One of London's protected viewsSource: Peter Smith / St Paul’s Cathedral.
Three-month frenzy kicks off next week with the London Festival of Architecture
As London gears up for its biggest-ever celebration of architecture, critics have complained it lacks focus.
Hundreds of events will be held across the capital, which fall within the London 2012 Festival, part of the Cultural Olympiad.
The three-month frenzy runs from June to September and is book-ended by the London Festival of Architecture, which kicks off on June 23, and the London Design Festival and Open House weekend.
Among the first events is next weekend’s Junior Open House. Open-City director Victoria Thornton said: “It [the architecture events] might look less coherent but the important thing is to flag up architecture as part of the culture of the city.
“It sounds like there’s this cacophony going on all summer but in the wider context, architecture is a minor part of it. It’s barely on the Richter scale.”
BD understands the emphasis of the London 2012 Festival was on performance and outdoor events, with little interest in static culture such as the built environment.
For example, Thornton said that attempts to persuade the Department of Culture to provide Olympic visitors with leaflets on the venues’ architecture had failed.
Also stretching across the summer is the British Council’s International Architecture & Design Showcase, which involves more than 50 embassies and cultural institutions, highlighting the work of architects from countries as diverse as Peru and Kenya.
The programme includes talks and debates as well as group exhibitions on subjects such shifts in urban ideas around the world.