Every month architects and industry insiders share their recommendations for the best exhibitions and events to visit in London.

October 2018
Alan Wright
bptw partnership

It’s a privilege to guest edit the October diary - not easy with so many fantastic events taking place across our great city. Previous editors at this time of year have highlighted the Frieze London contemporary art fair (4-7 October) – my selection focuses on some less well-known events, along with a couple to catch before they close.


Closing soon, on 7 October, is the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 by Frida Escobedo. Described as ‘a subtle interplay of light, water and geometry’ it also draws upon history, including the Prime Meridian line close to our offices in Greenwich. Even if you have already been, the changing patina of autumn adds a fresh dimension and justifies a final look.


With a promise that you'll never look at your street the same way again, Londonist Editor-at-Large Matt Brown will be talking a load of bollards at the London Society on 2 October. Never mind the bollards: London’s iconic street furniture should be an entertaining eye-opener.


The Queen’s House in Greenwich provides the stunning setting for The Architecture Foundation’s all day festival Metamorphoses on 6 October. A notable line-up sets out to show how artists and writers today are inspired by the Classical stories, concepts and forms that influenced the arts down the years.


The City of London is the focus of a night-time Open City tour on 10 October. So long as participants are ‘familiar with the manual functions of their camera’ the tour is an opportunity to see and record how lighting dramatically reinforces the night time presence of some of London’s best known landmarks.


Our practice works with local communities to create places that transform people’s lives, and I therefore had to smile at the topic of the Negroni talk on 15 October - why do so many architects resort to alienating archi-speak? The talk aims to capture the spirit of early 20th century European café culture, but more importantly explore how architects can connect properly with the people they serve.


The morning of 20 October is a chance to join up with The London Ambler on their walking tour, ‘Fragments of Tomorrow - Modernism Lost & Found in the City of London’. Starting from Blackfriars, this could be one for families with older children looking to awaken an interest in architecture, perhaps with the incentive of lunch afterwards in one of the buildings along the way.


With our politicians seemingly unable to agree on anything, there is a refreshing opportunity to hear about the democratic and co-operative working methods of Assemble, at RIBA on 23 October. 


Architecture on Stage at the Barbican on 27 October sees celebrated architects and RIBA Gold Medal winners Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey present a lecture to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of their practice.


Finally, at bptw, we are increasingly employing innovative models of off-site construction to meet housing need, improve quality, delivery and efficiency. A project of ours is one of many explored in the NLA’s new Factory Made Housing research paper with a corresponding exhibition which explores how factory methods are transforming how we deliver homes in the capital.


Past Editors