[LFA RECOMMENDED] With the Olympics only two years away this year’s London Festival of Architecture, themed ‘The Welcoming City’, offers a little preview of what’s to come in 2012: if London’s planners and architects can pull off a great LFA, then hopefully a spectacular Olympics will follow
While some of this year’s top-billed events appear a bit lacklustre for our taste, the LFA fringe have really pulled out all the stops with some brilliant events – there’s a whole host of projects more interested in getting people involved instead of simply showing up to look at something pretty: surely a good thing. So get out, show your support for architecture in the Capital and get involved. Email us your news, views and pictures from LFA to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the next fortnight the AJ will be recommending LFA events that are not to be missed as well as giving you the lowdown on what’s gone on so far. Get your diaries out - here’s your first six.
1) Rafael Vinoly Lecture
24 June 19:00 - 21:00, free, but ticketed Southwark Cathedral, SE1
One of the biggest lectures of the LFA sees Rafael Vinoly talk about his two latest London projects, Battersea Power Station and No: 20 Fenchurch Street aka ‘the Walkie Talkie’. Given his jet-set status, expect also to hear about his international projects as well as about aspects of his lifelong career in architecture.
2) Architectural Design 80th Anniversary
29 June 10am-4.30pm, £10 RIBA
Architectural Design celebrate their eightieth anniversary with an all-day seminar at the RIBA. Featuring speakers such as Peter Murray, Sir Peter Cook, Charles Jencks, Beatriz Colomina to discuss the 60s, 70s and 80s and Patrick Schumacher, Michael Weinstock and Mark Burry to discuss the 90s, 00s and beyond.
3) The Union Street Urban Orchard
19 June - 4 July 9:00 - 17:00, free 100 Union Street, SE1
The site at 100 Union Street is something of a lucky charm. The success of one of the highlights of the 2008 LFA - EXYZT’s Southwark Lido – should be repeated this year with the Urban Orchard (pictured), a collaboration between the Architecture Foundation and Bankside Open Spaces Trust and designed by landscape architect, Heather Ring of the Wayward Plant Registry. The space is a bit ramshackle but completely wonderful with something for everyone: a plant exchange, workshops on urban food growing, a skip-turned table tennis table, tire swings, and, of course, a tea shed.
4) The Oikos Project
9 June - 30 September 9:00 - 17:00, free Malborough Playground. Union St, SE1
If all the looking at architecture makes you want to get stuck in, head down to The Oikos Project where Berlin-based artists, Köbberling &Kaltwasser, are creating a theatre from entirely recycled materials. Visitors are encouraged not only to bring materials to build the theatre, but also to help out with the construction process itself. Productions will be staged on the completed site in September.
5) Regent Street Windows
18 Jun - 4 July 10:00 - 18:00, free Regent Street
RIBA London has managed to get five Regent Street retailers to part with precious window space for the duration of the Festival to allow five different practices to design new window displays. Participating shops and their partner architects are: Oasis working with Hawkins Brown, Banana Republic working with Moxon, COS working with Spacelab, Anthropologie working with Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, and Austin Reed working with Tonkin Liu (pictured).
6) The Filling Station
3 July: 2-5.30pm, 7-10pm, £10 4 July: 12-6pm 98 Clerkenwell Road, EC1
The Filling Station is an event produced by Nicola Read of 815 Agency and the AJ’s own Crystal Bennes. The project sees a disused and decommissioned petrol station on Clerkenwell Road turned into a pleasure garden and a space for a Saturday evening feast for 100, with food contributed by the area’s famous restaurants.