Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in London.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
Hunter S. Thomson
The weird started turning pro for Bompas & Parr as a result of our involvement with the London Festival of Architecture back in 2008. The popularity of our Architectural Jelly Banquet surprised a lot of people, not least ourselves, and set us on a path to designing ambitious events in a realm somewhere between food and architecture.
The theme of the London Festival of Architecture this year is all about exploring the changing nature of work and the workspace, and how it impacts on the evolution of London. Here are some of the events, talks and exhibitions that have caught the eye of the Bompas & Parr studio.
The possibility of working in extreme environments is always exciting. At Bompas & Parr we’ve long been fascinated by the subject of booze in space. After all cosmonauts have used vodka to keep them ‘in tone’ for years. On the 18 June the Institute of Structural Engineers are hosting a talk on designing for the most extreme environment on this planet, Antarctica. The event coincides with the launch of a new book 'Ice Station' by Ruth Slavid, which tells the full story of Antarctic research base Halley VI’s design, construction, occupation and legacy. I’ll be asking questions about the catering!
Spanish architects SelgasCano are the talk of the town. Their conversion of an industrial building off Brick Lane into Second Home, a flexible workspace, has set the bar high for their forthcoming Serpentine Pavilion - we’ll be down on the 23 June to hear them talk about their designs at the Serpentine Gallery.
On the 6 June the GLA are hosting a walking tour down the sometimes infamous Old Kent Road. It certainly won’t be exotic but as a south Londoner I know there’s always excitement on the strip. Maybe the tour will take in the monumental Reuse and Recyling Plant before finishing off with a game of afrobeats fuelled ten pin bowling at the soon to be regenerated shopping centre.
The Sir John Soane’s Museum was the site of our recent Monumental Masonry competition where over a hundred architects and designers competed to design the ultimate tomb. A talk at the museum on the 10 June will discuss the history of the architectural model and no doubt make reference to the recently opened private apartments and model room, not seen by the public for 160 years.
At the end of June Thomas Heatherwick will give the NLA’s Annual Lecture 2015. Expect an impressive delivery and much garden bridge related debate.
June is a busy month for sensory adventures across the capital. 4 June marks the start of Secret Cinema’s latest adventure, Star Wars: the Empire Strikes back. These productions keep getting bigger and more ambitious and this summer is set to trump them all. The experience gives Londoner’s the opportunity to visit an impressive piece of industrial architecture and it’s definitely one to book whilst tickets still remain.
Finally, throughout June Beach London will be showing Air Freshener’s of the Apocalypse, an exhibition curated by Bompas & Parr. We invited ten of the UK's top illustrators to design the air fresheners they would like to have dangling from their rear-view mirror as they motor through the greatest fictional and literary apocalypses known to mankind. Each air freshener has then been impregnated with artisanal perfumes created by Bompas & Parr. Ultimately it's London's only art exhibition where you want the smell to linger on your fingers…