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Hawkins\Brown wins LFA Pride float contest

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Hawkins\Brown has won the London Festival of Architecture’s (LFA) competition for a float representing LGBT+ architects at this year’s Pride event

The winning team, supported by Price and Myers, was selected ahead of eight rival bids by Ashton Architecture, Back Braun, Feix & Merlin Architects, Linthwaite Hardwick, Some People, Studio Yu with tomos.design, tp bennett, and Weston Williamson + Partners.

The competition asked for innovative proposals for a float to feature in the annual festival and parade, held every summer in the capital. Judges included AJ architecture editor Rob Wilson.

The winning scheme – dubbed ‘A Space for All’ – features a simple pitched roof structure created from brightly painted scaffold poles with graphical displays and transparent screens, which will be animated by architects during the parade.

The project, supported by Sir Robert McAlpine and campaign group Architecture LGBT+, aims to represent LGBT+ architects and their contribution to architecture throughout history and today. The Hawkins\Brown team will receive £8,000 to deliver the structure in time for the event on 7 July.

Participating team members included Hawkins\Brown’s technical lead and associate John Jeffery, creative lead and architect Jonathan Chan, and project manager and architect Sarah Habershon, along with architects Matthew Goodfellow and Matthew Ruddy.

Architectural assistants Ayanna Blair-Ford, Claudia Walton, Fran Lynch, Iulia Cistelecan, Quincy Haynes, Rachel Housley and Thomas Stanley also contributed to the winning design along with Andrew Blackie, structural engineer at Price and Myers.

LFA director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘The Architecture Pride float is a brilliant public demonstration of the London Festival of Architecture’s commitment to diversity and a celebration of the huge contribution made by LGBT+ architects in London – not only across the capital but around the world.

‘Pride in London is a highlight of London’s summer calendar, and we cannot wait to bring architecture to the streets of London as part of such an amazing event.’

Tom Guy, partner at Guy Piper Architects and founder of Architecture LGBT+, said: ‘Hawkins\Brown’s design not only successfully celebrates LGBT+ Architects as part of this year’s Pride in London, but innovatively promotes acceptance and diversity by embedding the celebratory message that London’s built environment should be a space for all.’

The members of the Hawkins\Brown Space for All float team said: ‘We are so excited to have won the LFA Pride Float Competition. Our idea was to combine the dual identities of LGBT+ and being an architect, as well as making LGBT+ identity more pronounced in construction generally.

‘We have used scaffolding poles decorated with designs from the LGBT+ community which we intend to return, still decorated, to working sites after use. We are particularly looking forward to the process of building the float and, of course, being part of Pride on the day.’

Founded in 1972, the annual Pride parade and festival is the largest gay event in the UK and the seventh largest in the world, attracting around 1 million people. The event features a large performance area in Trafalgar Square, with a procession of floats and walking groups.

The competition is the fourth to be launched by the LFA this year, following contests for a wayfinding installation at London Bridge Station, a series of public benches in the City of London and a temporary pavilion outside the Dulwich Picture Gallery

The float shortlist was judged by Wilson; Thomson; Guy; Tate Hindle architect Vinesh Pomal; BBC Newsnight broadcaster Evan Davis; Nicholas Hare Architects partner Jayne Bird; and the RIBA’s equality, diversity and inclusion manager, Anne Consentino.

The winning scheme will be dismantled following the parade with some elements auctioned off to raise money and awareness of LGBT+ causes within the profession and other parts, such as the scaffold poles, re-used on construction sites.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Phil Parker

    Why is it that these sorts of commissions aren’t restricted to young practices looking to make their mark. That’s what’d happen in France or Germany.

    Instead, you get the usual suspects/ big names barging in. Not very pleasant to witness.

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  • The judging panel also included me!

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