What to see at London Festival of Architecture 2019
The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) returns for its 15th edition between 1 and 30 June, this year centred on the theme of ‘boundaries’. From a virtual reality swing and a séance at Pitzhanger Manor, to debates on emergency housing and co-designing, tours of Peckham Levels and the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, as well as exhibitions on Brexit and happiness – this year’s LFA has it all. Here, we make an edit of the 400 plus events to help you explore the architectural topics closest to the hearts of Londoners today...
Yinka Ilori: Types of happiness
Flying a flag of optimism through patterns and colour, artist Yinka Ilori brings London ‘16 different types of happiness’ through different pieces of furniture that ‘explore the art of sitting down’ in an exhibition at StudioRCA. The exhibition is inspired by his design for an underpass in Nine Elms – his first public commission which he won by competition. Ilori’s graphic and colourful work is being splashed across the city this summer – he has also designed the Dulwich Pavilion in collaboration with Pricegore, opening in June for the London Festival of Architecture.
1 – 23 June, 12:00 – 18:00
StudioRCA, 1 Riverlight Quay, Nine Elms Ln, London SW8 5AU
Responding to rising homelessness in the UK, Morris+Company host a panel discussion on the ‘Housing First’ strategy designed to supply social and truly affordable housing, and the need for emergency accomodation in London. While typical housing standards may not apply to temporary homes, what are the non-negotiables, needs and desires for those who will live there? Should London be building temporary homes for the homeless?
13 June, 6:30-8:30pm
Morris+Company, Unit 8, 16-24 Underwood St, London N1 7JQ
Eva Jiricna: Boundaries without Boundaries
Architect Eva Jiřičná will talk about her work in the context of this year’s LFA theme ‘Boundaries’. She will speak about her use of glass and metal across her work in projects at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Canada Water Bus Station and Leicester Library. The Czech born architect has been based in London since 1968 – she worked on the Brighton Marina project and on the Lloyd’s Building before establishing her own practice in 1982. Photography: Ivan Nemec
6 June, 7 – 9pm
Czech Embassy Cinema, 26 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY
Late at Pitzhanger
Explore the boundaries of the real and imagined at Sir John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor recently restored by Jestico + Whiles. Visitors will be ushered into the ‘The Unbuilt Room’, a concept by artist Seth Kriebe that is part séance, part game and part theatrical performance. Time will be tranversed through taster life drawing sessions and curator John Leslie will lead spotlight tours of the Anish Kapoor exhibition.
28 June, 6:30-10pm
Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, Mattock Lane, Ealing, London W5 5EQ
Volo: Dreams of Flight
A virtual reality swing adventure by Studio Go Go is taking place in four locations in the City of London. This entails wearing a VR headset and sitting on a swing, while being transported through virtual reality through a dream-like experience. The interactive installation has been inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machines, his studies of flight, and the effects of gravity. This is the first public commission for Studio Go Go, a 21st-century ride design company, which has been commisisoned by The City of London and Culture Mile and made possible with support from Arts Council England and Middlesex University.
18 – 22 June, 11am – 7pm
Venues across the City of London
Momentto timber pavilion
At the Oxo Tower Wharf courtyard, a pavilion designed by five Nottingham University graduates – Jennifer Ge, Binhan Wang, Yue Ying, Mandy Hong and Jiaxin Wu – will form three-dimensional spaces out of two-dimensional illusions. The space has been designed to make passersby question the perceived volumes of objects and divert their path to slow down and explore the city. After its stint at the Oxo, the pavilion will move to R-Urban Poplar in London for a two-week workshop for students on ‘designing, building and choreographing a set of tools for performative city-making.’ And, in late July, it will crop up at the Tate Modern.
1 – 30 June, 8am – 8pm
Courtyard at Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9NH
Above and Beyond – a new installation by Etcetera Studio
A new installation at RIBA Portland Place plays ‘on the notion of illusionary assemblies’ and provides ‘clues for the visitor and allowing them to imagine a space where alternative futures may be possible’ – it’s all very mysterious. The form designed an conceptualised by Etcetera Studio, the collaborative practice of architect Tom Parsons and artist Edward Crooks, lifts from Sir Edwin Lutyens’ Cenotaph, a war memorial on Whitehall in London unveiled 100 years ago to the public, which ‘traces the arc of a sphere 100m below the earth and tapers to a point 300m into the sky.’ Image courtesy of Etcetera Studio
3 June – 6 July
RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD
Expanding Cultural Boundaries – a tour of Peckham with Carl Turner Architects
Exploring how cultural spaces in cities break down boundaries, Carl Turner Architects lead a tour of the creative neighbourhood of Peckham where they have been working on two projects designed as platforms for employment and education opportunities for local people. The architects will lead participants on a ‘backstage’ tour of Peckham Levels and the Mountview Academy telling the full story of how the projects began and their impact on the community.
