Following the conclusion of David Chipperfield’s 2012 Venice Biennale, the British Pavilion has brought its investigations back to the UK to expand upon ten exceptional research projects that illustrate how architecture has shaped the culture and economy of countries around the world.
Should Amsterdam-style floating homes be built in London’s Docklands? Could the UK learn from Brazil’s successful identikit school-building program? Could Belfast be redeveloped by following a Berlin model? These are just some of the fascinating questions that will be addressed in a series of lectures, debates and events hosted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in collaboration with the British Council and the Architectural Association.
Mark your calendars for the following special events, which will run from February 26 through April 27, 2013.
The Dutch Way: From Houseboat to Water House
When: Tuesday, February 26 at 6.00pm Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place London £9 & £6.50 concession
From Buckminster Fuller’s Triton City to Kiyonori Kikutake’s Marine City, living on water has long exercised designers’ imagination, but are water based communities becoming a realistic proposition rather than just a utopian dream? Chaired by Vicky Richardson – British Council with Alex de Rijke – dRMM, Sjoerd Soeters – Soeters van Eldonk, Ijburg and Mike Luddy – Royal Docks Management Authority.
Architect Explorers: Land Use Taxonomy /Landscape Transformation
When: Thursday, February 28 at 6.00pm Where: Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square London, free to attend .
What is the British Exploratory Land Archive (BELA)? How can architects learn from the landscape? Inspired by Los Angeles, Smout Allen and Geoff Manaugh outline proposals for exploring and mapping the UK with fresh eyes and new potential.
Itsuko Hasegawa: Ordinary and Heroic
When: Wednesday, March 6 at 6.00pm Where: Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square London, free to attend .
Known for kicking against the grain of architectural fashion, Itsuko Hasegawa reveals the drivers behind her work and explores the notion of design leadership in difficult times.
Fideicomiso! Putting Architecture at the Heart of Housing
When: Tuesday, April 23 at 6.30pm Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place London £9 & £6.50 concession
In Argentina, ‘Fideicomiso’ enables the development of housing by groups of people working as clients direct with architects. How could it be applied in the UK? Part of a housing futures Double Bill. Chaired by Alastair Donald – British Council with curator Elias Redstone, Sebastian Adamo – Adamo Faiden architects, Buenos Aries; Dickon Robinson – Chair of Building Futures and David Kohn. Supported by the Argentine Embassy.
Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA): Berlin and Belfast
When:Tuesday, April 23 at 7.45pm Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place London £9 & £6.50 concession
The IBA in West Berlin was a far-sighted urban renewal project completed in 1987. Would an international building exhibition be the best way to deliver better quality architecture in the UK? Part of a housing futures Double Bill. Chaired by Vicky Richardson – British Council with Declan Hill – Forum for Alternative Belfast, Jan Kleihues – IBA Expert, Kleihues + Kleihues and Gerry Miller – Director of Property and Projects, Belfast City Council.
Debates Constraint and Creativity: Is Red Tape the Enemy of Architecture?
When: Tuesday, March 5 at 6.30pm Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place London £9 & £6.50 concession
In comparison to other countries, the UK is regarded as a place stiffled by red tape and as risk adverse. Will the government’s proposals to tear up Building Regulations threaten design quality or will they set us all free? Chaired by Alastair Donald – British Council with Liam Ross – Edinburgh University, Tom Mullarkey – Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents and Piers Gough – CZWG.
The Working Village: Exploring a radical pilot entrepreneurial village
When: Thursday, March 14 at 6.00 Where: Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square London FREE to attend.
Against the backdrop of failing high streets and dying neighbourhoods, is there a radical way of putting planning in the service of the economy? Could Localism be the genuine mechanism for growth as we were once promised and what might radicalism look like? Live thinktank event with Darryl Chen – Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today, Finn Williams – Common Office, Wouter Vanstiphout – Crimson Architectural Historians and Levent Kerimol at Design for London. Supported by Hawkins\Brown.
Lessons from Brazil: Is Standardised School Design Compatible with Architecture?
When: Tuesday, March 19 at 6.30pm Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place London £9 & £6.50 concession
In the 1980s, Oscar Niemeyer led an experimental programme in Rio de Janeiro, building 508 prefabricated schools. As the UK embraces standardisation, but stands accused of lacking ambition, can we take inspiration from Brazil? With David Chambers – Aberrant Architecture and Washington Fajardo – Rio City Secretary of Heritage, Architecture and Design.
Special Events Discussion Bureau Open Charter Agency: Image of the architect
When: February 26 & March 26 at 6pm – 9pm Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place London, free drop in.
The Open Charter Agency is a new platform for the public to explore how architects might act as agents of change and thoughts on the profession. Express your views and let them know what you think at the OCA Bureau. Led by Alex Warnock-Smith – Urban Projects Bureau, Torange Khonsari and Andreas Lang – Public Works and Owen Pritchard.
Visionaries and Dreamers Spring Last
When: Tuesday, March 26 at 6:00pm Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place London
Drawing Salon Paper Architecture
When: Saturday, April 13 at 10am to 5pm Where: Calvert 22 Gallery, 22 Calvert Avenue, London – charges apply see architecture.com/whatson
Inspired by Russian investigations, this drawing event is a chance for young architects to hone the development of creative ideas in response to a current London competition brief. Led by Ross Anderson and Anna Gibb.
Creative family workshop Spectacular Architecture
When: Saturday, April 6, 11am -2pm Where: RIBA, 66 Portland Place London, free drop in.
Bright ideas can come from anywhere at any age. Using international architecture as inspiration from the RIBA’s collections – fold, draw, cut, stick and colour to create a new spectacular cityscape. Families are invited to enjoy getting creative together.
More information about the Venice Takeaway: Ideas to Change British Architecture can be found on our previous coverage. Also, be sure to check out the official Venice Takeaway website.