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Making It Happen

Making it Happen

New Community architecture

Making It Happen closed on Saturday 11 May

How are architects working with communities to improve local buildings and places during times of economic and political austerity? Four immersive installations, representing recent projects from around the UK, filled the Architecture Gallery at 66 Portland Place to offer inspiring examples of architects and local communities working together.

Banner images: Hastings Pier © A de Rijke for dRMM Architects; Coniston Institute © Hayatsu Architects


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 In recent years many public buildings in Britain have faced an uncertain future because of budget cuts, shifting priorities or the withdrawal of funding. Private ownership of public buildings and spaces has escalated and alternative approaches to designing and funding spaces for the public realm are emerging. In response, communities have come together to keep buildings open and functioning, campaigning and fundraising in the face of closure or catastrophe.

Making It Happen featured four new public spaces from around the UK that offer ideas for the re-design of existing spaces and methodologies to build new ones:

  • Hastings Pier
  • Coniston Mechanics Institute
  • Old Manor Park Library
  • Loch Lomond National Park

The exhibition design by Hayatsu Architects presented installations that reflected the materiality and spatial qualities of each project, with displays demonstrating the roles that the four practices took on, working as designers, contractors, makers, cheerleaders and activists.

Interested in learning more? Our exhibition reading list brings together books covering research material, practical guidance, food for thought on architecture and social issues, and introductory books for children. 


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