Dezeen Magazine

Dezeen's top 10 picks for the London Festival of Architecture 2016

London Festival of Architecture 2016: a month-long programme of events and installations begins in the UK capital next week. Dezeen architecture editor Amy Frearson has picked out the highlights.

The London Festival of Architecture features over 200 events taking place across the capital. Curated by director Tamsie Thomson, this year's event is themed around communities, with topics ranging from guerilla gardening to creative workspaces.

See our top 10 below:

Papers: Festival of the Art and Architecture of the Refugee Crisis

Calais Builds will be exhibiting at Papers: Festival of the Art and Architecture of the Refugee Crisis

The refugee crisis is an ongoing challenge for designers, and is going to be one of the hottest topics during the Venice Architecture Biennale next week. LFA will continue this debate with a one-day festival examining the creative culture that has emerged from refugee camps across Europe, and the lessons that can be learned from it.

Curated by former Cass dean Robert Mull, the event is described as "part festival, part academic conference, part village fete" and will take place in partnership with London's Barbican. Participants also include the Worldwide Tribe charity, artist Alpha, architectural historian Joseph Rykwert, Syrian architect Marwa al-Sabouni, Grainne Hassett of the Calais Builds initiative and Architecture Foundation deputy director Phineas Harper.

12 June 2016
Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS

Co-working and Co-living: Designing for Community

Co-working and Co-living: Designing for Community

London has established itself as one of the pioneers of the co-living and co-working trends, which centre around the concept of communal spaces and shared resources. The implications of these trends for designers is the subject of a talk hosted by shared workspace company The Trampery.

The event will feature a panel of architects and industry experts, and will examine how residences and offices can be adapted to suit new community-focused approaches to working and living.

Similarly, Airbnb and Threefold Architects are co-hosting a talk about the changing role of the workplace, titled Belong Anywhere, while the Nunnery Gallery will hold a panel discussion about creating art studios, called Breaking Down Walls.

28 June 2016
The Trampery, 239 Old Street, EC1V 9EY

The People Build

The People Build

French artist Olivier Grossetête – whose previous projects include a rope bridge held up by balloons – will be using hundreds of cardboard boxes to construct a series of full-size buildings in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

On 25 June visitors are invited to help erect these make-shift structures, demonstrating what is possible through collective endeavour.

25 June 2016
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2ST



Throughout June, the crescent outside New London Architecture will be transformed into a community garden promoting the benefits of urban farming.

Led by landscape collective The Edible Bus Stop, the project will showcase a prototype for a modular growing system that could lead to more businesses around the city growing their own fruit and vegetables.

The collective is also working with local residents and school children in southwest London to transform a market street into a community hub, with new seating areas integrated into white picket fences, and planters filled with edible flowers and herbs.

1-30 June 2016
The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, WC1E 7BT

Listening + Doing: An Exploration of Contemporary Council Housing

The Bacton Estate by Karakusevic Carson Architects

Following a series of acclaimed housing projects in the capital, London studio Karakusevic Carson Architects invites visitors to an exhibition exploring how contemporary council housing can help to foster communities. The exhibition is part of the RIBA Open Studios strand of the London Festival of Architecture.

The show will also form the backdrop to a day of talks and film screening, featuring both recently completed housing projects and historic precedents.

1-30 June 2016
Unit E03 The Biscuit Factory, 100 Clements Road, SE16 4DG

Studio Gil and Carnival del Pueblo: The Latin Corridor

Studio Gil and Carnival del Pueblo: The Latin Corridor

Also as part of the RIBA's Open Studios initiative, architects office Studio Gil will be showcasing some of the events, installations and structures it has created as part of a long-running partnership with the Latin American community of Elephant and Castle, southeast London. These range from a new community hub to a public square.

As well as an exhibition inside their office, the architects will be curating a programme of live installations with University of Brighton architecture students in East Street Market.

2-4 June 2016
Unit 23, The Artworks, Elephant Road, SE17 1LB

Constructing Communities

peckham coal line london-festival-architecture-2016_dezeen_936_6

The Royal Institute of British Architects ran a competition asking architects to look at how architecture can help build communities. The 16 longlisted entrants go on show at Peckham Levels – the car park that is being transformed into a hub for artists – while the three winners will build one-to-one installations at the RIBA headquarters at 66 Portland Place.

Participants include De Rosee Sa, DH LibertyWeston Williamson + PartnersTate Harmer and Feilden Clegg Bradley.

2-30 June 2016
Peckham Levels, Rye Lane, SE15

21 June – 4 August 2016
RIBA, 66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD

Blueprint for Living

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Taking place at the Fitzhugh Estate in Wandsworth, a 1950s housing estate designed by John Leslie Martin, this exhibition presents photographs and films looking at the relationship between British Modernism and social housing.

One of the highlights will be a new collection of images by photographer Sharon O'Neill.

31 May – 4 June 2016
Fitzhugh Estate, Fitzhugh Grove, Wandsworth

Man About The House

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Australian comedian Tim Ross and musician Kit Warhurst will be performing inside a series of architectural icons around London, in a bid to highlight the importance of engaging with architectural heritage.

Venues include Ernö Goldfinger's Modernist house at 2 Willow Road, the BT Tower, Studio Octopi's White Lodge and the Australian High Commission.

13-18 June 2016
Various locations

The Castle

One of London's newest cultural facilities, the Black Cultural Archives, is teaming up with nonprofit collective Architects for Social Housing to provide a platform for unheard voices in the community.

This will take the form of a tower constructed from recycled loudspeakers, which will broadcast opinions about political and social issues.

Black Cultural Archive, 1 Windrush Square, SW2 1EF