“How Green is our Space?” Architecture Week in the United Kingdom

Architecture Week 2007 will be taking place across the UK from the 15 – 24 June 2007, with events spanning a wide range of contemporary arts and culture, coming together in celebration of the built environment. This year’s theme is How Green is our Space? and focuses on critical issues of climate change and sustainability. The aim is to inspire people to think creatively about the spaces around them.

Events including film screenings, talks, walks, tours, building visits, exhibitions, excavations, excursions, markets, pod-casts and children’s activities will be taking place across the UK this summer. From an eco-house exhibition in Cambridge to a tour of the underground tunnel networks in Birmingham, or a city beach in Bristol to an artist’s house in Kent, this year’s Architecture Week offers visitors exceptional opportunities to engage with the built environment and their local cultural community. Many of the events will be free. There will also be the chance for people to talk to an architect about design changes they could make to their homes with the RIBA Architect in the House scheme.

Venues and cultural organizations around the country including the V&A, the BFI, the Royal Festival Hall, FACT, Ikon Gallery, Modern Art Oxford, Tate Britain, The Design Museum and English Heritage have scheduled innovative and exciting events.

Celebrity supporters include Founding Patron Janet Street-Porter, Secretary of State David Millaband, Wayne Hemingway, Frank Gehry and Sydney Pollack will be travelling around the UK talking about the new feature film, Sketches of Frank Gehry. Organized by a partnership of Arts Council England, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architecture Centre Network, Architecture Week is the annual national celebration of contemporary architecture.

Key events include the following:

RIBA Architect in the House
June 15-24, 2007
The Royal Institute of British Architects’ Architect in the House scheme is the perfect opportunity for those considering design changes to their house to meet with a local architect for help and advice. RIBA chartered architects will again give hour-long consultations in return for a minimum donation to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, of 40. From May 1, 2007, members of the public can register for the scheme at www.architecture.com or www.architectureweek.org.uk. Architects can register to take part at www.riba.org/archweek. They will be matched with a local architect during and after Architecture Week.

RIBA Award winning buildings
June 15-24, 2007
Architecture Week will see RIBA award-winning buildings, including private houses, open to the public with special tours organized by the architects and project teams involved.

London Footprints: Walking into Greener London
June 15-24, 2007
Venues around London range from White City to Woolwich. A footprint can mean the size and shape of the space a building inhabits, or the carbon footprint of a building or area, or it could mean what is left behind: a legacy, regeneration or void. RIBA London will be working with partners across London to create footprints which explore ideas of change, regeneration, sustainability and legacy, with London patron Mayor Ken Livingstone. Partners include Ordnance Survey, Transport for London, Design for London, English Heritage, Open House, The Building Exploratory, New London Architecture, Camden Arts Centre, and Berkeley Homes.

Sketches of Frank Gehry
June 14, 2007
The Chelsea Cinema, 206 King’s Road, London SW3
Special Gala Screening (2 weeks ahead of the UK release), of Sketches of Frank Gehry directed by Sydney Pollack. The film’s screening will be followed by a unique Q&A with both Frank Gehry and Sydney Pollack.www.curzoncinemas.com/extras/features/sketches_of_frank_gehry_gala

Architects in Residence: Designing a Greener London
June 15-24, 2007 (Closed on Sundays) Admission Free
RIBA, Florence Hall, 66 Portland Place, London W1
London school students in primary and secondary schools and their teachers are working with architects, as part of a curriculum-focused project, to develop their plans for a greener London neighbourhood or locality. The most innovative projects will be exhibited at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, W1. This project is organised by RIBA London in partnership with RIBA Trust and Arts Inform.www.architecture.com/programmes

Royal Festival Hall Revival
June 21-October14, 2007 Admission Free
V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery, V&A
As the Royal Festival Hall reopens after a closure period of two years, this exhibition reveals how this landmark building has been painstakingly refocused to meet the demands of the next 50 years as a world-class concert venue and a vibrant public arena. Curated by Diane Haigh of Allies and Morrison with Eleanor Gawne of RIBA Trust.

