Kensington and Chelsea's architecture will be highlighted this summer when the London Festival of Architecture (LFA2008) launches on 20 June. The Festival focuses on five 'Hubs' across London over five weekends, with the Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge Hub, curated by the RIBA Trust, kicking off the Festival.
The Hub is focused around Exhibition Road which, on Midsummer's Day, 21 June, will be temporarily closed to traffic to host 'Explore Sites and Sounds', when LFA2008 teams up with Music Day to present a vibrant celebration of architecture and music. The road will be transformed with performances, events and pavilions, showing the potential of the radical 'shared space' traffic-calming scheme for the street envisaged by Dixon Jones Architects and the local authorities to create a more pedestrian friendly thoroughfare.
For the rest of the Festival, talks, exhibitions, events and debates in and around Exhibition Road, and across Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster will give visitors other opportunities to explore architecture, while walking, cycling and self-guided tours will reveal both the history and future of this part of London.
Councillor Daniel Moylan, Deputy Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council and Chairman of LFA2008 Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge Hub Advisory Group said:
"Kensington and Chelsea is renowned for its architectural gems. I hope that as many people as possible take advantage of the programme of events and activities organised during the London Festival of Architecture. The closing of Exhibition Road will provide an interesting insight into what life might be like when the road is not dominated by cars."
Charles Knevitt, Director of the RIBA Trust said:
"The RIBA Trust sees the London Festival of Architecture as a great opportunity to show how architecture happens, the creative ideas, the different influences and factors that come together to make great buildings. Exhibition Road is a fantastic place to do this in, surrounded as it is by institutions that represent the best in art and design, technology, music and cultural diversity. We are really excited to be working with some of the UK's leading architectural practices to enable visitors and residents to discover some of its magic and see London through a different perspective."
Events in the Kensington, Chelsea & Knightsbridge Hub include:
20 / 24 June - Blueprint Big Breakfasts with Julia Peyton Jones, director of the Serpentine Gallery, and Sir Michael Bichard, chairman of the Design Council at the Royal Geographical Society.
21 June - Temporary pedestrianisation of Exhibition Road, animated with Music Day performances; a structure by Foster and Partners (who designed Imperial College entrance) with Buro Happold; a Fresh Flower pavilion by Tonkin Liu (designers of China Design Now at the V&A) for Corus; modular seating by 6a Architects for Brompton Estates, installations by Virginia Tech, the Royal College of Art and London Metropolitan University; Penoyre & Prasad's aerial representation of part of the original Crystal Palace; the Pachamama Toilet – a low-tech system created for shanty towns in Peru; and family friendly activities hosted by neighbouring museums.
24 June - Tour of the Cremorne Riverside Centre by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects - a new canoeing facility for children on the Thames.
25 June - The emergence of a 'Snow City' – talk and installation at the Dana Centre led by Superfusionlab.
30 June - Intelligence Squared / RIBA Trust debate titled 'Prince Charles was right: modern architecture is still all glass stumps and carbuncles' with speakers including Alain de Botton, Will Alsop, Simon Jenkins, Leon Krier, Stephen Bayley and Roger Scruton.
Projects and ongoing exhibitions include:
Storefront for Art and Architecture (New York) 'pop up' exhibition in the Brompton Design Quarter.
Portavilion – a pavilion designed by artist Dan Graham in Holland Park.
Zaha Hadid's 'Swarm' chandelier at the V&A created from 16,000 crystals.
Sonic Walks and Sonic Garden – a walk to collect sounds and 'plant' them in a Sonic Garden installation.
An installation in the V&A garden by leading Chinese artist Yung Ho Chang.
Unseen Hands: 100 Years of Structural Engineering – an exhibition at the V&A celebrating the contribution that structural engineers have made to the built environment
For further press information please contact:
Lucy Wilson or Rachael Smith at Theresa Simon & Partners
(020) 7734 4800 email@example.com
Mina Vadon at the RIBA Press Office 020 7307 3761 firstname.lastname@example.org
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