Street installation and new city model complement exhibition

Public London opens at The Building Centre

New London Architecture is celebrating its tenth anniversary in style with an exhibition entitled ‘Public London: Ten Years of Transforming Spaces’. The exhibition divides spaces into five categories: green and water spaces; infrastructure; regeneration and area strategies; squares and gathering spaces; and, streets and high streets.

This wealth of projects – the index in the accompanying catalogue covers two pages – includes many that are familiar, but every visitor is likely to encounter some at least that they do not know. The work of many landscape architects is included including LDA Design, LUC, Townshend Landscape Architects; The Edible Bus Stop; West 8, Coe Design Landscape Architecture, Laurie Olin, Camlins, HED, Spacehub, J&L Gibbons, Gross Max, Martha Schwarz Partners, Jonathan Cook Landscape Architects, Vogt Landscape, Remapp, Outerspace and Burns + Nice.

In addition, NLA has commissioned an insight study into the use of public space in London, highlighting both the progress that has been made and the challenges for the future, and producing four recommendations:
• London needs a code of practice to ensure public space is public for all
• London needs more expertise in ‘placemaking’
• Utility companies should not be allowed to ‘wreck’ the public realm
• More innovative solutions are needed to deliver better public space in low-cost areas.

At The Building Centre, the exhibition spills out to the crescent outside, with a related installation about street furniture curated by public-space expert Sarah Gaventa, called 'Never Mind the Bollards'. This includes two mini exhibitions created within existing telephone boxes. LI journals and publications are included in the mobile library outside, and the LI has also contributed to The Bollard Observer newspaper, published alongside the installation.

The Landscape Institute is supporting both Public London and Never Mind the Bollards.

NLA has also used the occasion to launch its new model of London. When the organisation was founded it was the day after the announcement that the UK had won the Olympics and, appropriately, the model extended to Stratford and the Olympic Park. The new model covers an even larger area, this time stretching further west to cover a total of 85 square km in 19 London boroughs.

The model is also interactive, with a projection system that makes it possible to highlight individual buildings, groups of buildings or more abstract concepts such as the protected view corridors or even the devastation caused by the Great Fire of London. A screen placed behind the model can show specially made videos, and the elements discussed in the videos are then highlighted on the model.

As if this panoply of delights was not enough, there are also a number of events associated with the exhibition, including conferences and walking and cycling tours.

As part of Public London and in conjunction with LFA, the Landscape Institute has also organised a series of walks.

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