All Buildings Great and Small; Architecture Week Is One of London's Premier Events. Fay Sweet Picks out Some of the Highlights
Byline: FAY SWEET
ARCHITECTURE Week is now a key summer fixture for Londoners who love exploring and enjoying some of the capital's best buildings and open spaces.
This time celebrating its 10th anniversary, the week begins on Friday with its most adventurous programme yet. Highlights include an open-top-bus tour of central London's greatest Modernist buildings, a riverboat expedition to find the capital's most spectacular waterside architecture, a visit to witness work in progress at Will Alsop's stunning new art gallery in Peckham, and a masterclass on drawing classical architecture from maestro Quinlan Terry.
The "week" - a joint initiative of Arts Council England and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) - actually fills 10 full days to 25 June with walks, talks, exhibitions and festival events. Booking is often essential. For more details, or to make most bookings, visit www.architectureweek.org.uk.
Walking with experts Among the other great walks, join National Trust guides for trips that take in the Arts and Crafts buildings of Hampstead Garden Suburb, The Gherkin and its City neighbours, and in Hampstead, a walk entitled Why Were They Listed?
In the centre of town, learn about one of London's most iconic buildings during a tour of the Royal Albert Hall (21 June), take the London pub architecture trail (18 and 25 June) with the author of Camra's London Pub Walks, or head further west for cutting-edge architecture and technology at the striking and high-tech new Davies Alpine House at Kew Gardens, where an evening tour (21 June) is led by its architect, Jim Eyre, of Wilkinson Eyre, and Richard Wilford of Kew.
When you have done enough walking, join the Habitat- sponsored open- top- bus tour of Modernist buildings in central London (25 June), or take to the Thames with architecture expert Ken Allinson on the riverboat tour of the capital's waterside landmark buildings (19 June).
The art of architecture The relationship between art and architecture is always fascinating. If you know your acanthus from your entasis, don't miss renowned classicist Quinlan Terry giving his masterclass on drawing, at the RIBA in Portland Place (22 June). On the other hand, try some DIY with one of the Video Walks workshops. Bring your camcorder to the Barbican, record your impressions of the area and then have your film neatly edited into a tiny epic before you head back home.
Meanwhile, among the quirkiest and most appealing events of the week is an evening at the National Portrait Gallery (22 June) with architect Piers Gough and artist Stewart Pearson Wright (famous for his recent portrait of JK Rowling), discussing the relationship between architecture and portraiture.
As an added bonus, the gallery is publishing a leaflet Sitters and Settings, about how environments effect portraits.
Architecture in the house Take a few snaps, sketch out some ideas and make the most of this opportunity to discuss your dream home with an architect while also raising money for charity. This ever-popular scheme offers an hour-long, one-to-one consultation in your own home. The fee is a minimum donation of [pounds sterling]35. During the past decade more than [pounds sterling]500,000 has been raised by architects for Shelter via this scheme. To register for Architect in the House, visit www.architectureweek.org.uk or www.architecture.com.
There is a further chance to solve design dilemmas at a drop-in surgery with architects at the new Regent Street Habitat store on 25 June.
If you would like to see how architects work, find Open Practice at www.architecture.com and visit the studios of well-known designers such as Chetwoods, Eric Parry and Wilkinson Eyre in Clerkenwell, John McAslan in Holland Park, and the amazing new premises of Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in the former Island Records building in Hammersmith. Some offices are also open to visits from secondary schools.
London Architecture Biennale With its own packed programme of walks, talks, tours and exhibitions, the London Architecture Biennale, based in and around Clerkenwell, forms part of Architecture Week. Highlights include seeing architect In a recreation of the Bartholomew Fair (banned by the Victorians because it was too rowdy) Lord Foster will exercise one of his rights as a Freeman of the City of London by driving a flock of bridge over his own Millennium Bridge. You can also take in the world's longest architecture "exhibition", measuring more than five kilometres and running north to south through the City.
For full information on all events and to book, call 0870 247 1207, or visit www.londonbiennale.org.uk.
KIDS WILL LOVE IT Child's play: the best way to learn about buildings is to build them - in model form WITH more children's and family events than ever in Architecture Week, there's no better way to understand buildings than to look at them, sketch them and experiment with models, and that's precisely what is planned for the family day on 25 June in the spectacular setting of Sir Christopher Wren's Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.
