Quarter of a million visits to LFA

Niki May Young
Tuesday 22 Jul 2008

London Festival of Architecture closes having "exceeded expectations"

This year's London Festival of Architecture closed on Sunday having attracted an impressive quarter of a million visitors to the 600 + events that took place around the UK capital.

Events ranged from 60,000 people enjoying the Sites and Sounds event in Exhibition Road and 1,000 people attending David Chipperfield’s keynote lecture, to the ‘Vocaleyes’ tours of some of London’s most interesting buildings for small groups of blind and partially sighted visitors.

The month long event encouraged the involvement of industry professionals, students and the public in the consideration of existing architecture and the development of new developments. Large scale temporary structures were evident and major street closures animated by art, music, dance and other events as well as exhibitions, walks, talks, boat and bicycle rides and performances to London’s architecture novices and industry experts alike.

Launched by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson at Somerset House, the Festival saw sold-out talks from international names such as Daniel Libeskind, David Chipperfield, Rafael Viñoly, Cesar Pelli, Rem Koolhaas and LFA President Peter Ackroyd along with inspiring, interactive temporary structures and installations from the likes of Foster + Partners, Tonkin Liu and Carmody Groarke.

The Festival had an international flavour with the Embassies Project: 23 countries organised exhibitions of their own architects’ work, which included a cedar wood structure from British Columbia installed outside of the Canadian High Commission in Trafalgar Square.

LFA Director, Peter Murray, said: “The Festival has exceeded all expectations this year and as well as making architecture engaging and exciting for a new audience, we addressed important issues such as how we improve public space in cities, how architecture impacts the environment and generally how we make London a better place to live and work in.

He added: “Architecture is now at the forefront of the cultural agenda and the Festival has shown that it is an essential consideration for the many rather than a specialist interest for the few.”

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