London Festival of Architecture 2021
Following on from 2020's digital festival which explored the theme of 'power', we were excited to once again partner with the London Festival of Architecture for the third year. The 2021 festival returned with a hybrid programme of online and physical events exploring the theme of ‘care’.
Through installations, walking tours, debates, workshops, film screenings and many more events, the festival aimed to explore how we can better care for ourselves, each other, our cities and the environment. In the midst of a global pandemic, it was important for our industry to consider how we can address care in the built environment through alternative methods of construction.
In response, Taylor Maxwell’s London Bridge team ran a walking tour of Bankside, exploring how architects, planners and contractors have taken care in the built environment through clever design and careful selection of materials.
Starting at the former Blackfriars Station and finishing with the striking Tate Modern, our team explained how buildings have been carefully designed to provide services and facilities to the community, blend new developments with the existing vernacular, reduce the impact of construction on the environment and restore or commemorate sites of historic importance.
Joined by a great selection of architects, designers and members of the general public, the walking tours generated positive discussions regarding the value of an architect, moving beyond just the building, but understanding the needs of the building’s users, as well as the wider impact on the built environment.
In addition to our own events, the festival showcased an exciting and varied programme of activities across London, all celebrating architectural experimentation, practice and debate. One such event was the Architecture Bake Off, which has been a key part of the London Festival of Architecture for many years.
This year, London’s leading architecture practices competed against each other to design and bake some of the city’s best-loved buildings. Bakes in the form of Tower Bridge, Liberty’s Department Store and Maggie’s West London Centre were presented to the panel of judges, before going to a public vote to decide the overall winners. To view the 2021 winning bakes, click here.
The London Festival of Architecture, in partnership with Cheapside Business Alliance and Aldgate Connect Business Improvement District, also launched its fourth edition of the City Benches competition. This year architecture students, recent graduates and emerging architects or designers across all disciplines were invited to transform Cheapside and Aldgate’s streetscape with an imaginative and witty take on much-needed public seating.
Through the use of sustainable and colourful elements that created joyful spaces for the public to sit, relax and enjoy their surroundings, the project aimed to encourage commuters, visitors and Londoners back to the Cheapside area. In keeping with the festival’s 2021 theme of ‘care’, entrants were encouraged to think creatively about a new perspective on accessible design, considering how passers-by, workers and visitors with different access needs can interact with and make the most of the benches.
Following the judging process, nine new public benches have been unveiled in Cheapside, providing a safe and inviting environment for people to meet again and enjoy the capital. To view the nine new installations, click here.
To read more about the other London Festival of Architecture events that took place this year, visit - https://www.londonfestivalofarchitecture.org/collections/