London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

this year centred on the theme of ‘memory’. From starchitects to fledgling studios, housing estates to derelict buildings, the festival will take you somewhere in the city you’ve never ventured before. Here, we whittle down the impressive schedule of over 450 events to our pick of the top 20 highlights from across the British capital...

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: press)

Pavilion Lates: Spaces/Places/People

Head south of the river on a Friday evening during LFA to experience the Dulwich Pavilion, designed by up and coming London based architecture practice IF_DO. The monolithic and minimal mirrored structure will host some intriguing sounding events such as a ‘Baroque mash-up’ with DJ Benjamin Tassie and musician Liam Byrne, a screening of the film The Changing Face of Camberwell (1963), and a talk from writer Tom Wilkinson about the connection between architecture and society. As a bonus, to celebrate its 200th anniversary, Dulwich Picture Gallery is opening its exhibitions and permanent collections for free on Friday evening for all.

16 June, 6 – 10pm. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Southwark SE21 7AD

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: press)

Rebel Modernists

In celebration of the publication Rebel Modernists: Viennese Architecture since Otto Wagner, book publisher Lund Humphries is hosting a talk at the Austrian Cultural Forum with the author Professor Liane Lefaivre of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She will compare and contrast the social housing traditions of Vienna and London.

14 June, from 7pm. 28 Rutland Gate, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1PQ

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Jack Hobhouse)

Remembering Marc Brunel – The Greater Genius?

At the epic Brunel Museum built inside a 50ft-deep shaft beneath Rotherhithe, architecture studio Tate Harmer, which renovated the museum in 2016, will host a discussion on reusing London’s lost infrastructure with Robert Hulse of the Brunel Museum, Sir Nick Grimshaw of Grimshaw Architects, and Jerry Tate of Tate Harmer. The location will be a catalyst for the debate.

13 June, from 6pm. The Brunel Museum Sinking Shaft, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4LF

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Iwan Baan)

Face to Face with Memory

Renowned architect Kengo Kuma and Stuart Wood, group leader at Heatherwick Studio, will be in conversation at Roca London Gallery. They will discuss how the theme of ‘memory’ has been important to their work using examples of key historic projects, such as the Heatherwick London bus, (pictured), and exploring how architects use memory as a creative tool for designing. The conversation will be chaired by writer and curator Clare Farrow. 
6 June, 6.30 – 9pm. Roca London Gallery, Station Court, Townmead Road, Fulham, London SW6 2PY

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Richard Rogers and Boris Bernaskoni)

Rogers and Bernaskoni in Conversation

Two force majeures of the architecture world, Richard Rogers and Boris Bernaskoni, will contemplate the influence of the Avant Garde on their work and architecture today, as well as presenting keynote lectures on their recent projects. Also at the Design Museum, a talk on 17 June will investigate the role of technology in cities led by artist and designer Daan Roosegaarde who will speak about the social role of design and the major challenges facing urban environments today.

22 June, 6.15 – 7.30pm. The Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, London W8 6AG

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: White Arkitekter)

New Kiruna: A Town Built on Collective Memory

Swedish architecture practice White Arkitekter is hosting a talk based on its project ‘New Kiruna’, the 100 year masterplan for the redesign and relocation of a Swedish mining town in the arctic circle, two miles east. Viktoria Walldin, social anthropologist, will speak with Krister Lindstedt, lead architect at White Arkitekter on the project, in a conversation chaired by Open City chief executive Rory Olcayto, about how urban transformation is central to cultural sustainability and how memory can be cultivated through design. Also, don’t miss the Swedish summer party White Arkitekter are hosting at 27 Charlotte Road to celebrate its London studio launch on 5 June.

6 June, 6.30 – 8.30pm. Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Alison Brooks Architects)

Alison Brooks Architects

Alison Brooks Architects reveals the archive and history of the practice in an exhibition at Somerset House to celebrate 21 years of work since 1996. Brooks will speak (22 June) about her most significant cultural project, Exeter College Cohen Quad at The University of Oxford (pictured). In addition, an exhibition at the studio, titled ‘City (e) State’, explores the ‘civic role of housing and the state as urban patron’, using the South Kilburn Estate as a case study. Paul Riddle’s photography essay of the estates 1970s architecture and legacy will be on display, side by side with Alison Brooks Architects’ current regeneration projects in the area.

