The LFA, in partnership with the City of London Corporation, have launched a design competition for a series of miniature landscaped spaces or ‘Parklets’, to be installed across the Square Mile for the Festival in June 2019. The competition will harness the talent of architects and designers to bring additional life and greenery to the City’s streets and public spaces when the world’s largest annual architecture festival returns next summer.
Architects, landscape architects, designers and artists are invited to submit a design proposal for a parklet that will transform a kerbside area into a place to rest, relax and admire the City – a public space fit for a festival. As well as a £6,500 budget for each parklet, the competition offers an outstanding opportunity for exposure to a vast public audience in the City: home to 8,000 residents and a working population of 513,000 people, as well as the 10 million tourists who visit each year
The deadline for the initial expression of interest stage is midday on Thursday 7 February for consideration by the competition judging panel. Up to six shortlisted participants or practices will then be invited to develop a design concept, and will be awarded an honorarium of £250. The winning projects will be unveiled to the public when the London Festival of Architecture begins on 1 June 2019.
The City Parklets competition will be judged by an expert panel comprising:
- Simon Glynn (City Public Realm – City of London Corporation)
- Patrick Hegarty (Open Spaces – City of London Corporation)
- Tamsie Thomson (Director – London Festival of Architecture)
- Giles Radford (Highways – City of London Corporation)
- Jennifer Dixon (EMEA Architecture Leader – AECOM)
- Philippa Stockley (Journalist – Evening Standard)
Full details of the competition can be found in the Full Brief (pdf).
Please submit your entry before midday on Thursday 7 February.
Tamsie Thomson, director of the London Festival of Architecture, said:
“Harnessing London’s amazing design talent to enliven London’s public realm is fundamental to our mission at the London Festival of Architecture. Once again we’re delighted to be working in partnership with the City of London Corporation as our exciting and fruitful competitions activities continue to develop. As the LFA explores the theme of ‘boundaries’ in 2019, the City Parklets project promises not only to bring joy and colour to the City next summer, but also to provoke thinking about how architects can bridge the gap between disused space and productive use.”
Chris Hayward, Planning and Transportation Committee Chairman at the City of London Corporation said:
“As we continue to upgrade and enliven the City’s streets and spaces, we look forward to working with the London Festival of Architecture once again on innovative planning solutions, while providing young professionals in the built environment industry with the opportunity to use their creativity to support our healthier street model. I hope very much that their designs inspire the public to see City spaces in a new light.”
The City Parklets competition follows on the success of City Benches, which saw nine bespoke benches designed by emerging architecture and design talent across the City of London: the result of the partnership between the LFA and the City of London Corporation. For Patrick McEvoy, who designed the Here Lies Geoffrey Barkingtonbench in June 2018, working with the LFA and the City of London Corporation was a transformational experience. He said:
“City Benches was especially exciting because the brief involved working at a scale where there was a lot of room for experimentation. Furthermore, as a young designer, designing a public installation within the City of London was an extraordinary opportunity. The reception in the architectural press was overwhelming and the project has inspired me to explore a more playful approach to architecture.”
Photo credit: Fresh Air Square, Tooley Street, Photography by Mediamixer, on behalf of Team London Bridge.