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The organizers of the London Festival of Architecture 2015 see the Work in Progress theme as a means of exploring “the changing nature of work, and workspace, but also its impact on, and role in, the evolution of London.” As industry in the city has shifted to financial services, “matched by its position as a global leader for the creative industries,” the LFA is “starting to expand the festival’s international reach, to celebrate, and amplify, the creative and technical talent that resides in our city.” This is happening through over 240 talks, exhibitions, tours and installations, but they are accompanied by the festival’s very first Focus Country: Ireland.
Ireland’s selection as Focus Country coincides with Irish Design 2015, a yearlong international celebration of Irish design through events and activities in Ireland and abroad. The first iteration of the three-part New Horizon_architecture from Ireland is taking place at the LFA. The project is made up of a series of presentations on the work of emerging Irish architecture practices, selected by curators Raymund Ryan and Nathalie Weadick. For the LFA, ID2015 has installed two temporary pavilions at Lewis Cubitt Square, a new public space at King’s Cross. The Red Pavilion, located at the square’s northern end, was designed by three young practices from Dublin: TAKA Architects, Clancy Moore Architects, and Steven Larkin Architects. Recalling Bernard Tschumi’s bright-red folies at Parc de la Villette in Paris, the Red Pavilion is open, featuring a walkway beneath a large roof.
Located at the southwest corner of the square is the more enclosed Yellow Pavilion, designed by Hall McKnight Architects. The pavilion design responds to the LFA’s Work in Progress theme by housing an exhibition of 1,000 reclaimed bricks from Belfast, where the firm is located. According to the architects, “The Yellow Pavilion is manufactured from a kit of pieces cut from boards and assembled in units. The pavilion contains an installation that is an allegory of the city as an open project – alive, ongoing. The pavilion is a vehicle to a collection of bricks that speaks of a city as a work in progress.
All four Irish architects will take part in New Now Next, a panel discussion curated by the Irish Architecture Foundation, sponsored by Arup and hosted at the Design Museum on 17 June.