London Festival of Architecture

Based on the historic Venice Architecture Biennale the very first Clerkenwell Architecture Biennale’s aim was to promote and demystify architecture by engaging with the high concentration of architecture practices in the Clerkenwell area. Through a series of exhibitions, talks, tours, parties, debates and more Londoners were encouraged to come to experience the area which also has an incredible amount of historic value.

Local businesses were also engaged with and encouraged to become involved through a number of ways; either hosting events or sponsoring them. What started off as a small event which would include 15 events maximum turned into a 75 event programme over ten days; all delivered in the very short period of eight months. The main challenge was the limited budget but the genuine enthusiasm of the profession twinned with the innovative thinking of the Founding Director meant that the project kept on growing with the success of the first event surprising everyone involved.

Following a great response to the first edition, the London Festival of Architecture grew significantly and covered the theme of Change in its 2006 edition which was based on a route from King’s Cross down to Southwark and celebrated “the change and consistencies of London Life, the meeting of rural and urban, of architecture and agriculture…” (Zoe Williams, The Guardian). The 2006 edition will always be best remembered for the Sheepdrive led by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers over the Millennium Bridge attracting over 15,000 Londoners. Once again the project ‘overdelivered’ with 225 events over a 10 day programme.

I have enjoyed working with Stella in various guises, including her stint as Deputy Director of the London Festival of Architecture, back in its infancy. Stella offers a wonderful blend of creative vision and practical delivery, underpinned by her tenacity and charm.

Patricia Brown, Director of Central