London Festival of Architecture - New London Tours

Throughout June 2013

NLA ran a special programme of New London Tours as part of the London Festival of Architecture 2013.

Discover London's latest architecture on the New London Tours. Explore how the capital's buildings and streetscapes are changing through a guided walking tour of one of five Central London quarters - each distinct in their character and history.

"Discover major new architectural landmarks alongside lighter touch interventions, and how these projects are being embedded into and are adding new dimensions to the fabric of the city's historic urban context."  

Tours met at 13:45, and left at 14:00 and lasted approximately two hours. All were on foot and are led by professional Blue Badge Tourist Guides. Cost per person: £12.00 plus Eventbrite booking fee.

There were two walks every Saturday throughout June:

Fitzrovia 8 June 15:00 and 22 June 11:00
Fitzrovia has shrugged off its post-War Bohemian past by being transformed successfully into a part of central London full of high quality design and refreshing urban planning initiatives. Once famous as the birthplace of advertising and the three-hour lunch, now its restored Georgian splendour in the shadow of 60’s icon the BT Tower segues seamlessly into dynamic office schemes between the bustling Tottenham Court and Euston Roads. Nowhere else in the centre of the city boasts a broader combination of health, educational, commercial and residential schemes today. The walk covers a combination of completed and works-in-progress by such practices as Terry Farrell & Partners, Wilkinson Eyre and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.   

Victoria 15 June 15:00
In common with the re-examining and redevelopment of London’s major rail termini Victoria is no exception. Both station and surrounding area are currently subject to a massive redevelopment scheme centred upon an expanding role for the area as a Central London business and residential location. This walk encompasses a condensed area of West London between St James’s and the mainline station, taking in a lively mix of new and retrofit projects, including works by Allies & Morrison, Benson & Forsyth and Auckett Fitzroy Robinson.  
Please note the meeting point for this walk is St James’s Tube Station near the ticket barrier at the 55 Broadway exit, 10 minutes before the walk start time.

Bloomsbury & King's Cross St Pancras - 1 June 15:0015 June 11:00 and 29 June 15:00
This walk encompasses two distinct parts of London just north of the NLA - Bloomsbury and King's Cross. Departing from the NLA the tour leads through the historic streets and squares of Bloomsbury assessing on-going reconfiguration of the area's medical and academic legacy including references to the more recent contributions from the practices of Grimshaw, Hopkins and Short and Associates. Explore the restoration of Gilbert Scott's famous Midland Hotel and regeneration of a dilapidated goods depot to create a spectacular new home for the University of the Arts, designed by Stanton Williams. We look at how new transport infrastructure, new residential and business quarters are changing this massive 67 acres of central London.  

St Giles, Regent Street and Soho - 1 June 11:00
With the Crossrail project tunnelling beneath the West End, major above ground works will deliver new buildings enhanced public spaces. On the way from St Giles in the east with its new Renzo Piano mixed-use development to the public space improvements around Oxford Circus we will look at the way new architectural planning has threaded into the dense social and historic fabric of Soho. We also see how retrofits and new-builds from leading practices such as Eric Parry Architects renew the 350 year-old landscape of the world behind Regent Street in Mayfair.  

Bankside 29 June 11:00
Taking the Tube from NLA to the Millennium Bridge, we cross the River Thames to Tate Modern. The gallery and the More London development to the east have been catalysts for Bankside’s regeneration. New residential by Rogers Stirk Harbour and office accommodation by Allies and Morrison have transformed a neglected backwater into London’s most dynamic work/live hub. The train lines still criss-cross overhead but the perception of this once undesirable Dickensian backwater is changing with the development of Herzog and de Meuron's angular brick extension to Tate Modern.

The City
 - 8 June 11:00 and 22 June 15:00 
Taking St Paul’s Cathedral as the starting point, we look at the major commercial buildings that accommodate the world's financial capital and the medieval street pattern which accommodates them. From Cheapside’s One New Change shopping centre designed by French starchitect Jean Nouvel through to the work-in-progress on Richard Rogers'  The Leadenhall Building adjacent to Norman Foster's iconic Swiss Re building, we discover a dense cluster of striking exercises in contemporary office design set among some of the best urban space improvements in the capital.
This walk finishes near Bank and Liverpool Street Stations.

The walk guides
Caroline Dale:
Caroline has conducted London architecture walks over the last nine years that she has been a Blue Badge Guide. Before guiding she worked in the City as a broker and before that was a foreign correspondent in Tokyo and London specialising in Japan and financial markets.  

David Thompson:
David lectures in the History of English Architecture and leads walks and interpretation study tours of both historic and contemporary buildings. Previous to guiding he was a graphic designer and typographer.

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