London Architecture Biennale

Following the overwhelming response to the inaugural London Architecture Biennale in 2004, the celebration will return this summer from June 17-25, 2006, on a vastly increased scale covering a wider geographical area, involving even more prestigious names and organizations and linking with national events including Architecture Week, Cycle Week and Sustainability Week.

London Architecture Biennale will once again centre around the Smithfield area but will extend its reach to include a route connecting King’s Cross and Bankside. Talks, exhibitions, walks, film screenings, parties, debates, artworks. Thames events and an awards ceremony will reflect the Biennale’s aim to celebrate diverse creative talent in London and to bring that talent to bear on real issues that confront the city today. The London Architecture Biennale will for a 5-kilometre-long architecture exhibition along the Biennale Route.

Plans for the nine-day programme, which include invited contributions from architects and planners around the world, include:

*a King’s Cross to Borough Market walking and cycling route dotted with interventions, events and guided tours
*an inaugural sheep drive across the Millennium Bridge
*an exhibition on the Millennium Bridge to include exclusive material from Biennale President and author Peter Ackroyd and designed by Arup and Fosters
*talks and events by internationally acclaimed architects at venues including the Barbican and Sadler’s Wells
*a Biennale Film Series at the Barbican
*artists’ projects organized by Tate Modern and the British Library
*events and temporary interventions in open spaces including Paternoster Square, Clerkenwell Green and Exmouth Market
*”The Laws of Beauty” talk by author/broadcaster Alain de Botton
*a National Architecture Student Festival including the creation of temporary and permanent structures inspired by their immediate surroundings

This year’s theme of “Change” gives a focus for the Biennale events from change in the physical infrastructure and landscape of the city (including the major developments at King’s Cross and Elephant & Castle), to change in buildings and architectural form; from change in the public’s interaction with the built environment, to the change in urban markets the current vogue for shopping at the historic food markets of Borough and Smithfield and the constant shifting of the City’s financial markets.

The Biennale headquarters will be sited in Smithfield House; Smithfield was the site of the ancient St. Bartholomew’s Fair, a contemporary recreation of which will launch the London Architecture Biennale, a festival designed to increase understanding of London and the forces that shape it.

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