This May Clerkenwell will play host to surprising and delightful collaborations for the seventh edition of Clerkenwell Design Week. ‘CDW Presents’ will bring six specially commissioned public installations to the area, each in context and offering a fresh insight into design and materials. The Fringe, sponsored by Greene & Co, gives visitors a chance to explore the rich creativity within Clerkenwell, as local practices, businesses and organisations throw open their doors.
Integral to the festival’s success, the CDW Presents programme offers an insight into temporary architecture, materials and the use of public space. Partnering exciting architecture and design practices with suppliers of innovative products makes new connections and delivers inspiring results: free for all to experience, this is where CDW can flex its creative muscle to show new approaches and fresh ideas in key locations as part of the visitor experience.
St John’s Square will be home to the Museum of Making, a pavilion of making in Clerkenwell – across the past, present and future. The deconstructed Swedish barn designed by White Arkitekter, sponsored by EQUITONE, will host a selection of fascinating artefacts from Clerkenwell’s history as a centre for making and craftsmanship from the Museum of London; alongside a collection of tools for contemporary design. Contemporary design curator Pete Collard is responsible for all the content of the Museum of Making, and there will be workshops and demonstrations by The Goldsmiths’ Centre, Craft Central and ThomasMatthews, held in the pavilion so visitors can be hands-on with making and learning.
Structurally the pavilion references White Arkitekter’s Scandinavian roots, and is built from EQUITONE fibre cement façade materials. The panels are arranged in section to create an open yet sheltered space to bring people together. Vibrant blue and green panels on the Clerkenwell Road side represent the area’s contemporary creativity; while on the opposite side warm muted tones reflect brickwork and the history of craft and industry.The Museum of Making promises to be a living hub of creativity, as well as a salient reminder of Clerkenwell’s historic centre for making, commerce and craft.
Close by, within the archway of St John’s Gate, HakFolly will offer a space for rest and contemplation. Once the south entrance to the inner precinct of the Priory of the Knights of Saint John, architects FleaFolly have drawn on this monastic history, and worked with sponsors Hakwood to create a 4.5m high temple of stacked timber. This structure aims to provide visitors with a fleeting moment of calm within CDW.
FleaFolly were also inspired by their visit to the Hakwood factory in the Netherlands, where raw materials are stacked, and create unusual tiered structures. This stacked timber is transposed to the iconic archway, where the visitor can pass through the centre of the structure. Light filters through its body with a central aperture that will allow one to look up at the centre of the arch and its golden crest. The lower tiers of the structure will act as long benches to allow visitors to rest and reflect on their surroundings that are so often passed by quickly. The aim is to ensure, like an 18th Century Garden folly, that HakFolly is a little absurd, mad, and also delightful.
Billboards by Giles Miller Studio, sponsored by British Ceramic Tile will help guide the way through CDW for visitors this year. Taking shape as a series of installations, the component parts have been specially made in collaboration with British Ceramic Tile. With the new masterplan of Clerkenwell Design Week this year, wayfinding is of paramount importance to help keep the flow of visitors, and allow for each aspect to be explored: Billboards is a response to this at the heart of CDW.
London-based Giles Miller Studio has produced large abstract signage of square glass tiles. Each giant glass sculpture will be made of a different coloured tiles, arranged in a scale-like composition, that will then ‘open’ as visitors pass by, creating depth and life on each surface. The sculptural billboards will feature a ‘swoosh’, to evoke the movement of visitors from one destination to the next. Billboards will be positioned at strategic locations for wayfinding throughout CDW, while providing enchanting sculptures for all to enjoy.
Close by, in the Garden of St James, Surface Matter + Loll Designs present Lollygagger Living, in collaboration with Ella Doran, the installation provides the opportunity for visitors to lollygag; meaning ‘to recline or lean in a relaxed or indolent manner’. The bright and poppy furniture will give visitors the perfect place to relax. Manufactured with a material made of recycled milk jugs, the colourful installation champions sustainable design and pushing the boundaries of material use.
OMMX, the young team behind the new CDW masterplan, are also creating an installation at Design Fields, one of the new, key locations this year. Within the new space, OMMX will create two concept pavilions next to headline sponsor Renault’s presentation. The 6m tall scaffold structures will be cloaked in three tiers of layered fabric; one will function as a new portico and entrance point to the main venue, the other a pavilion for views across Design Fields, respite and shelter.