26 June 2019, 4 – 6pm
Peckham Levels, Level 6, Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Lane, SE15 4ST
Blurring boundaries between inhabiting, designing, and making
A creative panel – Anthony Meacock, Assemble, Johanna Gibbons, landscape architect, Takeshi Hayatsu, architect, Jenny Dunn, artist, and Eric Guibert, gardener architect – will present a series of case studies that explore co-design and co-making. Each of the contributors have a practice that blurs the boundaries that our modern world has placed upon deisgn, making and living, which chair Kester Rattenbury will discuss the qualities and challenges of after the discussion. Image courtesy of Assemble
6 June, 6:30 – 9:15pm
University of Westminster – Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS
Whitechapel Bell Foundry
Architecture studio 31/44 is behind the redevelopment of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and will host an exhibition, site tour and short talk illuminating the site’s history with drawings, images and large-scale models. Now its bell founding has been relocated outside of London, the opportunity arose to open up the storied site to the public and 31/44 have been hatching plans for its future use.
13 June, 4–8pm
Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Whitechapel E1 1EW
Manhattan Loft Corporation X SOM Talk
Harry Handelsman, founder and CEO of Manhattan Loft Corporation, and Kent Jackson, Design Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), will discuss the ambitious vision of designing a vertical community and changing perceptions of high-rise living on the cantilevered 25th floor sky garden at Manhattan Loft Gardens. Photography: Luke Hayes
18 June, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Manhattan Loft Gardens, 20 International Way Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, E20 1GQ
Every Building on the Old Kent Road 2019
Anise Gallery and Matthew White curate a photographic documentation of the Old Kent Road as a homage to Ed Ruscha’s ‘Every Building on the Sunset Strip 1966’. Photographs will be taken from a moving truck, then stitched together in post-production and displayed as an elevation of the full 1.8 miles on either side of the road. The project will trace the Old Kent Road’s long-evolving cultural and architectural history. Image: Matthew White
3 – 14 June, 11am – 5pm
Anise Gallery, 13a Shad Thames London SE1 2PU
The Quintessential English Garden: what does it mean to be native?
In Cabot Square between the high-rise offices of Canary Wharf, Lily Jencks Studio hosts a pop-up garden based on the neo-classical gardens of Stourhead, a National Trust property in Wiltshire. Comparing people to plants, Jencks questions what it means to be global, transient and non-native. The playful garden juxtaposes the native with the exotic and the natural with the man-made through the concept of the English ‘picturesque’.
10 June – 12 July
Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QT
SODA studio and learning network YCN explore the symbiotic relationship between architecture and graphic design in this evening of discussion and debate. Questions of how graphic identities are designed into buildings and how branding is often part of early concept discussions will be explored by speakers including Russell Potter, director, SODA, Joy Nazzari, dn&co, Martyn Evans, U+I and Morag Myerscough. Photography: Oneworks
11 June, 6 – 8pm
YCN Rivington Rooms, 58-60 Rivington St, Hackney, EC2A 3AU
House of Leave, House of Remain
Exploring the boundaries between people generated by the Brexit referendum debate, this installation, designed by Przemek Rylko, forces visitors to choose a ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ entrance to the space contained inside a domed rotunda. A twisting bench with a ‘Leave’ and a ‘Remain’ end asks visitors to become partners instead of opponents in the debate – instead of for or against, the installation is about establishing common ground – a first step towards transcending divsions. Image: Przemek Rylko
15 – 30 June, 10am – 6pm
UCL at Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E15 2GW
The Wooden Parliament
An open-air wooden pavilion by Spanish architects Cristina Díaz Moreno and Efrén Ga Grinda of the Madrid-based practice AMID.cero9 in collaboration with BAC ecg / evolve structural consultants will be popping up in Kings Cross. The 7m high structure is made with timber from Spanish timber company Finsa, which supported the project, in collaboration with Coal Drops Yard, with organisation by the Museum of Architecture. Conceived as an ‘immersive room wrapped with an ornamented dress’, is seeks to show the way architecture can serve as a mediator in public space. The Museum of Architecture will be hosting events in the pavilion for the duration of the LFA.
3 – 30 June
Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AA