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 London Festival of Architecture 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 art 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
Eva Jiricna: Boundaries without Boundaries
Architect Eva Jiřičná will talk about her work in the context of this year’s London Festival of Architecture 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.
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 traversed through taster life drawing sessions and curator John Leslie will lead spotlight tours of the Anish Kapoor art 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 during the London Festival of Architecture. 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 commissioned 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.’
3 June – 6 July
RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD
Whitechapel Bell Foundry
Architecture studio 31/44 is behind the redevelopment of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry and will host an art 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
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.
3 – 14 June, 11am – 5pm
Anise Gallery, 13a Shad Thames London SE1 2PU
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 an organisation by the Museum of Architecture. Conceived as an ‘immersive room wrapped with an ornamented dress’, it 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
Stay with us to learn more about the London Festival of Architecture and more!