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British Council Launches International Architecture Showcase
Norway: Moss your City. PUSHAK / Fergus Sørli, 2010.

LONDON.- More than 30 embassies and cultural institutes will host a series of exhibitions, installations, events and major debates as the capital plays host to a unique festival of international architecture celebrating the city and its built environment this summer.

In partnership with the British Council and The Architecture Foundation, the London Festival of Architecture (LFA2010) will present the International Architecture Showcase to display and provide a platform for discourse around the work of architecture practices in embassies, diplomatic residencies, galleries and public spaces across London from 19 June to 4 July, 2010.

Addressing the theme of this year’s festival, ‘The Welcoming City’, a reference to the design of cities which are amenable, engaging and tolerant as well as to the slogan for the 2012 Olympic Games that “London welcomes the world”, each of the countries taking part will showcase architects working in this context.

Festival visitors can expect to see the best of architecture from countries around the world including Japan, who have commissioned 5 practitioners to each design a house to convey their feeling of ‘home’, addressing city living in London from a number of trans-national perspectives. The Finnish Embassy will bring Helsinki in a box to London via ‘Helsinki Horizon 2020’, whilst the Finnish Institute will play home to ‘The Nest’, in an effort to make their roof terrace more ‘welcoming’. Norway has commissioned PUSHAK to create an installation at The Architecture Foundation which will take the form of a guerrilla gardening moss landscape, taking their inspiration from both guerrilla gardening’s origins in south London and one of the focus areas of this year’s Festival – the Bankside Urban Forest. Meanwhile Poland will be interrogating the theme of ‘breeding cities’, how cities must adjust to societal progress and how to manage and benefit from these changes.

Vicky Richardson, Director Architecture, Design, Fashion said: “The British Council has been delighted by the enthusiastic response to our call for ideas from embassies and cultural institutes. The International Architecture Showcase builds on our Embassies project from 2008. The enormous range of work- from large-scale public installations to exhibitions and talks - will give an insight into emerging architecture in the participating countries. We hope it will provide a platform for a discussion about the issues that face us all, such the regeneration of cities, former industrial areas and the challenge of climate change. The International Architecture Showcase will also make visible London's rich and diverse architectural communities, and excite new audiences about the possibilities of architecture.”

The London Festival of Architecture Founding Director Peter Murray said, “This is an exciting period in which to hold the Festival of Architecture. Although the economic downturn has slowed development, it has given us a chance to think about what sort of architecture we want in the future. People have the time and inclination to debate these issues and we are looking forward to a very lively two weeks in the summer. At the same time, many UK architects are busy working around the world and form an important part of London’s creative economy. The Open Studios programme will give the public a chance to see the work that our leading practices are doing.”

Countries participating in the International Architecture Showcase include: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica , Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and USA.

For the fourth time running, the biennial London Festival of Architecture 2010 will be one of the world’s major celebrations of architecture and the built environment. London’s landscape will be transformed during the spectacular month-long festival, which will include over 600 events for visitors as well as architecture professionals.

British Council | The Architecture Foundation | "The Welcoming City" |

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