30: the number of days; 400: the number of events; 600,000: the number of visitors last year
Conran and Partners, Butler's Wharf
The world’s largest annual architecture festival returns to the capital this June with a bumper crop of events, talks and tours. The London Festival of Architecture runs throughout the month and celebrates the best design talent the capital has to offer. This year focuses on four designated festival hubs in the City of London, London Bridge, the Royal Docks and the ‘Heart of London’ district, which covers St James’s, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. A vast programme of more than 400 exceptional events is delivered by a diverse mix of independent organisations and individuals – helping to radically democratise the debate about architecture and the city of London.
One of the most popular elements of the festival remains the 'Studio Lates' programmes, in which architects open their studios to members of the public. Whether it’s an exhibition, drop-in design surgery, a talk or simply a party – each practice makes their Studio Late their own.
Other Highlights from the festival include a walking tour hosted by the Migration Museum on 2 June, which throws light on the diverse communities in east London and the City; a series of miniature landscaped spaces, called ‘parklets’; an exhibition on the brutalist works of Belgian architect Léon Stynen at the Royal Docks; and an illustrated walk along the northern edge of the Royal Docks. Open to all, the festival welcomes people from all walks of life, shedding light on the DNA of our capital.
Fletcher Priest Studio, Fitzrovia
This Year's Theme
Boundaries: To live in cities is to be surrounded by boundaries: borders, fences, walls, zones and city limits. Boundaries make us comfortable. They define us: they put us in our place. The British have always used architecture to express their love of a good boundary: the rich man in his castle, the poor man at the gate. Look around London and everywhere you will see the architectural signals that define people past and present, their place in society, and the distribution of property. London is often seen not as a city, but as a city built up of villages. All of the festival hubs will entice attendees to explore what is meant by boundaries, how architecture can create them, and yet destroy them and create spaces of inclusion.
Czech Centre, Eva Jiřičná
Bond Street, Publica Associates
1-30 June, londonfestivalofarchitecture.org