Also, there is a family workshop (24 June) making models at The Building Exploratory in Hackney, a drawing workshop at the Zoo of the Future (24 June) at London Zoo, and modelmaking in Make a Modern Home, at the Design Museum in Shad Thames (18 and 25 June).
SUBURBIA: THE HOMES & PROPERTY BIG DEBATE WHETHER it prompts sneers or cheers, suburbia stirs up lively debate. One of the major events of this year's Architecture Week is the Homes & Property Big Debate, in conjunction with the RIBA, called Sustainable Suburbia: Where Do People Want To Live?
The line-up includes architects Angela Brady and Sir Richard MacCormac, plus Yolande Barnes from estate agent Savills, and affordable homes developer Elliot Lipton. The debate is chaired by architecture writer Jonathan Glancey.
Have your say on suburban housing, too. The debate starts at 6.30pm on Monday, at the RIBA, Portland Place, W1. Tickets are [pounds sterling]8 ([pounds sterling]5 concessions). To request tickets, leave your details, on 020 7307 3699 or email talks inst.riba.org, and the RIBA will contact you.
Suburban choice: classic Thirties Art Deco (left), or new schemes such as Hendon's Aduro Mews (right)
'WE'RE GLAD WE INVITED AN ARCHITECT INTO THE HOUSE' WHEN Dominique Dinse and Andrew Smith met Andy Nettleton through the Architect in the House scheme they didn't even own their home. "We were nearing completion, but knew already that we wanted to open up the place and make it more welcoming," says Dominique. "We are both from Australia and are used to lots of light and space, and that's what we wanted to recreate here." The property is a Victorian terrace house in Fulham, and had the usual congested layout with a dark dining room and small kitchen.
After early discussions, a plan emerged to glaze over the side passageway and knock down walls to open up the living space. In the open-plan ground floor, there's now a sleek, modern kitchen and huge floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and doors have been added at ground and first-floor levels to let in more light and improve links with the garden.
Says Andy Nettleton, of Dive Architects: "Although the passageway was a small slice of space, incorporating it into the interior has enabled us to transform the space. The windows have hugely improved the quality of light inside, and with folding doors to the garden, there's now a seamless connection to the outdoors." The scheme was accomplished within the permitted development rules that avoid the need for planning permission.
Dominique and Andrew are delighted with the results. "It's the first time we've worked with an architect and would certainly do the same again," says Dominique. "Without the Architect in the House scheme it would have been a maze trying to find the right person. The short initial discussion with Andy provided the spark we needed to get really excited about the project."
Nettleton has taken part in the Architect in the House scheme since the beginning; "It's good to be able to do something for Shelter and also promote the skills that an architect can offer. We don't expect the consultations to turn into jobs, but when they do it is great."
Dive can be contacted on 020 7407 0955, or visit www.divearchitects.com.
POSTAL MODERN Delivered: the Royal Mail is introducing a new set of stamps to coincide with Architecture Week. Each stamp celebrates a modern British building, including (from left) a shelter for ferry passengers on the Isle of Tiree; the Downland Gridshell museum building near Chichester; Norman Foster's City Gherkin; the Selfridges store in Birmingham by Future Systems; and Frank Gehry's Maggie's cancer daycare centre, Dundee A WORD IN YOUR EAR
iWax: designer Wayne Hemingway will wax lyrical about Greenhithe via an iPod download THIS year, for the first time, you can download audio walks onto an iPod or MP3 player and chose your own time for taking the tour.
Among those taking part is designer Wayne Hemingway, who has recorded a stroll along the Thames in Kent from Greenhithe.
Once you get past Asda and over the busy road, he gets quite lyrical about the Dartford Bridge, the flotsam and jetsam along the shore and the opportunities for new homes in this under-appreciated area. Other well-known tour leaders include Richard Rogers, who delivers a personal eulogy on the City of London.
THE CLASSICS MASTER Classical man: Quinlan Terry (above) designed a new Corinthian villa (top) for Regent's Park.
Now he will teach other enthusiasts the secrets of drawing classical buildings in a special masterclass for Architecture Week…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: All Buildings Great and Small; Architecture Week Is One of London's Premier Events. Fay Sweet Picks out Some of the Highlights. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Evening Standard (London, England). Publication date: June 14, 2006. Page number: 8. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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