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. …