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Lived in Architecture – Becontree at 100 with Verity-Jane Keefe

21 October 2021 to 26 February 2022

Free exhibition

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Architecture Gallery, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

Credit: Verity-Jane Keefe

Visit the Architecture Gallery at 66 Portland Place to experience a new RIBA commission with visual artist Verity-Jane Keefe that marks the centenary of the Becontree Estate in East London. Reflecting on the contemporary architectural reality of the estate, once the largest example of social housing in Europe, Keefe has created a new film and a series of spatial and decorative details found during her time spent in the area, capturing the essence of Becontree and its residents today.

The new artwork by Keefe will be presented alongside 33 objects from the RIBA Collections, including works by John Nash, George Devey and Jane Drew. This juxtaposition highlights how adaptions, extensions and home improvements by Becontree residents follow the same trajectory we see throughout history - that architecture is never finished, but ever-evolving as part of post-occupancy and over time reflects broader changes in society.

The exhibition explores the history of the Becontree Estate as a case study through which to consider similar aesthetic and material adaptations in architecture at both a local and national scale, asking if we can ever consider a building or place as truly complete.

Free exhibition

Architecture Gallery, 66 Portland Place, London W1B 1AD

Opening hours

  • Monday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm
  • Tuesday: 10am to 8pm
  • Sunday: closed 

Contact: exhibitions@riba.org

Find out more about the Becontree Estate's unique history, characterful homes and plans for its future by attending our accompanying season of talks, tours and workshops. Get involved to hear directly from our commissioned artists and designers and come to your own decision about what makes this east London suburban estate extraordinary.

Design coordination of the exhibition was undertaken by new practice Channel with graphic design by Paul Bailey.

The commission is co-curated by RIBA and Create London, supported using public funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

National Lottery Heritage Fund logoCreate London logo  Royal Institute of British Architects logo

'Lived in Architecture – Becontree at 100' is part of the Becontree centenary, a partnership between Create London, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham (LBBD) and RIBA.

  

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