Last, but certainly not least, the Future of Design pavilion is CDW’s first education and community project. The project aims to inspire more young people to take up careers in engineering, architecture and design. The project was developed through a series of workshops run by Scale Rule, a local collective of architects and engineers, and supported by Clerkenwell’s AKII and Grimshaw. The project has been realised through the donation of material from Hanson Plywood Ltd. and the help of Library of Things. Visitors will find Future of Design pavilion in the Garden of St James, Clerkenwell.
With 25 partners this year, the CDW Fringe programme offers a multitude of events, from exhibitions and talks to installations and workshops as local businesses open their doors to CDW visitors. Fringe is sponsored by Greene & Co, the award winning local estate agency.
Clerkenwell is the centre of architecture in London, and this year will see ten practices opening their doors with a variety of offerings. Ash Sakula Architects will host events every evening, offering different perspectives on how people use space and connect to their surroundings, including a screening of ‘London Street Markets: Saving London’s Ancient Landmarks’. BDP will open their outdoor ‘Urban Oasis’ every day 10.00 – 18.00. Created especially for CDW with enhanced planting, sculptural shaping and a subtle soundscape, visitors can enter the vast reception area of this former brewery, which will be turned into an immersive light and sound experience. Also based by Brewhouse Yard, Studio Egret West will celebrate CDW with ‘Purple Patch’ an installation of seasonal flowers in their studio, to which visitors are invited to enter and take a conscious pause, reflecting on notions of creativity, being mindful that with change comes great responsibility.
Hamiltons Architects will run workshops everyday called ‘Be Our Architect Today’ and ‘Be Our Photographer Today’ that promise to be challenging and fun, to celebrate their 45 years in practice. Meanwhile CZWG will host an open studio art installation to celebrate its forty years in practice. Lipton Plant Architects will open their doors and invite visitors to join the weekly Design Review on Tuesday, as well as hosting two other talks. Further architecture practices opening their studios for debate and discussion include Hawkins\Brown, NBBJ and Publica, while Ben Adams Architects partner with SEA design for a walking tour around Clerkenwell.
During Clerkenwell Design Week, the Zaha Hadid Gallery will exhibit the Seamless Collection, which was Zaha Hadid’s exploration into a new language of design and architecture, fusing complex curvilinear geometries with detailed ergonomic research. Also presented will be the continually evolving exhibition of architecture models which includes the Beijing New Airport Terminal Building and the studio’s latest product designs. Scene, an accessible platform for promoting visual arts to a wider audience, will host ‘Process’, an exhibition that explores creative practice. Works from several artists and designers will be on show at the Dreamspace – the culmination of work over several months – including pieces made collaboratively with the public. Meanwhile Pilbrow and Partners, based in St John’s Square, will demonstrate ‘TRACE’, an interactive data visualisation project that for CDW is used to create an installation that re-imagines the city as a living organism of movement and human presence.
The London Metropolitan Archives, the public research centre, will show scenes of London’s Council Estates in Photographs, 1895 – 1975, and host a session on reinterpreting archives, with the Warner Textile Archive. Also looking at city life, Metro Imaging will show a series of double portraits by Anita Corbin of girls in subcultures inspired by the Punk movement. Meanwhile offbeat hairdresser Barber Streisand will exhibit original works from Manchester’s The Engine House, in their basement Monty’s Gallery.
Craft Central, held across two historic Victorian buildings, offers a chance to go ‘behind the scenes’ and explore the workshops of their renowned design community. Craft Central will also present Forest + Found within the Corner Shop, with live wood carving and natural dying from the design duo. More hands on daily workshops from paper makers Fedrigoni will allow visitors to enjoy the art of screen-printing, titled ‘Printing with Supermundane’, along with South East Print Studio and Supermundane. To keep track of the latest trends for 2016, head to TrendWatching for a series of talks, and try Sosharu, Jason Atherton’s new Japanese izakaya-style restaurant and bar within Clerkenwell’s Turnmill Building. Designed by Neri & Hu, the restaurant serves casual yet refined Japanese cuisine using UK seasonal ingredients, with interiors inspired by Japanese minka houses. Downstairs, 7 Tales cocktail captures the buzz of Tokyo after dark.
To keep abreast of the impact of political change on the architecture sector, head to the Brexit briefing, with UK Construction Week and World Architecture News, at Grimshaw Architects offices on Thursday morning.
William Knight, Clerkenwell Design Week, Show Director said:
“This year we have a fantastic range of participants in the Fringe, that all contributes to the rich experience of visiting Clerkenwell during CDW, and is testament to the area’s creativity. The public spaces explored by CDW Presents act as vibrant embodiments of this creativity, to welcome visitors and to invite them to engage directly with one-off projects”