The London Festival of Architecture has returned, and the month long celebration of all things do with architecture follows the theme of identity this year. London’s annual festival is now the biggest in Europe, hosting 400 events, talks, walks, open studios, films and installations. So HEKKTA pick out a few key features in this year’s festival that you will not want to miss…we will see you there!
This tour is one that intrigues us here at HEKKTA as it is a tour showing various London buildings that have appeared in films as buildings from other cities. Certainly an interesting concept and it would be good to know what films we have watched but didn’t spot the cheeky substitution! The two and a half hour tour is being led by APE Architecture and Design and will explore central London, taking in buildings that have been shown in Moscow, New York, Milan, Gotham City, Hong Kong and the planet Xandar.
Running from 5, 12 and 26 June and starting at 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AB
A comment from the LFA –
“London is undoubtedly an iconic city that has been captured on screen since the dawn of motion pictures. Admittedly film-makers are often guilty of playing fast and loose with the city’s geography but why is such an instantly recognisable city so frequently asked to stand in for equally famous locations?
Undoubtedly some of these substitutions are for purely practical reasons; budgets, proximity to studios like Shepperton and Pinewood etc. Occasionally the reasons are more intriguing. Stanley Kubrick reportedly filmed much of Full Metal Jacket’s Vietnamese exteriors at Becton Gas Works (requiring an import of 200 palm trees) because of his fear of flying. But why, in a film that happily location hops as much as 2012’s Skyfall, does James Bond mistake a tower in Broadgate for downtown Shanghai? What does it say about modern commercial architecture that we are perfectly prepared to believe Foster and Partner’s Bloomberg building in Finsbury Square is the Silicon Valley headquarters of Ex Machina’s Google-a-like, Blue Book?”
Running throughout the entire festival is this pop-up restaurant/bar that will also play host to some talks on architecture. The pop up is styled in a way similar to that of 15th-century Venice, when terraces were built ad hoc on rooftops with timber and scaffolding. Built by local architects Fourth Space and The Office for Crafted Architecture, the installation was set up to “celebrate identity, architecture and aperitif” and also allow us all to have a spritz on a terrace in the sunshine. The way into any Londoner’s heart!
A series of Negroni Talks will take place during the festival, with the highlight set to be Where’s the punk in architecture? Speakers include Tim Abrahams, Piers Taylor, Charles Holland, Shumi Bose and Caz Facey.
The pop up is located on the Regents Canal, One Vyner Street, E2 9DG
In the context of a Britain in the process of leaving the EU, we feel this short film is very appropraite for this year’s London Festival of Architecture – in a capital that is still very torn with the end result.
The film explores the influence of the émigré architect, and the consistent role they will always have to play in developing architecture and pushing it forward. The film by Stirling Prize-winning studio dRMM features interviews with 10 architects and designers, from 10 different nations, who work at the practice.
“Exile, in whatever form, is the breeding ground for creative action, for the new.” Czech-German philosopher Vilém Flusser. This argument is explored in the video and we will certainly be getting ourselves down to watch the screening.
Émigré Architect is being screened once between 12.00 – 2.00pm every Friday in June as part of the Summer by the River series in The Scoop at London Bridge. And it’s free!
Aswell as the theme of identity in the festival, there is a strong theme of food! The London Bridge Open Kitchen presents local eateries and food suppliers outside London Bridge station, celebrating the transport hub’s smart new brick frontage in Tooley Street. Designed by Grimshaw, it’s part of a massive £1 billion makeover to regenerate and streamline the muddled old station.
However the foodie spot will only be open for two days, so you must get yourself down between the 29th and the 30th to get your hands on some super grub!
Organised by The 204 Design Collective, this series of conversations, debates and workshops will explore forms of urbanisms that challenge the direct and indirect effects of colonialism. The talk aim to “challenge traditional architectural practice and discourse, and dismantle inequality in our cities”.
The 204 Design Collective commented, “We seek to explore this topic to help reconstruct/restructure conventional approaches to urbanization, in an effort to dismantle inequality in our cities, and promote cultural integration and social cohesion”.
Talk // World Building and Smashing – Part I
Speaker A | This talk is an opportunity to discuss the lasting and generational effects of European colonization in Canada. A conversation about cultural preservation, identity, and truth and reconciliation through professional practice will be held. This talk will explore how a country’s inability to face the power dynamics created by its colonial past are reflected in urban spaces today.
Speaker B | This talk is intended to shed light on the creation of inequalities stemming from ideas of nationhood in colonial and postcolonial societies in the UK. The role of race and identity in creating ‘ethnic’ spaces in cities will be discussed, as well as the impact of urban regeneration/revitalization on immigrant and marginalized communities.
Tickets for this are just £5 and the exhibition is on the 3rd, 10th and 24th June.
The Great Architectural Bake Off
So it’s another foodie event! Yay! Architects, engineers and designers will be going head-to-head, or spatula-to-spatula if you like, using their knowledge in their respective fields in an attempt to make the best cake.
Nicknamed GABO, it was set up in 2015 by architectural firm WATG. It was a huge draw last year with hundreds of spectators showing up to watch them bake. Judges include former competitor, and architect by day, Tom Hetherington.
Great Architectural Bake Off is at Guildhall Yard, EC2, on June 16, from 12pm-4pm.