Tuesday 14 May 2019 – Media Release
Canary Wharf Embraces its Architectural Heritage and Hosts Contemporary Practices for the 2019 London Festival of Architecture
This summer discover four exciting projects in Canary Wharf as part of the London Festival of Architecture
Canary Wharf is turning itself into a mini London Festival of Architecture hub this year by hosting a series of interventions in the lobby of its iconic César Pelli building, One Canada Square, and in the neighbouring Cabot Square.
Lily Jencks Studio takes over Cabot Square with ‘The Quintessential English Garden: what does it mean to be Native?’, using the classic example of Stourhead in Wiltshire as the backdrop for a discussion about the global local influences on landscape. Meanwhile in the lobby of One Canada Square, LBMV Architects create a dramatic walkway out of inexpensive timber from a regular hardware store to show what can be achieved stylistically with the most basic of materials. DON’T WALK, WALK encourages visitors to explore the structure, experiencing the effect of light playing through the wooden slats and of a space within a space. On the other side of the lobby, humanitarian architecture charity Article 25 showcases its work around the globe: schools, hospitals and homes built with – and in support of – vulnerable communities, displayed in model form and through photography.
Speaking about the installations, Sally Williams, Public Art Consultant at Canary Wharf Group says: “This opportunity to collaborate with Article 25, LBMV Architects and Lily Jencks Studio has provided Canary Wharf with an exceptional contribution to this year’s London Festival of Architecture. Public art at Canary Wharf takes many forms, demonstrating our diverse cultural offering, and plays an important part in helping to engage with the myriad visitors to the Estate, often bringing new audiences.”
Although Canary Wharf is home to one of UK’s largest public art collections, with over 70 pieces of art by 50 world-renowned artists installed across the Estate, it is the architecture that sets the stage for the London Festival of Architecture works. Pelli’s 1991 One Canada Square held the record for London’s tallest tower, until it was overtaken by The Shard in 2010. The gateway to the Estate, Foster & Partners’ imposing tube station, is another masterpiece, whilst the new district, Wood Wharf, will include buildings by Allies and Morrison, Darling Associates, Grid Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, KPF, Patel Taylor and Stanton Williams Architects.
Guy Dare, Design Manager at Canary Wharf Group, is recording a podcast for the Festival, in which he interviews those who have played a significant role in the architecture of Canary Wharf. The podcast is available to download from the LFA website.
Visitors will be able to use the podcast as a guided tour to the various spaces and installations during the Festival and a programme of events will be publicised on www.canarywharf.com
The installations at Canary Wharf all explore the Festival theme of ‘Boundaries’ and can be discovered at your own pace and in any order. However, if you would like to meet the people behind the projects, there will be a special event on Saturday 22 June with presentations at each location and opportunities to ask any burning questions: 11am-12.30pm and 2-3.30pm. Starting point: lobby, One Canada Square
Ticket information: Free. Simply turn up and speak to one of the event stewards on arrival. There is limited capacity for each talk so please turn up early to avoid disappointment.
Follow the conversation on social media with #LFACanaryWharf
Monday 10 – Sunday 28 June
Throughout Canary Wharf
For further information and images, please contact:
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166
Notes to Editors:
Lily Jencks Studio – The Quintessential English Garden: what does it mean to be Native?
Based on the design of Stourhead, Lily Jencks Studio’s temporary landscape features typical trees, shrubs and other plants of this iconic English garden — many of which are non-native, having been introduced during times of colonial expansion. The installation challenges visitors to reflect and discuss questions driving identity politics around the globe; ‘what does it mean to be local, rooted and originating in a place?’
Stourhead typifies the English Picturesque, seemingly allowing nature to flow naturally, and people to wander from one idea to the next. Lily Jencks Studio’s pocket garden brings this scene to life at Cabot Square, containing graphic, plastic and plant elements. In the human-made environs of Canary Wharf, this miniature Stourhead will provide a communal space to gather and learn about the heritage of our political and environmental concepts and language, while enjoying a small urban landscape.
LBMV Architects – DON’T WALK, WALK
LBMV Architects is constructing an interactive installation in the Lobby of One Canada Square, creating an architectural boundary between the corporate environment and the experiential space of the installation. The title (borrowed from American traffic lights) reinforces the nature of the boundary – should one walk through this structure, or is it forbidden? The structure, assembled on site by a single joiner from regular lengths of DIY store wood, demonstrates how affordable it can be to create a basic shelter – a poignant message when housing is at a premium. It will show how the simplest of structures, made from basic materials, can convey a powerful experience of space, light, shade and volume – the key principles of architecture.
At the end of the exhibition the structure will be available to purchase from the architects, with the option to have it customised with planting and benches for use in a garden or public space.
Showcasing Article 25’s Designs for a Positive Alternative to Poverty, the exhibition presents architectural models accompanied by inspirational photographs by Grant Smith.
We can often feel bound by physical and mental barriers in our everyday lives. Whether confined by a packed tube on a congested commute, frustrated by finance making you think twice before buying that special meal, or suffering a mental block stopping you overcome a personal challenge, boundaries often get in our way. Imagine that those boundaries are stopping you from ever being taught in a decent school, or preventing you from access to vital medical care, simply because there isn’t a school in your village, or a hospital anywhere near where you live. Perhaps you are literally picking up the pieces after your home was hit by another earthquake.
Article 25 provides a positive alternative to poverty, whose work empowers communities to use design, engineering and construction capabilities that lift individuals and communities towards a brighter future. By combining skilled local workers with an unskilled local workforce, channelling that community effort towards building schools, hospitals and homes in communities struck by disaster, conflict and poverty, access to health, education and safe homes is improved.
About Canary Wharf Group:
Canary Wharf Group plc has overseen the largest urban regeneration project ever undertaken in Europe, designing and building more than 16.5m sq ft of London real estate, which now houses local and international companies and renowned retailers.
The Canary Wharf Estate is a major retail destination comprising around 1m sq ft across five shopping malls, including the award-winning leisure development, Crossrail Place, housing one of London’s most stunning roof gardens.
It also has world-class, year-round arts and events programme offering over 200 diverse and culturally inspiring events performed throughout the Estate.
Canary Wharf Group is a wholly owned joint venture between Brookfield Property Partners and the Qatar Investment Authority.
About London Festival of Architecture:
The London Festival of Architecture is the world’s largest annual architecture festival, with a mission to support architectural talent in London, enthuse and engage with the public, and find new ways to look at the city. From 1-30 June 2019 it will be exploring the theme
‘Boundaries’ through a rich programme of events across London that celebrates London as a global architectural hub, and promotes positive change to its public realm. The programme is delivered by a diverse mix of architecture and design practices and practitioners, cultural and academic institutions, artists and many others.