London Festival of Architecture 2023

20th July 2023

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Following 2022's festival which centred around the theme of 'act', our London team were excited to once again support the London Festival of Architecture for the fifth consecutive year, exploring the 2023 theme of 'in common'. Running across the month of June, this year's festival saw a packed schedule of events aimed at opening up discussions around architecture, from installations to performances and tours all across our capital city.

In choosing this theme, festival organisers hoped that the events would explore the idea of what we do and don't have in common and how this helps create and shape the spaces we share. For instance, it is understood that architects, developers and planners don't always have much in common with the people whose spaces they are designing, which presents the question, what effect does this have on our city?

As a leading distributor of facade solutions in the construction industry, we wanted to explore the commonalities of materials used on buildings across London and how the use of these materials has changed and evolved across time, if at all! Therefore, we ran a series of events including an interactive CPD exploring intricate brickwork components, as well as a hands-on cast stone making workshop.

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Traditional Brick Components

In partnership with handmade brick manufacturer Lambs Brick & Stone, we hosted an interactive CPD seminar which explored the history and use of traditional components such as masonry arches, including the manufacturing process, the different types available and the benefits of using them within the design of a building.

Arches are a distinctive feature of London architecture which can be traced back as far as the middle ages. In the Georgian era, bespoke architectural features such as arches, as well as balustrades and columns, became commonplace and can still be seen on buildings from this period today. In order to be sympathetic to the historic vernacular of our capital city, architects and designers continue to utilise these feature in renovations, refurbishments and new build projects.

The masonry arch is one of the oldest structural elements. The authentic materials and fine craftmanship make them striking architectural features.

James Mitchell
Sales Director - Lambs Brick & Stone

Following the CPD presentation, experienced heritage bricklayer Charles Reilly from Georgian Brickwork gave a practical demonstration of how to lay a traditional flat gauged arch using a 2mm lime putty joint. The demonstration served as a great example of the highly skilled craftmanship involved in bring features like this to life and the importance of having individuals like Charles with these skills, something he is passionate about passing on to future generations through training workshops.

We were delighted to partner with these experienced organisations and trusted customers to deliver an engaging and insightful event that explored the commonalities of London architecture.

To find out more about Lambs Brick & Stone, click here.

To find out more about Georgian Brickwork, click here.


Cast Stone Workshop

In partnership with experienced cast stone manufacturer Vobster Architectural, our second event of the series consisted of a hands-on workshop where attendees were able to create their own piece of Portland or Bath cast stone masonry, engraved with 'LFA'. To begin, the Vobster team gave an overview on the benefits of using cast stone, how the wet-cast, semi-dry and GRC types are manufactured and some examples of completed projects that have utilised cast stone components.

As with traditional brick components, cast stone is a material that has been used for many years, including on some of London's most iconic landmarks. A timeless material, cast stone components also enable architects and designers to incorporate traditional features into modern designs and therefore create buildings which blend seamlessly into their historic surroundings. The experienced and knowledgeable team at Vobster Architectural have also worked with many customers to help restore and refurbish period features on restoration or extension projects.

To find out more about Vobster Architectural, click here.

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