The International Showcase of London’s biannual festival of architecture sees contributions by more than 30 embassies in London contributing to the overarching festival that offers many different strands of architecture from the latest student offerings to presentations by some of the world’s most prestigious practices.
In the LFA 2010 International Showcase, the contributions by the various nations via their embassies range from talks to exhibition projects in a range of locations. Many of them engage directly with the overall theme of the festival that, this year, is ‘The Welcoming City’. It is also the first year in which the International Showcase has introduced an element of competition that saw Japan’s ‘IE=Home’ project walk off with the prize.
OE, however, was particularly impressed by two other project’s; the Netherlands’ ‘De Ark’ project and the Finnish ‘Helsinki Horizon 2030’
Helsinki Horizon 2030 launches Helsinki as World Design Capital 2012 and, as the name suggests, deals with the changing skyline of the Finnish capital. Presented in a container-based structure outside London’s Oxo Tower, the made-over shipping container effectively offers a mobile presentation space for the project. Produced by the Helsinki City Planning Department, the interior of the container is devoted to images of the city as it is –large-scale aerial photos- and projections of things to come, all within the context of the real push and pull of urban planning.
Meanwhile at NL- The Dutch Cultural Pop-Up Space in London, dRMM architects present De Ark. Reinventing the exhibition space in such a way that the differences between inside and outside disappear, the exhibition forms a perfect environment for the main thrust of the presentation: a scale model of the river cargo barge that is currently being converted into the practice’s new multi-functional studio forms the centerpiece, floating in an elegant tank that extends through the space where windows once were, into the street.
The LFA 2010 proper ends on the 4th of July, but De Ark remains on show to the public at NL until 10 July 2010.