During the London Design Festival, we hosted holding an exhibition of architectural models to showcase architects’ contemporary visions for London, and examined the opportunities that exist to renew and rebuild our city today.

Encompassing designs for contemporary living, transport and public spaces, the exhibition featured models from leading practices including Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and 2015 Sterling Prize winners AHMM. It was a rare opportunity to see a showcase of architectural models that each convey a new vision for our capital city.

Patel Taylor and AHMM showcased their architectural models for these schemes, in particular how listed elements of the Television Centre will be preserved and enhanced. A key area for development in West London is the site of the former BBC Television Centre and adjacent spaces which will provide more than 1500 residential and mixed use units, along with 2 hectares of public realm. At White City, key spaces host different activities and building typologies respond contributing to the experience of the landscape.

The models in the showcase range from recently completed buildings such as the Canaletto Building by UNStudio, to those currently under construction, including the entrance to Tottenham Court Road by Stanton Williams. Also included are more visionary projects, like Frost Flowers, the floating ice rinks for the River Thames imagined by NBBJ, and the wayfinding Totem Pole envisaged by Tate Harmer as a way to connect the local community with creatives working in Hackney’s ‘Makers’ Mile’.

Barking-Riverside-Overground London Design Festival
Barking Riverside station by Moxon Architects, due to open in 2021, one of the future transport projects that will be shown in Architects’ Visions for London Design Festival

The model projects on display vary in size from grand masterplans such as Patel Taylor’s White City reinvention to single dwellings like De Beauvoir House, a
sensitively extended family home by Cousins and Cousins.

The showcase for London Design Festival will examine the opportunities that exist to renew and rebuild our city today in micro model form, encompassing all aspects of London life—with models including bridges, a school, a treatment facility, train stations and a museum and gallery.

Architects’ Visions for London included a reproduction of ‘London 2066’, a painting by the late Dame Zaha Hadid which explores London’s urban character. The work presents a most radical shake-up of the metropolis in both diagrammatic and pictorial terms, and was created at the culmination of a study of the open spaces, rail, road, water and air routes and borough layout of London, depicting a restructuring of the entire plan of the city.

Model-Frost-Flowers-NBBJ-floating-ice-rinks-River-Thames London Design Festival
Model of Frost Flowers by NBBJ, a futuristic vision for floating ice rinks on the River Thames

The exhibition continued throughout the duration of London Design Festival 2016 featuring models of projects both built and as-yet unbuilt by architecture and design practices: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris — Ash Sakula Architects — BDP — Ben Adams — Coffey Architects — Cousins & Cousins — Glenn Howells — HAL Architects — John Pawson — Moxon Architects — NBBJ — Niall McLaughlin — Nicholas Hare Architects — ORMS — Patel Taylor — PH+ — Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners — Stanton Williams — Stiff + Trevillion — Studio Egret West — Studio Octopi — Tate Harmer — UNStudio — Weston Williamson



Canaletto London

Canaletto is the beautifully crafted residential tower on London’s City Road, designed by Dutch master Ben van Berkel of UNStudio. Situated by the water, Canaletto offers a collection of sumptuous apartments in the rapidly growing areas around London’s Tech City.

As the UNStudio’s first major project in the UK, the tower is designed with a unique curving facade of aluminium and glass that breaks the volume into a series of threeto- five storey clusters, making the building a work of art in its own right.

The 31-storey Canaletto building sits at the intersection between the capital’s most exciting and diverse districts, incorporating Islington, City, Shoreditch and Clerkenwell. The development’s stateof- the-art amenities, including restaurant, swimming pool, and residents’ club on the 24th floor, will make Canaletto a social hub at London’s creative crossroads.

As part of the major redevelopment of Regent’s Canal, City Road Basin adjoins London’s most creative districts and is quickly becoming one of the city’s most vibrant new residential areas. UNStudio’s design for Canaletto therefore required a distinctly contextual response; one which acknowledges the need for an explicitly residential identity. As such, the tower distinguishes itself from buildings in the nearby financial district of the City through variation: through materials, through clusters, through a scale that is appropriate to city streets and through a façade that creates its own residential identity by means of a varied and heterogeneous elevation.

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