers valuable seating space in the City of London, as well as for their ability to make us smile. Part of the festival’s hybrid program this year, which covers both physical and digital events, the benches are a summer staple that pops up on the streets of Cheapside every year and, for the first time in 2021, Aldgate.

June 1-30

Illuminated river

Illuminated river, from London Bridge to Lambeth Bridge. Image: Léo Villaréal

Created by New York artist Leo Villareal, London architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Atelier Ten, Illuminated river is a free and open art installation on and around London bridges. Now, especially for the festival, Atelier Ten has created a PDF map of the installation with further information and interesting facts around each section, so that visitors can use it to visit and appreciate the work of ‘art.

June 1-30

Modeling workshop – Molding materials and silicone molds

Photography: Armor Gutierrez Rivas

Atelier La Juntana and 4D Modelshop, with the support of Axalta Powder Coatings, lead this one-day workshop on model making. Have you always wanted to learn more about the techniques of producing stunning architectural models? Or are you an experienced model maker looking to hone your skills? This is the event for you, tackling various methods including the use of silicone molds and casting materials. The workshop will take place virtually.

June 26, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Lego RA Challenge

The RA Lego Architecture Challenge is open to architectural firms as well as the general public, and contestants are invited to show off their creations using the beloved architectural toy to build a “Caring City”. The facilities can be built from the comfort of your own home and can be as large or as small as you want.

June 18-25

“One building, one body” – an architectural tour of the Royal College of Physicians

Photograph: Hufton + Crow, 2014

It wouldn’t be the London Festival of Architecture without visiting some of the capital’s most beloved landmarks. This tour takes visitors through the halls of the Royal College of Physicians. This iconic piece of Modernist architecture, designed in 1958 by architect Denys Lasdun, should spark conversations about how design “takes care” of its occupants and its history.

June 17

Signstrokes – Architectural terminology and sign language

Image: Adolfs Kristapsons and Chris Laing

Signstrokes is a language project by Adolfs Kristapsons and Chris Laing that deals with sign language and its role in architecture. “Deaf people are not new to architecture as a practice, but face significant hurdles as the profession’s sign language vocabulary is not standardized and lacks breadth / complexity,” say -they.

June 28, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Architecture in the oven

Photography: Agnese Sanvito

Architecture, creativity, games and cakes; there is nothing not to love about the architectural cooking of the festival. The much-loved event returned in 2021 in a hybrid form, blending physical and digital cuisine with ambitious architecture and collaboration, and inviting everyone to participate in a delicious icon creation. Ready, stable, cook!

June 2-6

The London Society School of Architecture

Image: RE-SET-GO

A series of three lectures during the festival will form the basis of this year’s School of Architecture, an initiative of the London Society that aims to open up architecture and the discussion around it to all. Events will focus on presentations and discussions on nonprofit design and the effect it has on our urban space, democracy and infrastructure. Speakers include architects Dinah Bornat and Nisha Kurian, and architectural historian Neal Shasore.

June 3, 10 and 17, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The People’s Pavilion – Caring about co-design

Launched mid-festival, this interactive installation is designed by young people but is open to everyone. The show celebrates the designs submitted for the People’s Pavilion’s inaugural design competition: “a powerful demonstration of why we need to make sure everyone has a voice in creating the built environment.” The People’s Pavilion is an open community space that will be created by young Londoners later this summer.

June 14-30

What is Net Zero Carbon?

A window installation throughout the summer, “What is Net Zero Carbon?” Is the brainchild of architectural firms Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Thomas Matthews. “An overwhelming majority of UK citizens do not know what the term ‘net zero carbon’ really means,” the team says. “This colorful installation aims to demystify the mystery, taking the audience on the journey to understand why the planet is warming, what we are aiming for and how collectively we can reduce our impact on the environment.”

June 1-August 31, 6 am-11pm

We do not care?

Image: AWMA / Squire and partners

This installation – located at the headquarters of architecture studio Squire & Partners, The Department Store, in Brixton – focuses on the idea of ​​caring for the community. What does care mean in this context? The play is hosted by the studio in collaboration with AWMA. It combines work collected through an open call for applications and an installation inspired by prayer flags.

June 1-30

Perfect Spaces: Paintings by Ben Johnson at the V&A Virtual Gallery

For this year’s festival, the V&A partnered with Make Architects to launch the Vault of Contemporary Art (VCA). The inaugural show of this virtual space zooms in on the work of artist Ben Johnson, experienced through 12 digital pavilions accessible via a dedicated website. The show is located in the virtually transformed John Madejski Garden on the grounds of the South Kensigton Museum.

June 16-September 1

The Davidson Prize

The Davidson Award finalists, clockwise from top right: HomeForest by HomeForest (Haptic Architects, Squint / Opera, LionHeart and Jingyuan Meng); Com-View-Nism by New Normal; The Antipode by Origin 3 Studio

This event features a virtual exhibit of shortlisted nominations, finalists and winners of the Davidson First Prize – the gong set in memory of Alan Davidson, the pioneer of architectural visualizations. Created around the Work / Home theme, the designs address issues such as working from home, impact on the community, biophilia and modernization. Nominations were judged by a panel including Alison Brooks, Thomas Heatherwick, Michelle Ogundehin, Narinder Sagoo and Sonia Solicari.

June 9-30