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Mon 19.7.

Route Master: the 2010 London Festival of Architecture

Posted by Nora Schmidt on 19.07.2010 - Tagged as: , , , , , , ,

Carmody Groarke's temporary 'Studio Dining East' space for restaurant Bistrotheque afforded views of the 2012 Olympics site in development; photo ©

With the 2012 Olympics coming round that last bend and into view, this year’s geographic-route-fixated London Festival of Architecture decided on ‘The Welcoming City’ as its theme. But just how welcome was that as an idea…

At the Duke of York Steps, just off The Mall, Matthew Lloyd Architects presented their intervention for the London Festival of Architecture: a water-powered lift

The official address for the building known colloquially as the ‘Gherkin’ is 30 St Mary Axe. On the same street is a church called St Andrew Undershaft, which goes generally unused by the bankers who work nearby. Once a year, though, the church comes alive with a memorial service for a man called John Stow, who compiled a survey of London in 1598, which was, in effect, an ageing historian divining the medieval street plan of the city that had been built upon during its rapid expansion during the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth. Today, Stow is, in turn, remembered. During the annual service, a quill is placed in the hand of his statue, where it stays for a year. The old quill is given to a child who has written the finest essay on London. In the very shadow of modern London, as part of a quaint, old ceremony, the city’s children are encouraged to divine their own path through the metropolis.

'The London Gate' proposal by DONIS of the Netherlands for a new landmark at London's Aldgate

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For technical support contact Alfred Giolai Route Master: the 2010 London Festival of Architecture