Preview: London Festival Of Architecture 2012

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 68 months ago
Preview: London Festival Of Architecture 2012

The biennial celebration of all things architectural returns to London this month. This year's theme is 'the playful city', and concerns itself with how London has responded to the challenge of welcoming the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As is habitual, the festival corrals together a great number of events, some of them one-off specific happenings, others thematically linked. The sheer number means things often get lost, but here are some of our recommendations. See the festival's website for full details.

The reUNION: If you can get past the clumsy name, this should be one of the highlights. It's a pop-up pub in Union Street, Southwark, in the same plot of land that has previously housed a Lido and the Urban Orchard. The pub is being knocked up by experimental practice EXYZT; in fact they're in need of able-bodied beerhounds to help build it this week, so get in contact if you can help.

London In 2050: A vision of the city's future, in this breakfast talk architects and planners will discuss how London will look 38 years from now. The talk takes place at the Walbrook Building on 22 June from 8am (free; registration required), while an exhibition of images of possible London futures runs at the same venue until September.

London Pleasure Gardens: As Coleridge almost wrote: In Royal Docks did Kulba Khan / A stately pleasure-garden decree. A mark of the area's burgeoning regeneration, the Pleasure Gardens comprise a range of architectural interventions, including a Pleasure Pool and an Oyster Bar. Runs throughout the festival (and for two years thereafter).

E20 Bike Tour:
A pedal-powered tour round the E20 postcode and the hinterland of the Olympic Park, led by Tim Abrahams, author of The Stadium. Takes place on June 24th. Tickets cost £5.

Electric Pedals Cycle Cinema: Don the Lycra and pump some leg for your evening's entertainment at this bike-powered cinema, located in a park just off Tower Bridge Road. The film will be decided on the evening, but given the sensitivity of the subject, it's unlikely to be Bicycle Thieves. 23 June, free.

Flyover Makeover: The Hammersmith Flyover has been patched up, though how long the creaking structure will last is anybody's guess. With that in mind, this event looks at ways of giving the flyover a makeover, and local residents and architects will discuss the possibilities for the future, including the mooted 'flyunder'. Lyric Square, Hammersmith, 23 June. Free.

Walking Tour: The Developing City: An architectural tour around Southwark, led by Blue Badge guides, pointing out the area's historic buildings and future developments. 24 June, tickets cost £12.

London's Underused Rooftops: Haptic Architects will use the roof of their studio space near King's Cross to "speculates on the future of London's underused rooftops". There'll be a midnight party on 6 July.

Photo / D A Scott

Last Updated 19 June 2012