Previous Liverpool Art Biennials have been hit-and-miss affairs, but embracing as they do a wide variety of venues in the city, they can explore the interaction of architecture and art in pertinent ways. This year's event, running from 16 September to 26 November ( www. biennial. com), sees the opening of a new permanent exhibition complex called Greenland Street, which brings together three former industrial buildings - the Coach Shed, the Furnace and the Blade Factory.
With so much emphasis of late on installations and three-dimensional work, such industrial sites are now very popular with artists and curators. The touchstone has to be Dia: Beacon - the huge old Nabisco factory by the Hudson River, north of New York, housing long-term installations by the likes of Judd, Flavin and Serra (AJ 12.06.03). That was left relatively raw in adaptation to its new role, which has been Union North's approach with the big shed-like spaces at Greenland Street. Meanwhile, Office for Subversive Architecture has built a temporary pavilion on the roof of the Blade Factory - the first in a series of annual commissions there ( www. afoundation. org. uk).
The complex opens with a large-scale installation by Polish artist Goshka Macuga and If-Untitled Architects. Macuga's London show in 2003 took the Soane Museum as its point of departure; this new work, inuenced by Expressionist films, comprises 'elevated walkways, a complex of corridors, hidden rooms and antechambers' (above). Other biennial artists with architectural or urban interests are Jun Jang (a film on 'urban utopias'), Toba Khedoori (large-scale detail drawings) and Julianne Swartz (a sound work in Tate Liverpool).
Spread like the Liverpool Biennial over multiple venues, this year's London Design Festival is imminent, with 100% Design (Earl's Court, 21-24 September) and 100% East (Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, 21-24 September) among the main events. One promising show is Making Spaces, which focuses on 'good quality public space' in the City, including projects by Foster & Partners (surely not Swiss Re? ) and Eric Parry Architects. It's at 30 Spital Square, EC1, from 15 September to 26 October ( www. londondesignfestival. com).
For forthcoming events visit www. ajplus. co. uk/diary