Architects create 10 installations for RIBA Regent Street Windows 2016

London Design Festival 2016: architecture firms have created installations along one of London's most famous shopping streets for the Royal Institute of British Architects' annual Regent Street Windows project (+movie).

Liberty RIBA windows display 2016 with Architecture Social Club
Window display for Liberty by Architecture Social Club

This year's RIBA Regent Street Windows, which runs until 25 September 2016, pairs architects with retailers on London's Regent Street to create a series of bespoke window installations.

Kiehl's with Piercy & Company x Electrolight
Window display for Kiehl's by Piercy & Company and Electrolight

"For architects, to work in a very high profile and public location is fantastic," explains RIBA Regent Street Windows project manager Meneesha Kellay in the movie, which Dezeen produced for RIBA.

"For retailers, working with the architects to broaden the limits of their display is a great chance to push their usual boundaries."

Molton Brown RIBA windows display 2016 with Knox Bhavan & Susie MacMurray
Window display for Molton Brown by Knox Bhavan Architects

The project features 10 installations this year.

Knox Bhavan Architects worked with artist Susie MacMurray to create a series of handmade chandeliers in Molton Brown's window suspended above a bed of roses made from brass, steel and paper.

Molton Brown RIBA windows display 2016 with Knox Bhavan & Susie MacMurray
Window display for Molton Brown by Knox Bhavan Architects

"We have three enormous chandeliers made from Molton Brown plastic bottles, hung on Molton Brown ribbon," explains Knox Bhavan Architects partner Sasha Bhavan.

Molton Brown RIBA windows display 2016 with Knox Bhavan & Susie MacMurray
Window display for Molton Brown by Knox Bhavan Architects

"A lot of Susie [MacMurray]'s work is about repeating elements. You put them together and come out with something which is really quite amazing."

Kate Spade RIBA window display 2016 with Design Haus Liberty
Window display for Kate Spade by Design Haus Liberty

Other architects also chose to create assemblages made up from multiple smaller elements.

Kate Spade RIBA window display 2016 with Design Haus Liberty
Window display for Kate Spade by Design Haus Liberty

Design Haus Liberty created chandeliers made from eight thousand crystal spheres for Kate Spade, inspired by the brand's signature polka dot pattern.

Kiehl's with Piercy & Company x Electroligh
Window display for Kiehl's by Piercy & Company and Electrolight

For Kiehl's, Piercy & Company and lighting company Electrolight collaborated to create an installation featuring ceramic reproductions of quinoa seed husks, the active ingredient in the skincare brand's latest product.

7 For All Mankind RIBA window display 2016 with KSR Architects
Window display for 7 For All Mankind by KSR Architects

Some firms chose to use movement in their installations, such as KSR Architects, which created a pair of floating jeans for the window of 7 For All Mankind.

Uniqlo RIBA window display 2016 with Projects Office
Window display by Projects Office for Uniqlo

Projects Office's window display for Uniqlo features a number of flapping pigeons, which are unravelling reels of wool.

Uniqlo RIBA window display 2016 with Projects Office
indow display by Projects Office for Uniqlo

"Uniqlo is an international brand, but we wanted to do something that is uniquely London-based for the project," explains Projects Office founder Bethan Kay.

"We took the humble pigeon and made him the main protagonist in our display. They're cheeky pigeons and they are unravelling this wool and creating nests for themselves."

Charles Tyrwhitt RIBA window display 2016 with Bureau de Change
Window display for Charles Tyrwhitt by Bureau de Change

Other architects chose to draw on the heritage of the brand they worked with.

Bureau de Change replicated some of the pattern pieces from men's tailor Charles Tyrwhitt in a range of British timbers.

Liberty RIBA windows display 2016 with Architecture Social Club
Liberty window display by Architecture Social Club

Architectural Social Club's installation for Liberty, which spans all of the windows at the front of the store, tells a fantasy story about the founder of the iconic brand.

Liberty RIBA windows display 2016 with Architecture Social Club
Liberty window display by Architecture Social Club

"The installation celebrates Arthur Lasenby Liberty, who was the founder of Liberty," explains Satyajit Das of Architecture Social Club. "He was the one of the pioneers of bringing foreign arts into Britain."

Liberty RIBA windows display 2016 with Architecture Social Club
Liberty window display by Architecture Social Club

"In our project, we basically retell the story of Noah's Ark in a tongue and cheek way. Arthur is the liberator of fashion and saves London from a very traumatic time where fashion had gone wrong."

Armani Exchange RIBA window display 2016 with Matheson Whiteley
Window display for Armani Exchange by Matheson Whiteley

Matheson Whiteley created a much more simple but striking display for Armani Exchange by hanging a single piece of fabric in the window.

KIKO MILANO RIBA window display 2016 with Aleksa Studio
Window display for Kiko Milano by Aleska Studio

Aleska Studio’s window design is inspired by KIKO Milano's make-up colours and features a series of translucent coloured ribs that change based on the viewing angle.

RIBA, 76 Portland Place with CAN + Nina Shen Poblete
76 Portland Place installation by Critical Architecture Network and Nina Shen Poblete

The RIBA also took part in the project for the first time, commissioning an installation for its new offices at 76 Portland Place by Critical Architecture Network and Nina Shen Poblete.

The installation features a number of ornately carved breeze blocks displayed behind white vinyl showing the windows of the original building on the site.

RIBA, 76 Portland Place with CAN + Nina Shen Poblete
76 Portland Place installation by Critical Architecture Network and Nina Shen Poblete

"We decided to block up our window openings with these exquisitely detailed breeze blocks," explains Mat Barnes of Critical Architecture Network.

"We've got a keen interest in cheap, run-of-the-mill materials and how we can elevate these into ornamental and luxury architectural elements."

Liberty RIBA windows display 2016 with Architecture Social Club
Liberty window display by Architecture Social Club

Carl Turner, chair of RIBA's London Council, took part in the project himself three years ago. He says it is a great opportunity for young architects to put themselves in front of the public.

"I know first hand how amazing this project can be, especially for younger practices," he says.


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"I really encourage everybody to take a stroll along London's most historic streets and enjoy the creativity and the craft of some of London's most amazing architects."

Liberty RIBA windows display 2016 with Architecture Social Club
Liberty window display by Architecture Social Club

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project launched on 5 September and will continue throughout London Design Festival until 25 September.

This movie was produced by Dezeen for the RIBA. The music in the movie is by Wave Crushers.

All photography used in this story is by Liam Clarke.