London Architecture Biennale

Second London Architecture Biennale exceeds all expectations

  • 75,000 people attended the London Architecture Biennale over ten days
  • 10,000 people attended the launch event – a sheep drive over the Millennium Bridge by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers; 15,000 people came to St Bartholomew Fair
  • Over 400 architecture practices and related organisations supported the Biennale with more than 200 exhibitions and events taking place
  • 6,150 tickets sold

The London Architecture Biennale took place last week with an explosive ten-day celebration exploring the theme of Change. As the subject of architecture is increasingly in the public eye, the Biennale offered entertaining and accessible events for architecture novices as well as in-depth analysis and serious debate for experts.

It was received with much support and acclaim from the public, the architecture world and from its high profile sponsors and there are already pledges for support for LAB 08.

‘The Biennale was a huge success this year’, says LAB Director Peter Murray, ‘and the unprecedented response suggests that the project will continue to grow, with even more events and partners for 2008. I’m working on establishing a funding platform for future Biennales and we will be appointing a new director to bring fresh ideas and energy to the table. Architecture has such an impact on all our lives that it should be at the top of the cultural agenda; it is certainly moving that way. The Biennale has been buoyed up by an increasing interest among the general public, but we will need significant funding if we are to grow. We will be starting talks immediately with public and private sector funders to gauge the support for the future.’

Over 200 talks, parties, seminars, film screenings, exhibitions, debates, walks and events brought together internationally respected architects, artists, designers, public figures, celebrities and Londoners during the Biennale to explore the theme of Change. Biennale President, the acclaimed author Peter Ackroyd, created a special exhibition on the Millennium Bridge and gave a talk at Tate Modern.

Other highlights of the ten days included:

  • a ‘sermon’ by Renzo Piano which filled Southwark Cathedral to its capacity
  • the sheep drive by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano which launched the Biennale, followed by St Bartholomew Fair, a day of celebration at Smithfield with food by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and St John restaurant, crazy golf, stalls, a knitted life-size house and hundreds of pink balloons
  • exhibitions with contributions from international architecture stars as well as members of the public
  • sell-out events including The World’s Biggest Pecha Kucha at Sadlers Wells (1,500 seats), the Big Debate featuring Norman Foster, FOA, Lee Polisano and Adam Caruso at the Barbican (1,160 seats)
  • the National Architecture Student Festival and exhibitions on railings outside buildings along the entire 5km Biennale route from King’s Cross to Southwark
  • a debate on national BBC radio about 1960s architecture

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Highlight events

Big London Brainstorm - An exhibition of invention to make London, you know, a little nicer

Big London Brainstorm, the LAB 'headline' exhibiton, will be a visually striking display of the ideas of London Celebrities, architects, designers and Londoners created in response to the 2006 Biennale's theme of 'Change'. Submit your ideas.
Call for submissions deadline: 9 June 2006.

Full event details >>

Piercy Conner

Blueprint Big Breakfasts - Jude Kelly

One of the most respected figures in the UK arts scene, kelly is art director at the South Bank Centre and chair of the arts, education and culture commitee for the 2012 London olympics. At the breakfast she will discuss her development plans for the South Bank Centre, and how they are influenced by the 1951 festival of Britain.

Full event details >>

The Euston Road: A Place not a Through Road

Lecture and discussion by Sir Terry Farrell on plans for the Euston Road

Full event details >>