The biennial London Festival of Architecture returns this weekend with a 16-day calendar of 300 events to celebrate the buildings, streets and spaces which shape the UK’s capital.
The festival aims to augment London’s reputation as a creative hub and to place architecture at the forefront of the cultural agenda. Organisers are expecting around 250,000 attendees at installations, exhibitions, debates and parties.
The celebrations are structured around a trio of hubs over three weekends: Central London features from the 19-20 June, East London from 26 -27 June, and South London 3-4 July. Other events will be scattered across the city throughout the duration.
Highlights include Regent Street shops adorned with visionary window displays designed by architects; the Duke of York Steps will launch the world’s first solar powered lift designed to assist wheelchair users up the steep flight.
Elsewhere 50 Years of London Architecture will be celebrated in a photography exhibit at the Mall Galleries; giant sugar cube sculptures of the NEO Bankside Pavilion and Tate Modern will appear on the South Bank; and 100 Union Street in SE1 will be transformed into an urban orchard.
There will also be a rare chance for the public to visit Newham’s rooftop Olympic Park Viewing Gallery; a set of alternative bus tours of East London; and a pre-Olympic playground in Stratford.
The festival has been curated by heavy weight architectural institutions RIBA London, The Architecture Foundation and New London Architecture. A number of cultural partners including the British Council, Tate Modern and the London Metropolitan University have been involved.
Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, writer Alan de Botton, architects Daniel Libeskind, Rem Koolhaas and Sir Terry Farrell and former CEO of the British Land Company John Ritblat are among the big names involved in events during the LFA.
The London Festival of Architecture takes place from June 19 to July 4, see www.lfa2010.org more information.