Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in London.
London is glistening in this glorious sunshine and August is surely the peak of British Summer Time, so what better way to kick off our homage to all things architecture than a trip to Hyde Park to enjoy the London Mastaba by sculptors Christo and and his late wife Jeanne-Claude. A massive brightly coloured floating sculpture on the Serpentine Lake, it measures 30m by 40m and is constructed out of 7,506 stacked barrels on a floating platform. The structure is known to have low environmental impact on the ecosystem of the lake and its surroundings, making it an ideal summer hangout.
Located less than a mile to the west sits the Serpentine Pavilion 2018, designed by Mexican Architect Frida Escobedo as a structure that coalesces with light, water and geometry. Composed of staggered British-crafted roof tiles, it allows glimpses of nature to pass through the pavilion. On one side of the structure, Escobedo designed a ceiling of mirror panels that reflect a shallow pool allowing visitors to create their own unique, personal experience through their activities. The Serpentine Pavilion is particularly charming this summer and these two events make Hyde Park a real pull this year.
It is a cherished occasion when the public gain access to the monarchy’s dwellings, so another highlight this summer is surely the opening of the Buckingham Palace to the public. Open only for ten weeks and located in the royal residence and magnificent State Rooms, visitors can experience the historic architecture of John Nash and Edward Blore, with rare pieces of art that have open to the public. As this year marks the 70th birthday of the Prince of Wales, the exhibition features works of art personally selected by His Royal Highness.
Making our way up to Great Portland Street, Disappear Here is an exhibition worth exploring, presented by the charming Sam Jacobs. It looks at how ‘perspective’ has spanned through time, and changes with ‘truth and illusion’ – combining art, architecture and mathematics. Perspective drawing lets the visitor become a part of the space, while viewing original works and rare books by some of the best designers in history.
Finishing off with the future in mind, New London Architecture has the RCA Student Prize for Architecture and Innovation on display in the NLA Galleries at The Building Centre throughout August. The exhibition showcases winning projects by four students – Jacob Riman, Joseph Mercer, Joana Ribeiro and Hannah Rozenberg – from the Royal College of Arts. The graduate show addresses infrastructure issues within the built environment, including concerns of new transport hubs, hi-tech agricultural production and tools used to design and build in an unbiased, post-binary world. It promises great aesthetic sensibility with possibly a hint of Archigram about the future.