The Great Architectural Bake-Off

What’s on at this year’s London Festival of Architecture

Architecture International Urbanism
(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)
(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

The 2016 editionof London’s yearly architecture festival, themed “Community,” will boast more than 200 events including talks, conferences, open studios exhibitions, and installations.

Curated by director Tamsie Thomson, the festival focuses on the relationship between London’s growth and the housing crisis, immigration, climate change, and technology. Having been running for just less than a week, AN takes a look at the highlights.

Open Studios

June 9-12: Studio McleodRIBA Incubator Open Studio and Farrells

June 16-19: SCABALAckroyd + AssociatesOrdinary ArchitecturevPPR and Publica

June 23-26: GrimshawAllford Hall Monaghan MorrisJohn McAslan + Partners and Cullinan Studio


Man About The House

(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

Playing at numerous venues of architectural significance across the capital, Australian comedian Tim Ross and musician Kit Warhurst’s performances will to showcase the value of interacting with architectural heritage. Locations vary from Ernö Goldfinger’s Modernist dwelling in Hampstead Heath (James Bond writer Ian Fleming loathed the house so much he based a villain on the architect) to Australia House on the Strand.

Best to hurry as tickets for this are selling out fast but can be purchased here.

Homes Not Houses: Putting Wellbeing First
June 9

Public think tank The Legatum Institute‘s Architecture of Prosperity program will inaugurate their Housing the Mind publication with a panel discussion. The discussion will address: “How do we design new homes or regenerate in a way that maximizes individual prosperity? Are the economics of new housing developments trumping community wellbeing?” Urban housing study group Create Streets will also be in attendance to launch their latest piece of research that analysis the connection between specific components of the built environment and measurable wellbeing.

More details can be found here.



Futuro: 1960s Design Principles Today
June 9

Visit Finnish architect Matti Suuronen’s space-age dwelling, The Futuro House, faithfully restored and located on Central St. Martins’ rooftop. A discussion will look at the innovative principles of ’60s spatial design and what relevancy they have today in a world dominated by technology.

More details can be found here.

The Great Architectural Bake-off
June 11

(Courtesy RIBA)

(Courtesy RIBA)

Local architects, engineers, and designers are invited to join in the festival fun by constructing distinctive, edible recreations of iconic buildings in The Great Architectural Bake-Off. Proof, that this event is worthwhile will be in the pudding.

More details can be found here.

Papers: Festival of the Art & Architecture of the Refugee Crisis
June 12

A diverse array of people including refugee artists, musicians, poets, chefs and builders will engage in talks on the creative and urban culture which born out of Europe’s refugee camps taking place at the Barbican throughout the day.

More details can be found here.

Nairn’s Journeys + Interview with Jonathan Meades
June 13

Screenings of some of British architecture critic Ian Nairn’s documentaries showcase unique critique and advocacy of placemaking within the built environment. The films will be followed by a discussion between Jonathan Meades and Douglas Murphy on architecture and television.

More details can be found here.

Affordable for Whom? Role of the Architect in the Housing Crisis
June 14

In line with the Royal Institute of Architects’ (RIBA) exhibition At Home in Britain: Designing the House of Tomorrow Dick van Gameren of Mecanoo, Jamie Fobert and Ken Baikie of Peabody discuss what can be learnt Europe in relation to the British obsession with homeownership.

More details can be found here.

Creative Discipline
June 17

How is new housing made and paid for? Should we aspire to own it, or is there another way? Bored of events tackling tough questions on the housing crisis? Fear not, this drop-in session run by London architecture firm SCABAL will feature a board game to help those in need. Participants will contribute to the game’s creation and be able to spend the day asking and answering questions.

More details can be found here.

Open Garden Estates
June 18-19

(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

Take a tour of the social housing estates across London that are currently endangered by developers, local authorities and housing associations. The weekend-long event offers a rare glimpse into the public and private gardens of residents while providing insight into how the estates’s have impacted their lives. Talks from architects gardeners and residents will also be on offer. Best to take this chance before the Housing and Planning Bill comes to fruition….

More details can be found here.

The Hive
June 18 – November 30

Rising 55 feet, The Hive will be glowing with a myriad of LED lights that respond to changes in its environment. The multi-sensory aluminum structure will plunge visitors into chaotic life of bees using lighting and soundscapes that react to sensors placed inside a real bee hive.

The Hive is an award-winning design by British artist Wolfgang Buttress, which was the creative interpretation of the theme ‘feeding the planet, energy for life’ for the World Expo 2015 in Milan (1 May to 31 October). From June 2016, it will be re-imagined in the setting of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

More details can be found here.

The House
June 24

(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

This specially-commissioned spectacle marking the 400th anniversary of The Queen’s House, and its forthcoming reopening this year featuring dance, digital projection, music, narration and pyrotechnics. The production will bring together the talents of BAFTA award-winning video artist Tal Rosner, Olivier award-winner Sharon D. Clarke, multi award-winning composer Dan Jones, boundary breaking Avant Garde Dance, and German outdoor theatre company Pan.

More details can be found here.

The People Build
June 25

(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

(Courtesy the London Architecture Festival via Goodfellow Communications)

Courtesy of French artist Olivier Grossetête, audiences will be able to watch and take part as temporary structures are erected from the ground through the power of the people at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Watch a time-lapse of how the event panned out in Norwich two years ago.

More details can be found here.

Concrete at the Crossroads
June 26

With an introduction from Joseph Watson, London Creative Director of the National Trust, Britain’s post-war townscapes are explored in three films featuring Basil Spence, Patrick Nuttgens and Jonathan Meades

More details can be found here.



Architecture: You Ask the Questions
June 27

Razia Iqbal of the BBC chairs the headline panel discussion for this years festival. The discussion will address housing, infrastructure and heritage, to the pressures shaping London’s skyline and the city’s development over the next few years.

More details can be found here.

Knoc’d ’em in the Old Kent Road
June 28

Frowned upon for being the cheapest street on the Monopoly Board, Old Kent Road has now been declared an opportunity area, but for whom and for what? If a talk on Peckham’s possibilities doesn’t entice you enough, then a “spontaneous” kazoo choir playing the classic music hall song “knock’d ‘em in the Old Kent Road” most definitely will.

More details can be found here.

Solid Timber House / Vertical Timber City
June 28

The Solid Timber House / Vertical Timber City conference looks beyond the various individual tall timber structures emerging around the globe to the next logical development in the application of advanced timber technology: that of whole urban districts built to increasing heights & density in which engineered timber products are utilised to create truly sustainable autarkic (energy self-sufficient) communities.

More details can be found here.

Open City and the London Housing Crisis
June 30

How can London build the homes required to house its ever-growing population? Should we be thinking of homes in terms of volume rather than floor area? Does every apartment really need a balcony? In short, how can we accommodate the spatial needs of London’s residents without compromising quality of life?

More details can be found here.

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