About LFA competitions

LFA competitions have helped facilitate urban innovation and experimentation within the city through the delivery of some outstanding and ground-breaking design installations. The competitions have enabled the realisation of a variety of proposals, from small scale interventions to major public buildings and masterplans.

Not all our competitions are physical. Several are conceptual, taking the form of a design workshop (“charrette”) in which we bring together practitioners from across the built environment industry to test and develop ideas at the earliest stage to help create briefs and guide future development strategies.

We work with and on behalf of a range of organisations – including leading cultural organisations, local authorities, business improvement districts and private organisations – to facilitate the competitions and bring forward creative responses to difficult challenges within the public realm.

LFA competitions are well respected amongst the architectural community for their fairness, transparency and the diversity of the entrants and winners. But more than that, the right competition can provide a range of design solutions from which to choose.

 

Over Here by Iain Jamieson and Zoe Power, London Festival of Architecture 2022 ©Luke O’Donovan

 

Though each competition has its own unique set of local and site specific objectives, overall LFA aims to achieve several key aims through running our competitions. These include:

  • Testing and innovation – LFA competitions provide a unique opportunity to test new ideas and encourage temporary activation, which can then be used to inform future developments and long-term interventions in the public realm
  • Support new talent –  LFA wants to create a route into the built environment industry for new and emerging architects and designers, particularly those who come from background underrepresented within the sector
  • Enliven public spaces – Through each competition we hope to improve people’s lives and bring joy and excitement to the public realm we’re working within
  • Support sustainable design – Although many of our installations are temporary, we encourage and support our designers and partners to plan for the afterlife of these projects which go on to be re-homed or recycled.

If you’re interested in finding out more about running your own LFA competition, please get in touch.

 

Testimonials

Lunch Break © Luke O’Donovan

“The Public Realm team at the City of London has been collaborating with the LFA for over 5 years to deliver exciting temporary installations in our public spaces. Through this joint work and design competitions organised with the LFA, we questioned what we wanted for the future of our public spaces to be and invited a wide range of designers, artists and experts to share their views.  The LFA is always a great partner to be at the forefront of the field and attract young and talented people, so we can all work together to make our city more sustainable, inclusive, and inspiring.”

Clarisse Tavin, City of London Corporation

 

Somers Town Acts © Luke O’Donovan

“In the lead up to the council’s project ‘Greening Phoenix Road’, the open design competition was an opportunity to be bold and prototype new ideas with residents. It was also a way to connect up the physical and social landscape of Somers Town; an area with a strong community spirit and rich cultural history, in amongst two of London’s two main stations and their rapid regeneration. 

Working closely with emerging practice Nooma Studio and the LFA, the project truly involved the local community in place-based activation, co-hosting a programme of events with residents, schools, community groups and a school of performing arts.  The connections made between local groups was an important part of the legacy we wanted to create and the thriving streetscape during the festival will go on to inform the future plans for this area.”

Jenny Dunn, Camden Council

 

Past competitions

Each competition has led to a creative and unique built installation, you can see some of the most recently completed designs here.

 


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