A new space for and about the capital at the Building Centre

Monday 16 May 2005

New London Architecture (NLA), an exhibition space presenting the buildings and projects currently transforming the capital, will open to the public this summer at the Building Centre in Store Street, central London.

Around £100billion worth of major redevelopment, regeneration and infrastructure projects will transform the face of London over the next two decades; the NLA will track these proposals and keep Londoners informed about the massive changes taking place in their city. The NLA space will house a giant model of central London, backed up by displays covering projects from the 33 boroughs, temporary exhibitions, a website, education programme and events, providing a focus for all that is new in planning, development and the built environment.

Open to the public free of charge, six days a week, in a purpose-built space, newly designed by A-EM Architects, NLA will promote innovation and high quality design, engaging with professionals and the public alike to create a wider understanding of the importance of architecture. Curated by Peter Murray of Wordsearch, managed by Nick McKeogh of Pipers in conjunction with the Building Centre Trust and with an education programme by Open House Learning, it will provide a focal point for Londoners and the city’s visitors as an all-encompassing resource of information on development in the capital at any point in time. It will address issues and projects affecting London, extending the involvement of local communities in planning and urban design and provide a forum for debate and the sharing of specialist knowledge. 

A permanent exhibition space – Gallery One – will house Pipers’ 1:1500 central London model, covering an area from Paddington in the west to Stratford in the east and Battersea in the south to King’s Cross in the north. Highlighting new projects, whether under construction or with planning consent, it will be a visual reference of the future of London, made accessible to all. Around the model a curated display of new architecture in the capital, arranged by borough, will give an accessible snapshot of the best projects in the capital.

Gallery Two, NLA’s temporary exhibition space, will host up to 10 exhibitions a year exploring topical London issues. Devised by NLA curator Peter Murray in conjunction with the Building Centre Trust, the first Gallery Two show will take a broad look at The Changing Face of London, focussing on 20 major London projects. 

Peter Murray, Chairman of Wordsearch and NLA curator, commented: "London is currently undergoing a major transformation as significant as the changes that occurred during the Georgian and Victorian eras. Developments like King’s Cross, Stratford City, Greenwich Peninsular and Thames Gateway will have a huge impact on the lives of citizens and literally change the shape of the capital. It is essential that London has a place where everyone - professionals and public alike - can find out what is happening to their city, which will be a centre for debate and discussion, and which will encourage better architecture. The NLA space will do just that."

The NLA space will be a hub for a wide-ranging programme of events – talks, walks, lectures and cycle rides. The NLA map, available free to visitors to the centre, will signpost the projects featured in the permanent exhibition, along with places of architectural interest. An education programme for young people, produced by Open House Learning, will foster a greater understanding of issues surrounding architecture and urban design, with school visits, workshops, events and competitions.

The launch of www.newlondonarchitecture.org in May will give NLA a strong online presence. The website will function as an informal portal for London events, projects, practices and people as well as a forum for debate and discussion.

Director of Pipers and co-founder of NLA, Nick McKeogh, said: “It has taken 15 years since we started building large scale models of London to be able to find a permanent home where Londoners can see all of the major proposals for new development in the capital. NLA will provide a centre for information and a focus for debate to encourage innovation and high quality design for those living and working in London”.

Michael Rose, Chairman of the Building Centre Group commented: “We are delighted to welcome NLA to the Building Centre. The exhibition promises to be a major attraction and will provide an exciting complement to the traditional exhibition and information activities of the Building Centre.”

NLA is an exhibition space for London, Londoners and its visitors. It will be a place where anyone can find out what is going on in the capital, debate the issues and meet the architects, developers and politicians who are behind the projects that are transforming the city. Through its exhibitions, events and website, NLA will create a platform for discovery, discussion and action.

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