The Developing City Exhibition London, Architecture Design, Building News

The Developing City Exhibition : London Buildings

The Walbrook Building EC4, England, UK

19 Jun 2012

The Developing City Exhibition

Walbrook’s windows provide voice for the City

A series of window displays that give the public the opportunity to have their say on the future development of the capital’s key financial centre, the City of London, have been installed in The Walbrook Building EC4.

In the new age of social media, a voice of many can be heard in a short space of time. NLA have installed a series of questions about the future development of the City in the windows of The Walbrook Building, asking the public to give their responses to questions such as what they like most about the City, what changes they’d like to see, and what their favourite public spaces are. Responses are being collated on Twitter using the hashtag #DevelopingCity.

Installed as part of an NLA exhibition – The Developing City – held in conjunction with the City of London at The Walbrook Building from 21 June to 9 September, the window displays aim to provoke the public’s thoughts and ideas about the City. They also help to celebrate the City by identifying its most loved elements and highlight the great architectural, historical and financial importance of this area.

The questions are already receiving some interesting responses, with one “What changes would you like to see in the City?” showing an overwhelming preference for more open space, with 75% of respondents picking this answer. Second choice was less traffic in the City with 13%, while more shops was at 8%, and more tall buildings at 5%.

Peter Murray, Director of the NLA, said,
“Do City workers love the City like New Yorkers love New York? Londoners are often less vocal than their transatlantic cousins but they can let us know through social media just what they think of the Square Mile. We also want to know what sort of things they’d like more of, whether it’s more open spaces, more shops or more tall buildings. People don’t generally have much of a say in these things – this gives them a voice.”

16 Jun 2012

The Developing City Exhibition 2012

The City of London should be greener and taller, say architects

21 Jun – 9 Sep

A major public exhibition opening next week – The Developing City – will display top architects’ visions of the City of London in 2050. The Square Mile will become greener with more parks and verdant riverside walkways while the buildings will have to become taller to accommodate continued growth, they say.

The Developing City – Eastern Quarter:
The Developing City Exhibition
picture : Hayes Davidson

The exhibition explores the relationship between the architecture of the City of London and its success as a global mercantile centre, It takes place at The Walbrook Building – a Foster + Partners’-designed building on Cannon Street – between 21 June and 9 September. It shows the growth of the City since Roman times, the impact of the Great Fire and the Blitz and how the current financial turmoil will affect the sort of buildings that get built.

This headline event of the London Festival of Architecture 2012 has been organised by NLA – London’s Centre for the Built Environment with the support of City of London Corporation.

The exhibition will feature 40 scale models of recent and proposed schemes in the City. In addition, three teams of architects, supported by consultants and property professionals, are displaying their ‘Visions for 2050’ in response to a series of drivers of change, including governance, climate change and banking regulation.

The teams are:

– Gensler with Eric Parry Architects, Happold Consulting, Buro Happold, LSE, Royal College of Art, Siemens and RWDI; the team proposes a major park from Hampstead to the City on the route of the old River Fleet and along the banks of the Thames.

– Woods Bagot with Brookfield and Hilson Moran, who call for the City to ‘grow up’ and build more tall buildings to the east so that it can provide better quality public space at ground level.

– John Robertson Architects with British Land, Land Securities and Arup illustrate a de-carbonised City with pedestrianised streets, more green space and a new financial centre at Aldgate.

The Developing City Exhibition
picture from NLA

Peter Murray, curator of the exhibition and Chairman of NLA: London’s Centre for the Built Environment said:

“The exhibition looks at the way the places and buildings of the City have changed to suit the needs of the businesses that operate, and succeed, there. Over centuries the Square Mile has changed from a busy port to the financial capital of the world; it has been destroyed and rebuilt; redundant buildings have been replaced and new ways of working accommodated. It continually reinvents itself and will continue to do so. The exhibition shows what the City could look like in 2050: a greener City, a taller City – in the right places – a quieter, cleaner City, a City that places quality of life at the top of the agenda as one of the key ingredients that attracts high level workers to the Square Mile.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of breakfast talks, curator’s tours, walks, building visits and other special events.

The Developing City Exhibition – Programme of Events

Aviva Tower
photo © Nick Weall


The Developing City is accompanied by a programme of events, including breakfast talks, curator-led exhibition tours, evening debates and lectures, building visits and walks.

Most events are free and take place in, or start from, the exhibition space at The Walbrook Building. Please note that booking ahead recommended.

For further details, event updates and booking, please check The Developing City website.

Breakfast talks

Early morning talks and debates on the history and future of development in the Square Mile.

Friday 22 Jun – Visions of the City in 2050
Three teams of architects, developers and property professionals present their visionary images of how the City might look in 2050 as it adapts to changes in governance, infrastructure, climate and work, with responses from leading City figures.

Friday 6 Jul – The Resilient City
The City’s ability to adapt and respond to major events, including pestilence, fires, the Blitz and IRA bombings, has ensured its place as centre of mercantile trade for the past 800 years. In this breakfast talk we examine how the City responded to major events throughout its history.

Friday 20 Jul – Conservation Today
What challenges does the City face to maintain and conserve the best of its heritage while meeting the needs of a competitive global city?

Friday 3 Aug – Buildability
Sir Stuart Lipton recently proposed a challenge to designers to reduce the cost of building in London, while maintaining exceptional quality and energy credentials. In this talk we look at how two developer/contractors and their design teams, with unrivalled expertise in the construction of tall buildings, address issues of buildability to deliver office space that is efficient both to build and to use.

Friday 17 Aug – What Lies Beneath
The Roman Temple of Mithras was discovered here along Walbrook in the 1950s during rebuilding work, and is currently being excavated on the building site just next door. Hear about the impact that key archaeological discoveries have had on our understanding of the development of this international financial capital.

Friday 31 Aug – The Edge Condition: Emerging areas of the City
As areas on the fringe of the Square Mile, such as Farringdon, Shoreditch, and Aldgate develop into new centres for creative, financial, media and technology industries, this event will examine how the City is growing and adapting to the needs of new industries, and debate the condition of edge spaces on the ‘red line’.

Tower 42
photo © Nick Weall

Curator’s tours
Peter Murray, curator of The Developing City, leads guided tours of the exhibition, discussing the key themes, and answering your questions. Tours take place on alternate Tuesday and Friday lunchtimes, plus some Saturdays.

Twin walking tours, led by the Blue Badge Guides, covering both eastern and western areas of the City, will look at the interplay of new and old architecture, demonstrating the complexity of inserting new ideas and developments into the dense urban fabric of the City’s medieval street-plan.

Building visits
An opportunity to see inside some of the City’s best new buildings, led by the developers, architects and engineers involved, on Wednesday lunchtimes.

Late events
Evening talks, lectures and debates followed by drinks and networking, with some of the key figures involved in documenting or shaping the City.

Special events
Look out for special one-off events taking place throughout the exhibition, including a guided walk led by Foster + Partners and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, examining the buildings of two great architectural practices in the City; and an Archaeological Site Tour following the route of The Walbrook, one of London’s most significant lost rivers, to examine current archeological sites.

The Developing City – Vision 2050, London, UK
Barbican Quarter Buildings
image from Gensler, architects
The Developing City – Vision 2050 – 19 Jun 2012
London consolidates its position as the world’s Financial Centre and emerges as the first genuinely “Global City.” The competition from New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai is over. London has positioned itself as the capital of a global free trade zone which extends from the US to China. London is no longer one of two world cities; it is the only global city.

Location: London, England, UK

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