Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in London.

October 2017
David Kohn
David Kohn Architects

October is Frieze month when the art world descends on London for one of the most important events of the year.


The temporary exhibition halls in Regent’s Park, designed by Universal Design Studio since 2014, are only the most conspicuous elements that mark its arrival and definitely worth a visit. If you are interested in the design of spaces for art, then the Frieze Art & Architecture Conference at The Royal Institution on 6 October boasts a roll call of top practitioners and clients. The tickets are a cool £250 but there is a good student price. You can see the likes of Berlin gallerist Johan König, architect Arno Brandlhüber or the renowned collector and designer Axel Vervoordt speaking alongside more familiar art world designers including David Adjaye, Liz Diller and Amanda Levete.


Around town, private and public galleries open new shows to coincide with the fair. It’s also the best time of the year for galleries to open new spaces, with Stuart Shave opening a new branch of Modern Art in his former stomping ground of Vyner Street. If you miss Johan König at Frieze you can visit his new space, König Archiv & Souvenir, opening in a former parking lot in Marylebone. And if you miss Arnold Brandlhüber, you can see the architect of König’s remarkable Berlin gallery speaking at the RIBA on 24 October in what looks to be an excellent and timely lecture series EUROPA, of young architects from the rest of Europe. Brandlhüber will speak alongside Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, director of Köln-based BeL architects to cover the German leg of the series. On 3 October you can see the inspiring Barcelona-based practice Maio and playful Porto-based Fala Atelier representing the Iberian Peninsula.


The playful end of British architecture can be savoured at talks with architects Charles Holland on 5 October, Sam Jacob on 7 and Geoff Shearcroft of AOC Architecture on 11 October. Each is part of an engaging panel discussing working with artists at the Architecture Club, the work of Dali and Duchamp at the Royal Academy and civic buildings at RIBA, respectively. For a deep dive into the civic, architect Patrick Lynch will be giving a tour of chthonic C19th infrastructure and his own work on Victoria Street on 14 October to AA Members and alumni to accompany the launch of his new book, Civic Ground.


If you are looking for a family day out at a gallery, then the Sunday Family Workshop: This is the House that I Built at Parasol Unit is for you, Sunday, October 15. Another family favourite is the Camden Arts Centre. Beautifully designed by Tony Fretton and Muf, you get great art, architecture, garden, books, coffee and coffee-table books all in one visit. Soofiya Andry will be the artist in residence in the Drawing Studio and run the weekly Sunday drop-in sessions for families. Creative activities in October will be inspired by the work of Nathalie du Pasquier, who’s show, Other Rooms opens on 28 September. One of the founding members of Memphis, du Pasquier’s paintings are set to burst out of their frames to transform the architecture of the gallery.


Also opening this month is ‘London’s Towns: Shaping the polycentric city’, a new exhibition, insight study and series of events at New London Architecture looking at the future role of London’s outer town centres in accommodating London’s significant population growth. The exhibition open Wednesday 11 October and runs through to January 2018.


Past Editors