‘City(e)state’, 17 June, 10am – 4pm. Unit 610, Highgate Studios, 53-79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL. ‘21 years’, 22 June, 2 – 3pm. Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: courtesy of Alan Bell)

Baghdad Dreaming: Architecture, Memory and the Modernist Project

Wwriter and critic Hadani Ditmars discusses Canadian architect Arthur Erickson’s unrealised ideas for the Abu Nuwas Conservation and Development project in Baghdad, a cultural project commissioned by a newly empowered Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. The modernist designs for a history museum, national library, performing arts complex and series of fragrant gardens were inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright’s drawings from the 1950s will be explored by Ditmars in the context of the changing fortunes of the Baghdad neighbourhood Abu Nuwas and the work of Erickson ‘as a reminder of what Iraq once was, and what it has become’. Image courtesy of Alan Bell

8 June, from 6pm. Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0XG

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Alex Julyan)

Poplar Pavilion

Artist Alex Julyan has designed a pavilion for Poplar, inspired by the local community. The architectural project will be in flux between construction and deconstruction between the months of May and September as she invites locals to collaborate and contribute to its form through weekly forums and workshops. On Saturday 3 June, between 1 – 5pm, Julyan will be in coversation with citizen architect Alex Henderson from Rural Studio, Alabama, comparing memory in urban and rural contexts. The project has been curated in partnership with the Wellcome Trust and Poplar HARCA.

1 – 30 June. Poplar Pavilion, 175 East India Dock Road, Poplar, London E14 0EA

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Stephen Blunt)

The Cass Summer Show

Peruse the lastest architectural talent at the Cass graduate show, which is taking over the Aldgate campus. The largest Cass exhibition to date, it will also be the last show in the building before moving out. See work across architecture and design courses including BA Architecture (RIBA Part I); Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA Part II);and MA Spatial Planning and Urban Design. The Cass will host a panel discussion titled ‘Graffiti, Memory and the City’ on 26 June between 6 – 8pm, exploring how graffiti is relevant to cities. Documentary photographer Marc Vallée will show his film Vandals and the City in which he documents a year in the life of an illegal London graffiti crew and explores the tension between public and private space. Cass lecturer and PhD candidate Sabina Andron will present the work ‘100 Days of Leake Street’ showing the development of graffiti on 10 walls over 100 days.

23 June – 8 July. The Cass, The Wash Houses, 25 Old Castle Street, London E1 7NT

The London Festival of Architecture (1-30 June) returns for its 13th edition.

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Carl Turner Architects)

CTA Open Studios

Have you ever wondered what the team at Carl Turner Architects (CTA) get up to during working hours? This open studio will reveal an insight into its practice that is underpinned by an interest in reinterpreting industrial and low-cost materials, employing them in unconventional ways. CTA’s architecture projects respond to research into mass production, packaging materials and consumer markets; the exhibition for LFA will seek to reassess materials in the context of use and function. A series of 1:5 scale architectural figures from current and idealised projects will be on display, and visitors will be invited to reconfigure the formation – nodding to the client as collaborator and user.

16 – 17 June, 4 – 8pm. Carl Turner Architects, Unit 61, Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Mae Architects)

The Estate of Today and Tomorrow

Mae Architects will lead a tour exploring London’s Boundary Estate and the Golden Lane Estate as examples of successful housing estates. While the Boundary dates back 100 years and Golden Lane is 60 years old, Mae will argue the contemporary relevance of these projects to the UK housing crisis today. The tour will end at a local venue where there will be a short debate on the evolution of large housing schemes and estates regeneration. Understanding how the past can inform a vision for the future, the practice have developed expertise through working closely on housing estate projects in London and their work is strongly informed by historic architectural context.

15 June, 5.30 – 8.30pm. Meeting point: In front of The Shakespeare, 2 Goswell Road (meeting point: in front of the Shakespeare), Golden Lane Estate, London EC1M 7AA

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Feilden Fowles )

Feilden Fowles LFA Open Studio

Southeast London’s Feilden Fowles studio is opening its doors to visitors on 3 June. The practice, which specialises in architecture for education and the arts, is based just across the way from Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital. The intriguing site, which has seen life as marshland, arable land, and now (fittingly) Waterloo City Farm, is an inner-city oasis. The studio, located opposite the farm, pays homage to the area’s rural origins through materials traditionally used in agricultural buildings (fir timber frames, corrugated bitumen sheets). Guests are invited to pause in the shared courtyard garden designed by local hardscaper Dan Pearson Studio.

3 June 12 – 4pm. Feilden Fowles, 8 Royal Street, Lambeth, London SE1 7LL

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: press)


Another one of the LFA hubs is the Royal Docks, an area in East London on the north bank of the Thames. In the Silvertown area, known as home to London City Airport, several events are taking place. At the Carlsberg Tetley Building – which is currently being redeveloped and under the creative control of architecture practice SODA – composer Benjamin Tassie and poet Anna Freud have designed an immersive music experience inspired by the history of Silvertown, which will play out on 17 June. Tours of the brutalist building, derelict for 20 years and now being temporarily occupied as a creative work space designed by SODA, will be led by social entrepreneur Nick Hartwright on 22 June. If you’re interested in the wider Silvertown area, tours by walking tour group Derelict London will be taking place on 13 and 22 June, revealing sites such as the Millennium Mills, the derelict Tate Institute, the remains of Tay Wharf, the now closed down Georges Diner and a Victorian church (now a music hall).

