The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) is 10 years old and its role within the UK architectural scene is growing. The annual, city-wide festival features over 150 activities taking place throughout June 2014. This year’s theme CAPITAL provides the framework for the festival to explore London in its role as a major architectural capital, covering culture, people, the economy and the environment.
The LFA is delivered through a programme of events organised by London’s leading cultural and academic institutions – including the Royal Academy of Arts, Design Museum, Serpentine Galleries and National Trust – as well as associated projects by architects, artists, designers and curators.
Under the stewardship of its new Chair, Patricia Brown, the LFA reflects London as a focus of international architectural practice. The Capital is a melting-pot of talent and diversity – from both the UK and the global community – and LFA 2014 provides the opportunity to showcase this to the public, as well as generating debate and engagement with the profession. Issues covered in-depth by this year’s festival will include housing and tall buildings, with events and activities designed to put these subjects on the political agenda.
Headline events include:
- A major public debate about the quality of London’s changing skyline at the LSE
- A landmark debate at King’s Place on the future of housing
- The first talk dedicated to Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge
- An architectural LEGO battle, held at the Royal Academy
- A collection of pavilions popping up over the city, including the House of Muses at the Museum of London, the AA Rainforest installation by GUN architects and the Serpentine Summer Pavilion by Smiljan Radic
- A host of talks, debates, film screenings, family activities, exhibitions, architectural evenings and more
- Visitors can explore the city on over 45 guided tours by bus, bicycle and on foot, and from the top of some of London’s tallest buildings
As well as one-off events, the festival will also feature a range of headline projects such as:
- Open Studios, with a series of activities and events coordinated by RIBA London and architects in Shoreditch and Fitzrovia.
- The International Architecture Showcase, curated by the British Council, which will bring ten London-based and ten international architects from Austria, Chile, Denmark, Estonia, Iran, Latvia, Nigeria, South Africa, Taiwan and Uganda together in a series of residencies that will explore the influence of émigré architecture on London; culminating in a series of celebratory events on 21 June 2014.
- The Death and Life of Great London High Streets, a series of guided visits and discussions of recently completed projects funded by the Mayor of London that present practical ways to reinvigorate our high streets.
LFA Chair, Patricia Brown, says that:
“London is seen as one of the key cultural hotspots in the world but, so far, architecture is not readily viewed with the same significance as, say, the arts, theatre, film or music. The festival and its activities help to reveal the contribution of architects and the ‘ecology’ of professions working within the built environment to the cultural landscape of the UK.
Moreover, many in the profession are leading the way on projects that have real impact on the quality of life of Londoners and their experience of the capital.”