CAse: London architecture celebrated


 V&A Quarter (large)

(Above: the recent Exhibition Quarter Road project for the V&A museum. Credit: Hufton + Crow/RIBA)


The spotlight is on London's booming architecture sector which economically outperforms its peers in other regions as well as comparable creative industries in the capital.

In June, the London Festival of Architecture is expected to draw several hundred thousand visitors, whilst the contribution of the capital's architects has been recently recognised by both London awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and an upbeat assessment of business prospects for the city's architectural practices by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

According to the GLA's report, one in four UK architect jobs are in London. The city's architectural sector produces almost £1.9 billion in gross value added (GVA) and grew an estimated 7.7 per cent on average between 2009 and 2016 - outstripping the growth rates of the creative industries, the London economy and the UK economy as a whole.

The UK is a major net exporter or architecture services, exporting £439 million of architectural services (and importing only £41 million).

The high standards of the city's architectural output were recently recognised in awards given to 61 buildings as part of the RIBA London Awards 2018. The winners included 14 housing schemes, eight schools, a city farm (Waterloo Community Farm), and a refurbished public house (The Sekforde).

Announcing the winners, RIBA London Director, Dian Small, said: “London has perhaps the highest concentration of design talent found anywhere in the world. It is that concentration of diverse talent, skills, and exchange of ideas that makes London such an exciting and challenging place to work in the field of architecture.”

The Awards are being followed by the London Festival of Architecture, a programme of public events which runs for the whole of June, and features the following highlights: 

• The New London Architecture annual lecture given by award-winning architect Amanda Levete, who has won international recognition for her work, including the design of the new Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter (pictured above)

• A day-long conference at the Royal Academy exploring the impact of architecture on the identity of a city

• Architecture of the Internet – a walking tour of the buildings that house much of our own identities: data centres. 

• City Benches – as a the result of a design competition organised by the London Festival of Architecture and the City of London Corporation, a series of one-off new public benches across the City of London showcase London’s brilliant emerging architecture and design talent. 

Find out more about the London Festival of Architecture.