Our Pick Of This Year's London Festival Of Architecture

By M@ Last edited 107 months ago
Our Pick Of This Year's London Festival Of Architecture


The annual London Festival of Architecture rolls around again next month. As ever, the programme is more weighty than a reinforced, lead-lined brick-shithouse, with some 220 architectural events and places to visit. To compound matters the organisers haven't done a very good job of setting out the details on their website, with key information such as cost and ticket availability hidden on a second (and better) website, which might well shift you onto a third party website for booking. That's architects for you. We better pick out a few highlights.

Talks and stuff

DRONES: Find out how new technology, like drones and improved time-lapse photography, is changing our views of buildings and the city. 2 June, £10

FIRST SKYSCRAPER: One of the last chances to get a look inside 55 Broadway (the titular first skyscraper) before it gets knocked into apartments. Oliver Green describes the building's fascinating history. We suspect this'll be sold out by the time you click through. 9 June, £15

PLANNING: Simon Thurley (who's looking preternaturally young in his biog photo) delivers the Wren lecture at St Bride's church, on the history of masterplanning in London... from Wren to Abercrombie. 10 June, £10

IS WORK KILLING YOU? A talk on workplace design. Cubicle or open plan? Are there other ways to work? A panel discusses at Roca Gallery. Look out for other talks about the working environment throughout the programme. 17 June, FREE

BATTERSEA POWER STATION: The past, present and future of the landmark are discussed at the development's viewing platform. Plus you get a chance to look at some architectural models of the redevelopment. 24 June, FREE (by lottery draw - email battersealfa@carocommunications.com to enter)

LONG GOOD FRIDAY: A Hackney Wick screening of the superb Bob Hoskins film about Docklands regeneration. The event's called 'Planning in the Pub' but doesn't seem to involve a pub. Confusing. 26 June, £5

LEGO: If you want to sell out an event, get the toy bricks involved. Here, four of the UK's top architectural practices battle it out at the Royal Academy to form the most impressive plastic erections. 28 June, free with a ticket to the Summer Exhibition, which also includes an architecture room curated by Ian Ritchie.

ARTS CENTRES: Plenty of London's artistic centres are currently undergoing expansion (witness the never-ending build of Tate Modern's extension). This talk at the Barbican looks at the whys and wherefores. 29 June, £8


UGLY: These theatrical tours of London come under the eye-catching title of The Ugliest Buildings in London. The blurb suggests you'll get a much more rounded critique of the built environment. Various dates, £15

ART MEETS ARCHITECTURE: A tour of the Square Mile, picking out some of the more artistic tidbits. 7 June, £11.25

WOODBERRY DOWN: A huge regeneration scheme near Stoke Newington, creating 5,500 new homes. Read this excellent piece from the Guardian, then go on this tour to find out more. 9 June, FREE

PAVING: Ever thought about the stones you walk on? This seemingly dull topic is brought to life in a tour of interesting and historic paving. May include bonus railings and bollards. 11 June, £8

HOLDEN: Explore the tube stations of Charles Holden, on this jaunt along the Piccadilly Line. 13/20 June, £10

ROUTEMASTER: Hop on a bus and let architecture writer Peter Murray take you round the West End. And, here's the thing: the driver is TfL supremo Sir Peter Hendy (cue jokes about abolishing the Hendy Bus). 22 June, one hundred of your finest pounds!


BARBICAN: Discover the history of the brutalist estate and arts centre at a long-running exhibition in situ. 25 May-29 November, FREE

FUTURE: How can the city of the future be made more liveable? Explore some ideas at Foyles main store on Charing Cross Road. 29 May-5 July, FREE

10 BEST BUILDINGS OF THE LAST 10 YEARS: Self explanatory exhibition at New London Architecture. Unlikely to include the Walkie Talkie. And we can't find a link to more info. 1-30 June, FREE

BRUTALIST PLAYGROUND: A large exhibition-cum-installation at RIBA (Portland Place) looks at the spaces beneath brutalist buildings. Look out for the talk on council estates on 23 June. 10 June-14 August, FREE


GIANT DOLLS' HOUSE: Go to Shelter on Old Street. Grab a shoebox. Make a model room. Watch as the completed boxes are assembled into a giant house. 1-10 June, FREE

IRISH DESIGN: The festival has a strand all about architecture and design in Ireland. A good place to start is the two temporary structures to be installed in Lewis Cubitt Square, King's Cross, where you'll find talks, performances and exhibitions. Look out for other Irish-themed talks and walks throughout the festival. 1-24 June, FREE

WALTHAMSTOW: This rapidly changing area, where all our friends seem to be buying houses, is the focus of some kind of mapping project to identify community assets and then stick QR codes around them to help tell stories. Not sure we understand. See what you think. 14 June, FREE

That's just a taster. Explore the programme for more ideas, including 62 open architectural studios. You can also look forward to a Londonist-set architecture quiz, in partnership with Nine Elms on the Southbank. More details soon.

London Festival of Architecture, 1-30 June 2015.

Last Updated 13 May 2015