The must-sees at the London Festival of Architecture

If you’re heading to London this month, you’re in luck, because the city is celebrating the London Festival of Architecture.  The biggest of its kind in the world, it includes over 400 activities. There are workshops, concerts, talks, and of course, architectural exhibitions and installations that will take your breath away.  We’ve highlighted some of the essentials here.


The Colour Palace by Yinka Ilori

Dulwich Picture Gallery, from June 12 to September 22

Designed by artist Yinka Ilori and the architecture studio Pricegore, it stands out thanks to its colourful façade which is inspired by traditional African textiles and made from thousands of hand-painted pieces of wood. Its innovative structure, which is also made of wood, is a feat of engineering. Until June 23, it’s also hosting an exhibition of the 16 different types of chairs that Ilori incorporated into his design of Happy Street, the Thessaly Road underpass.  This will be followed by program of activities throughout summer.

The Colour Palace, by Yinka Ilori.  Photo:

Wooden Parliament by Finsa

Granary Square (Kings Cross), from June 3 to June 30

The Madrid studio amid.cero9 designed this wooden parliament that plays with limits, which is the theme of LFA 2019, in order to stimulate dialogue among visitors.  The Museum of Architecture has organised a wide range of activities to fill the structure with life every day.

Wooden Parliament. Photo: Finsa

The Quintessential English Garden

Canary Wharf, from June 10 to July 12

Lily Jencks studio has created a pop-up English garden at Canary Wharf.  Inspired by the Stourhead garden, it includes trees, shrubs, and other non-native plants, which have been introduced during periods of colonial expansion and invite spectators to reflect upon the concept of identity.


Paper Castels

Victoria & Albert museum, from June 1 to June 30

The V&A Museum is showing models made by 15 architects and contemporary studios together beside the permanent collection of the museum, initiating a conversation between the future and the past of architecture.  Notable participants include London studios such as Zaha Hadid, Madelon Vriesendorp, and OMMX.

The metre and the foot, an homage to Le Corbusier by Madelon Vrisendorp.  Photo:


Poliform King’s Road Showroom, from June 1 to June 30


Using a series of photos of London architecture taken by Stapleton, this installation by Poliform is about the role of buildings as creators of both physical and social limitations in cities.

There’s also…

Designer public benches

Cheapside (City of London), from June 3 to June 30

For the second year in a row, the festival held a competition for architecture students in which they must create “imaginative” resting places.  The five winners can now be seen and used in London.

Volo: dreams of flight

Various locations across the city, from June 18 to June 22

Studio Go Go has designed four virtual reality experiences related to flight which can be seen in four different locations across the city.  The installation is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machine.


The Alsop Whistle-Stop Tour

Neuron Pod, June 1 to June 30

All Design studio has created a self-guided tour that invites you to visit to some of the best-known buildings from architect Will Alsop.  The tour begins at the Neuron Pod and passes through the Peckham Library, winner of the Stirling Prize.

Neuron Pod by Will Alsop.  Photo:

If you can’t get to London, you can always go on a virtual tour thanks to social media.  Search for the hashtag #LFA19.