LFA 2012

Curated by RIBA London, the Architecture Foundation, New London Architecture and the British Council, LFA2012 takes place over three weekends across three London hubs:

  • City of London, Southwark and London Pleasure Gardens (23rd /24th June)
  • Fitzrovia and Victoria (30th June / 1 July)
  • King’s Cross and Hoxton (7th/8th July)

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 new installations and animations, redesigning public spaces to encourage physical fitness in the spirit of the Olympic Games, to testing interactive forms of consultation and planning for future urban development, festival participants will be encouraged to play in, and play with, the city around them.

For press enquiries please contact Tony Nokling and Phil Sorenson at FTI Consulting

For event organisers

The LFA ticketing system is now ready to use. Once you have added your event to this website and paid to confirm it, you can take advantage of our ticketing system hosted by Eventbrite

Article 25 is the official charity of LFA2012 and would be delighted with any contributions from independently organised LFA2012 events. Please see www.article-25.org for more information.

LFA250 Club

Becoming an LFA 250 Club Member provides the London Festival of Architecture with invaluable support and also brings great benefits to your organisation:

  • Waiving of £100 registration fee for your practice’s events listed on www.lfa2012.org
  • Invite to 250 Club events (approx. 4 a year)
  • Regular updates from the LFA team

Membership runs for a year from the time of joining - please download the PDF below to join.

History of the LFA

The Festival started out in 2004 as the London Architecture Biennale (LAB) with a series of events focused on the Clerkenwell area. Clerkenwell is home to more architects per square metre than any other place in the world and the Biennale was seen as a one off event largely aimed at a local audience.

LAB was set up as a contrast to the Venice Biennale, where the world’s architectural community congregate, but the event has very little relationship to the place or community of the city. The London biennale was designed to be embedded in the city - past and present. Its programme designed to celebrate the delights of the historical capital, to focus on its role as a creative hub and to posit ideas for its future.

Some 15000 people turned out for the opening event in St John Street when a herd of long horn cows were driven down to Smithfield market to recreate the movement of livestock that occurred there until the 17th century and which was responsible for forming the plan and activities of the area. While many of the spectators were drawn to the spectacle of the cows they also took in the exhibitions on contemporary architecture, and the walks and talks that took place at the same time.

In 2006 events were held along a route linking Borough, south of the River Thames, with Kings Cross in the north. The animal theme was repeated with a sheep drive across the Millennium Bridge with Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers as shepherds. The serious message of this event was to highlight the impact of the construction of the new bridge on the economy and the planning of the area around Bankside and St Paul’s cathedral. Again the public turned out in their thousands and also enjoyed the range of exhibitions, open studios, walks, tours and bicycle rides. The Student Architecture Festival joined in to deliver a series of installations along the route.

It was becoming clear, as popular interest in the Festival grew, that the word ‘biennale’, while familiar to the art and architecture community, has little resonance with a wider audience and the decision was taken to change the name to the London Festival of Architecture.

In 2008 the buzz of activity moved across five key areas or ‘Hubs’, with largescale public events taking place in a different Hub each weekend. Each of the Hubs covered an area with a very different character - historic, present and future – and full of different institutions and activities.

Headline events included lectures by leading international architects David Chipperfield, Daniel Libeskind, Cesar Pelli and Rem Koolhaas and by former LFA President, Peter Ackroyd as well as Big Breakfasts at spectacular venues such as the British Museum, with speakers including Jon Snow and Janet Street-Porter sharing their views of London.

Specially commissioned pavilions provided platforms for debate and performance, while specially designed street furniture invited passers by to take a seat and look with fresh eyes at London’s public spaces.

For the first time the event included an international dimension. Since London’s diplomatic status is a key part of its make up, and international diversity is a strength of the local architectural scene, the Festival organised events that would have a global perspective yet still remain true to the desire to be embedded in the city and its community. International embassies exhibited architecture from their particular countries, and temporary installations occupied streets across the city as part of the National Architect.

Committee Section

  • Kate GoodwinRoyal Academy
  • Pat BrownCentral
  • Paul FinchAJ
  • Miranda HousdenICE
  • Tim LucasPrice & Myers
  • Lee MalletUrbik
  • Jim RobertsFourth Street
  • Andrew ScoonesBuilding Centre
  • David UbakaDavid Ubaka Place Makers
  • Debbie WhitfieldNLA
  • Roger ZogolovitchLake Estates
  • Abraham ThomasV&A Museum
  • Bridget SawyersArchitecture Centre
  • Mark BrearleyDesign for London
  • Sarah GaventaRSHP
  • Helen ArvanitakisTom Dixon
  • John BoxallJackson Coles
  • Wendy EbringerMethod Architects
  • Stella IannouLacuna PR
  • Jonathan StockDialogue Group
  • Jonathan PawlowskiCollyer Bristowe LLP
  • Iain JohnstonBisset Adams