Your design diary: the best London architecture exhibitions, walks and events to inspire you in 2017

PUBLISHED: 14:43 17 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:01 22 March 2017

Riba President's Dissertation Medal winner, A Juxtaposition of Ideological Expressions by Roy Khatchadourian

Riba President's Dissertation Medal winner, A Juxtaposition of Ideological Expressions by Roy Khatchadourian


From an imagined 1920s Moscow at the Design Museum to Japanese inspiration at the Barbican, here’s our pick of exhibitions and events to visit

The ceiling design of Kings Cross Station railway station concourseThe ceiling design of Kings Cross Station railway station concourse

King’s Cross Renaissance

Western Concourse, King’s Cross Station, Euston Road, 1 April (further dates), 10am – 12:30pm

King’s Cross has changed inordinately in the last few years from the industrial wasteland it once was. This walking tour will guide you through the architecture of an area which boasts not only 20 historic buildings, but 30 new ones set amongst brand new parks, squares and streets, not forgetting the new postcode N1C. The 25 year plan is Europe’s largest city centre regeneration scheme which aims to pump new life into a once neglected area.

Toyo Ito, Silver Hut, 1984Toyo Ito, Silver Hut, 1984

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945

The Barbican, 23 March – 25 June

Japanese style has fallen under the radar with our obsession for Scandinavian interior trends dictating the look of our homes in recent years, but this show could could change all that. The exhibition will examine the work of domestic architects, creators and manga cartoonists from Kazuyo Sejima to Toyo Ito. It will showcase ambitious projects such as a full size replica of the Moriyama House (2005) by award winning architect Ryue Nishizawa and will highlight the ways in which Japanese domestic architecture has innovated and developed since the Second World War.

Imagine Moscow! A showcase of what Russia's capital city could have looked like.Imagine Moscow! A showcase of what Russia's capital city could have looked like.

Imagine Moscow

Design Museum, Kensington, 15 March – 4 June

In the centenary year of the Russian Revolution, the Design Museum is paying homage to the architectural legacy of Moscow in the 1920s and 30s. This exhibition will use architectural drawings, artwork and propaganda to illustrate the idealistic vision of revolutionaries in the Soviet heartland that never reached fruition. The six projects showcased highlight the ideals of the era, which were to dictate the plan of the city that never was; collectivisation, urban planning, aviation, communication, industrialisation, communal living and recreation.

The 'prow' at Number One Poultry, as seen from BankThe 'prow' at Number One Poultry, as seen from Bank

Mies van der Rohe & James Stirling: Circling the Square

The Architecture Gallery, Riba, Portland Place, 8 March – 25 June

Including models, sketches and design materials, this exhibition will showcase the two architectural schemes proposed in the late 1980s for the wedge-shaped site opposing Bank Underground station. The Postmodern design for No 1 Poultry by James Stirling was the victor and stands today, but this exhibition will showcase the project that could have been if Mies van der Rohe’s Mansion House Square project had been chosen instead.

The streets in East London were designed as part of large-scale Victorian slum clearance projectsThe streets in East London were designed as part of large-scale Victorian slum clearance projects

Modernism and model dwellings: housing in Bethnal Green

St John’s Churchyard, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, 2 April, 11am – 1:30pm

Hackney’s Bethnal Green has a rich and diverse architectural history. From the Victorian social housing movement to 1960s council housing, this walk will explore the ways in which town planners, philanthropists and architects adapted to changes in the social fabric of the city and applied them to a burgeoning need for housing stock. Expect to visit the old Boundary Street Estate, one of the first social housing schemes opened in 1900 and orchestrated by the London County Council and opened by the Prince of Wales, and the cluster blocks of the 1950s by Lasdun and Lubetkin.

Riba President's Bronze Medal winner, Formless by Allan ChongRiba President's Bronze Medal winner, Formless by Allan Chong

Riba President’s Medals Exhibition

Riba, Portland Place, Until March 29

Awarded since 1836, the President’s Medals are a nod to those architecture students with a big future in design. This showcase of the 2016 nominations features selected work from the 275 entries from 89 international schools of architecture. Keep an eye out for those names: they might well design the buildings which carry us into the next few decades.

The Latin Corridor by Studio Gil and Carnaval del Pueblo at the London Festival of ArchitectureThe Latin Corridor by Studio Gil and Carnaval del Pueblo at the London Festival of Architecture

London Festival of Architecture

Various locations, 1 – 30 June

Given this city’s vast history and the legacy of its past still standing in our buildings and street names, it’s no wonder that this year’s LFA, events, activities and workshops will be themed around the motif of ‘memory.’ Our ancient place names and medieval street patterns have been added to in recent years by newer trends, and exemplify how memory and sense of place is critical to creating the new layers of modern architecture.

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