Various dates, visit the website for a full programme. Carlsberg Tetley Building, Docklands Depot, North Woolwich Road, West Silvertown, London E16 2AB

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

Segal Self-Build: Past, Present and Future

Southeast London’s borough of Lewisham isn’t known for its architecture. There are interesting gems, however, like William Segal’s self-build community housing project. Designed in the 1980s, the small estate was built by residents through a council initiative aiming to offer local people ownership over their environment. The programme has inspired community housing projects at work today, including the Rural Urban Synthesis Society, who will be on hand at this walking tour of Segal’s estate to answer questions, and offer insight on the principles that bolster the idealised style of building.
4 June, 1 – 5pm. The Rural Urban Synthesis Society, 8 Walters Way, London SE23 3LH

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: press)

Architectures of Faith: Hybrid and Shared Religious Spaces in the Work of Mangera Yvars

A pop-up exhibition on 27 June displays the work of architecture practice MYAA in the context of their work on faith buildings and interest to define new styles of religious architectures. Case studies on show include the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies and the North Harrow Community Centre (Salaam Centre). as well as the ‘Architectures of Shared Space’ project, a set of designs and models for multi-faith buildings produced by students at Brentside School in Ealing, in a collaboration with MYAA and the Making Surburban Faith project at the Geography Departments at UCL and Royal Holloway.

27 June, 12am – 7pm. Department of Geography, Pearson Building, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: courtesy of David McEven)

Endangered Memories: the Shifting Architectures of the Latin-American Diaspora in London

This one-day exhibition (2 June) curated by The Bartlett Development Planning Unit explores the city of London as a collection of memories of migrant ethnic communities and how these memories are reflected through architectural and regeneration practices. The project examines the experiences of Latin-American residents in communities around Seven Sisters market in Tottenham and Elephant & Castle shopping centre, looking to understand how the collective and social identity can be formed through urban developments. Image courtesy of David McEven

Tours will take place on 3 June, between 11am – 1pm, and 5 – 7pm. The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London, 34 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9EZ

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: press)

Sanctum Ephemeral

For two years, artist Mark Aitken has been working on a series of photography of residents of the Cressingham Gardens Housing Estate in Lambeth, where he is also a resident. The resulting large-scale, black and white portraits are being exhibited across the estate, which is scheduled to be demolished soon. His works, which are hung on house exteriors and walls facing Brockwell Park, offer an intimate insight into the Cressingham community. Join an exhibition talk and tour on 15 June at 6pm, or a tour with a Cressingham residents on 18 June at 2pm.

1 – 30 June. Cressingham Gardens Estate, Tulse Hill, London SW2 2NJ

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: press)

Practice, Place and the Passage of Time

Architecture practice Jestico + Whiles is throwing open the doors to its Euston studio. The exhibition will explore the history of the Euston area, concurrently with the history of the practice and the office building where the team currently reside. The office building has had a colourful past. It was converted from a horse stables, then housed railway memorabilia, before being converted for its purpose as an architectural practice. Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the building and experience some of the memories of the practice, from its founding, to the new offices and also the future construction of HS2 railway on the site. Pictured here, the Jestico + Whiles team in 1991.

10 June, 11am – 6pm. Jestico + Whiles, 1 Cobourg Street, Kings Cross, London NW1 2HP

London Festival of Architecture 2017: the top 20 exhibitions and events

(Image credit: press)

Building Memories

Exploring and activating the communal experience of architecture in and around Bermondsey, the ‘Building Memories’ pavilion is an interactive structure that will be constructed by visitors and members of the community. The project, led by architects Levitt Bernstein, will be built of string and participants will be asked a series of questions about memory and place, which will define the shape of the pavilion.

10 June, 12 – 3pm. Bermondsey Spa, Frean Street, London SE16

Harriet Thorpe is a writer, journalist and editor covering architecture, design and culture, with particular interest in sustainability, 20th-century architecture and community. After studying History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Journalism at City University in London, she developed her interest in architecture working at Wallpaper* magazine and today contributes to Wallpaper*, The World of Interiors and Icon magazine, amongst other titles. She is author of The Sustainable City (2022, Hoxton Mini Press), a book about sustainable architecture in London, and the Modern Cambridge Map (2023, Blue Crow Media), a map of 20th-century architecture in Cambridge, the city where she grew up.