London Festival of Architecture AND Association with RCA Society
1-30 June 2016
Organised by Royal College of Art Society + AND Association
Exhibition opening times Monday to Sunday 12noon - 7pm or by appointment
The annual London Festival of Architecture (LFA) – a citywide celebration of architectural experimentation, thinking and practice – returns to venues across the capital throughout June 2016. The theme of the 2016 the London Festival of Architecture is Community and features a programme of exhibitions and events organised by London’s leading architectural, cultural and academic institutions, practising architects, designers, curators and community groups.
The programme responds to the theme by exploring the central role that architecture plays in developing ideas of ‘community’, even questioning its very deﬁnition. How will the enormous changes faced by London’s growth and the impact of issues such as climate change, technology, the under-supply of housing and record immigration affect the way we live and work together? How will we protect the existing in the face of the new and build real cohesive, sustainable places where people can live fulfilling lives, be cared for when they’re older or sick and inspired when they’re young. Architecture is the tool that can unlock our ability to create these communities for the long term.
The theme of Community continues the LFA legacy as a catalyst for change by proposing ways in which Londoners, as well as visitors to this global hub, can be active participants in the city. From reinterpreting familiar places through new installations and animations, and redesigning public spaces, to testing interactive forms of consultation and planning for future urban development, festival participants will be encouraged to comment on, and propose ideas for the betterment of the city around them.
Project by AND + RCA Society
Events will take place in an historically industrial environment constructed during the 19th Century and extended throughout the Industrial Revolution. The location links traditional maritime industry through the ‘cutting edge’ engineering of the Railway systems.
The socio economic shifts of production and links to Britain’s colonies demanded new forms of transportation for the shipment and distribution of goods. The building of Docks and Railways was an integrated solution. Railway viaducts built into the heart of London became part of the industrial landscape. Although the railways connected the country they divided communities and cut across the built environment.
Destruction over the centuries, particularly the ‘Blitz’ of WWII, took their toll. Development of road and air transportation and use of containers caused closure of the Docks and goods yards close to the City of London. Many warehouses and docks along the Thames; Wapping, Stepney, St Katharines, London Docks, Shadwell Basin and Limehouse Basin and major sites in the Isle of Dogs closed. Railway viaducts linking the Thames’ docklands also lost their function.
The ‘west arch’ will host discussions, socialising, displays and documentation. The ‘east arch’ is a projection space showing a rolling video programme about destruction at unbelievable speeds and ‘shape shift’ through man made and natural events - tsunami, earthquakes, war, blitz, demolition. This space is open for others to bring their own videos for projection.
Participants will tour the immediate area and join in a rolling debate, hosted by ‘eventSpace1’, about how early architectural intervention is needed to secure worthy building projects. There will be on- going experimental displays of bold building designs that seek early publicity and social media cross-chat - aiming to halt mundane schemes, and organize community response to an inundation of developers’ planning applications.
The fringe of the City and the Thames draws populations of workers who sustain and maintain industry and commerce. Naturally communities evolve around these conurbations. In such conditions communities become diverse in a multiplicity of cross groupings. The diversity of wealth, race, cultures, beliefs, gender, age forms the core of a dynamic community.