London Festival of Architecture 2012

23 June – 8 July 2012

  • The Union Street Urban Orchard (LFA 2010), courtesy Mike Massaro

The Architecture Foundation is pleased to continue its involvement with the London Festival of Architecture 2012. As a core delivery partner of this biennial celebration The Architecture Foundation along with partners RIBA London, New London Architecture and the British Council will be coordinating programme in the summer of 2012 (23 June – 8 July 2012) that celebrates and debates London’s architecture and the built environment.

The LFA’s mission, since its origins in 2004, has been to reveal the potential latent within the city, in particular its public realm, by increasing access and suggesting alternative positive uses. The theme for LFA 2012 will be ‘The Playful City’, proposing ways in which both Londoners and visitors can be active participants in the city. From reinterpreting familiar places through to new installations and animations, festival participants will be encouraged to play in, and play with, the city around them.

The Architecture Foundation will be delivering the LFA programme across two geographic hubs. For the first Festival weekend, the AF Project Space near London Bridge will see invited guests and the public take up residence in an inhabitable commission designed by emerging Canadian-American practice Bureau Spectacular. The installation – a domestic playground blurring the lines between privacy and publicity, home and stage – will host a rolling programme of diverse public events. This spring Bureau Spectacular’s director, Jimenez Lai, publishes his first book – equal parts retrospective and a collection of fanciful graphic enquiries into pressing issues facing architecture today; his installation at the AF offers the first chance to see the work of this rising star in the UK.

And around the corner at Gibbon's Rent we will be celebrating the transformation of this formerly neglected piece of the city.  Designed by architect, Andrew Burns and landscape architect, Sarah Eberle this cut through will become a shared green space for all to enjoy.  Envisaged as an ever changing community garden that evolves through the donation of potted plants from the local community and visitors alike.  Join us on 23-24 June for hands on workshops, cycle powered film screenings, horticulturally themed events, music and much more to mark the beginning of this permanent project. Click here to find out how to sponsor a potted plant for Gibbon's Rent.

On the closing Festival weekend, the AF will focus its energy on the King’s Cross area, where visitors will be invited to explore a trail of ‘urban actions’—small, playful interventions which seek to improve the city for its users--designed by leading local architects, businesses and cultural organisations, co-ordinated in partnership with architects Squire and Partners.

Please visit for further details, and to register your interest in the Festival.

If, having read the LFA website, you still have general Festival enquiries please contact: Jessame Cronin, Festival Coordinator.

If you are interested in supporting The Architecture Foundation’s LFA2012 programme in particular please contact: Moira Lascelles, Curator Special Projects.


The LFA is sponsored by Land Securities, Berkeley Group, The Mayor of London and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.