The Promised Land
June 2007 Admission Free
Mediatheque, BFI Southbank
A collection of film and television titles including rare material from the BFI National Archive, exploring domestic architecture and the notion of the model community in Britain, tracing the idealism of the 1930s through postwar reconstruction and the new towns, to the concerns of today’s housing. http://www.bfi.org.uk/southbank http://www.bfi.org.uk/mediatheque (full details available end of April 2007)

The Games
June 15-24, 2007
Venue and details to be confirmed
The Games is a 15-minute film that involves staging a surreal Olympic Games amid the sites set to become the 2012 Olympic Village. It is an exciting cross-disciplinary collaboration of artist Hilary Powell with Optimistic Productions and the Office for Subversive Architecture with support from the Space Hijackers. The film takes us through a condensed and intensive Olympics from a diminutive torchbearers arrival in derelict streets to the final award ceremonies in a waste ground stadium. A commentary guides the way – a commentary that highlights both events and spaces, and forms part of this playful interaction with a constantly shifting urban landscape.

Richard Woods & Keith Wilson
June 15-July 31, 2007
P3, School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1
Below ground, in the heart of central London is one of the capital’s amazing hidden spaces. P3 is the vast disused Construction Hall for the University of Westminster. It is now being refitted to enable public access to this secret space now opening as a major venue for the creative industries. The inaugural exhibition opening as part of Architecture Week will be a new collaboration by sculptors Richard Woods and Keith Wilson who will transform the urban and industrial premise of the site. Their mis-en-scne will engulf the spectator in a brilliantly coloured world while also powerfully transforming our perception and experience of the space. Woods will cover the entire floor of the space with a fitted carpet made by block-printing household gloss paint onto 3mm MDF boards. The pattern of the carpet will be a stylized floral print in a vivid artificial green, lending an aesthetic reminiscent of 1950s linoleum and encouraging associations with home decoration. Wilson’s structural elements (redeployed utilitarian agricultural structures, barriers, hurdles, leaning rails, feeding pens, arenas, and bidding stands) will rest on Woods’ patterned mock rural floor.

Design Museum
June 15-24, 2007
Shad Thames, London SE1
The Design Museum in collaboration with sculptor Kate Allen will be exploring the boundaries of virtual and physical architecture during Architecture Week. While the Design Museum is installing Zaha Hadid – Architecture and Design in its major exhibition space, the museum’s activities will move to Architecture Island located in the virtual world of Second Life (www.secondlife.com). Activities on Architecture Island will be web-streamed in the D
esign Museum caf for the duration of Architecture Week, so members of the public can visit Architecture Island while at the museum or online from anywhere else. A specially constructed building on Architecture Island will host an international meeting and workshop site of a multidisciplinary research group. Other events will explore the relevance of Second Life architecture to real life, green meeting spaces, discussion, performance and the Design Museum’s forthcoming Zaha Hadid exhibition. On the outside of the museum’s building there will be an interactive projection that offers a real world exploration of architecture, discussion and text. The public will generate the content for the projection by texting SMS messages from their mobiles that will be projected on the building.www.designmuseum.org

Swiss Cottage Gallery
May 19-June 30, 2007 (Closed on Sundays) Admission Free
88 Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage, London NW3
Sir Basil Spence designed the Swiss Cottage Library (1964) which, apart from the now demolished Swiss Cottage swimming pool, was the only completed building from the original master plan for a new civic centre in Hampstead. John Seymour was born in Hampstead and wrote the radical life guidebook The Complete Guide to Self Sufficiency (1975) which the BBC Television Sitcom The Good Life (1975) was based upon. In this exhibition, Mobile Studio and Paul Richards explore the work of Basil Spence and John Seymour in relation to the original master plan for Hampstead Civic Centre and the idea of a lost borough.