Landscape looms large in RA summer architecture programme

Shared Cities exhibition opens at the Royal Academy

Summer exhibitions at the RA include Shared Cities, taking place in the Senate Room from 21 July until 9 August, which showcases the 25 most outstanding projects of the 2014 European Prize for Urban Public Space.

A biennial initiative of the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), the competition, hosted in partnership with The Architecture Foundation, aims to draw attention to the importance of public space in the democratic life of cities.

With public space is a clear indicator of the civic and collective health of our cities, the competition rewards what its organisers describe as ‘interventions that give priority to access over barriers of every kind and encourage appropriation by citizens’.

Visitors to Burlington Gardens will see the curious Unexpected Hill, a ceramic urban landscape designed by emerging Istanbul-based practice, SO?. Using tiles as structure rather than decoration, the new hill ‘offers a place to rest, explore or play, illustrating how the space between building and pavement can be occupied to change the character of a street’.

This new public space will host a programme of activities for all ages at 3pm on Sunday afternoons in July and September.

Elsewhere at the Royal Academy, Colvin & Moggridge’s design for a rare animal enclosure at Jersey Zoo is on show in the architectural room of this year’s Summer Exhibition, as is a multi-image photograph from Kim Wilkie called ‘Led by the Land’. ‘Supertrees with Orchids and Whale’, a model created by Grant Associates specifically for the RA exhibition, is also on show. It was inspired by the practice’s design concept for Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

‘Our exhibit came about as a result of an old contact with the architect Ian Ritchie, who curated this year’s architecture room,’ explains Hal Moggridge. ‘We decided to submit a very landscape exhibit, so are delighted by the excellent position given to our drawing, which I hope shows something definitely not architecture about what landscape architects create’.

Click for more information what’s on at the Royal Academy this summer.

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