The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) and the London Borough of Camden have revealed the six shortlisted teams for the Somers Town Acts competition, which will see a creative design installation in Somers Town, exploring alternative scenarios for the road to be pedestrianised.
Emerging architects, designers, and artists were invited to submit creative ideas for a design installation along Phoenix Road, which is planned to be transformed as part of the Greening Phoenix Road project. A weekend-long road closure is envisaged at the end of June and will concentrate most of Somers Town’s programme for the LFA 2022. The winning scheme will act as a focal point and platform for LFA 2022, bringing events, activities, and people together.
The competition also provides room to experiment with what becomes possible in the car-free environment of Phoenix Road during its weekend closure. This year’s LFA theme is ‘act’, and interested applicants are encouraged to explore what meanings this word holds for Somers Town, as well as to be bold and imaginative, and aim to create interest and debate via their design, and ideally also a legacy for the area.
The winning team will be announced in April 2022 and awarded £25,000 + VAT (which includes a £5,000 design fee) to develop a fully costed, feasible design that can be delivered at the end of June 2022. The delivered scheme will remain in-situ for 28 days but might stay on site for up to a year.
The shortlisted teams are:
Intervention Architecture Ltd (IA) is an interdisciplinary design studio based in Birmingham. Their way of working is collaborative and open, to enable extensive exploration of ideas, an inherent appreciation for craft, and the value of workmanship and materials. An award-winning boutique practice, working on community-led architectural regenerations, to artist collaborations, they invite people to become engaged with space in innovative ways.
Ayesha Kaur is an Architect at Intervention Architecture. Within the practice, her interests and passions in meaningful community engagement have contributed to recent projects at Bearwood Community Centre, and the Solihull Integrated Transport Hub. Where she has taken a lead role in creating innovative tools and materials to engage with the wider public. A close eye for detail and material narratives, keeping a playful and considered approach to designs.
Anna Parker is IA’s founding Director, a RIBA chartered Architect leading the studio and team in Birmingham. Working with local artists and arts organisations, Anna has developed an interdisciplinary way of working that provides a cohesive design approach for projects, working across fields of design, interiors, furniture, temporary structures, exhibitions, events, lighting, homes, and mixed-use developments.
Kasawoo with Resolve Collective
Kasawoo is a Camden based interdisciplinary creative practice that builds, thinks and writes about the built environment. With complementary backgrounds in architecture, art and urban design we develop architectural projects and planning strategies that are aspirational, yet pragmatic. Their combined experience in teaching and building creates a unique dialogue within the practice which makes their approach to design both academic and hands-on. Kasawoo believes that design can be powerful when it is by and for a diverse audience.
RESOLVE is an interdisciplinary design collective that combines architecture, engineering, technology, and art to address social challenges. They have delivered numerous projects, workshops, publications, and talks in the UK and across Europe, all of which look toward realising just and equitable visions of change in our built environment. Much of RESOLVE’s work aims to provide platforms for the production of new knowledge and ideas. An integral part of this way of working means designing with and for young people and under-represented groups in society.
Lemonot is a multidisciplinary duo (Sabrina Morreale and Lorenzo Perri) operating between performative arts, spatial and relational practices. Sabrina teaches at the AA School and Lorenzo at the Angewandte in Vienna. They seek new forms of togetherness, through a contextual yet trans-territorial approach. Manipulating the sensorial parameters of public environments, Lemonot addresses the performative relationship between the urban fabric and human rituals through a wide range of media – small architectures, exhibitions, tapestries, movies. Their projects aim to detect, celebrate, and provoke the spontaneous theatre of everyday life. They experiment with the language of artivist strategies in public spaces through unconventional acts of place-making.
NOOMA Studio is an award-winning interdisciplinary practice of architects and creatives with a heartfelt connection to London. They are here to problem solve and create joyful spaces which support human thriving and wellbeing. They create accessible, people-led spaces through investigation, engagement, design, delivery, and post occupancy support. NOOMA is founded on diversity and their membership is formed of Londoners from non-traditional backgrounds.
NOOMA Studio is a member of the LHC’s OJEU compliant Architecture and Design Services framework. Accolades include The Architects’ Journal’s 40 under 40 as ‘one of Architecture’s brightest up and coming talents’, The RIBA Journal’s Rising Stars and Archiboo’s Best Newcomer.
Somers Town Museum & Edit
Edit is a feminist design collective, focusing on the enduring biases and hierarchies embedded in the built environment. Members of the collective trained in architecture and work across a variety of disciplines, including project management, engagement, education, research, exhibition design and architecture. Edit has experience in designing and delivering fully accessible spaces, including the recent Barbican exhibition ‘How We Live Now’.
Somers Town Museum: A Space for Us is a new space which will explore Somers Town’s ‘radical, reformers and rebels’ histories, as well as campaign and preserve working class heritage. A community-led collective who have produced 4 books and 2 films, 60 events with over 500 contributors on local histories, they are now consulted on matters such as the Cecil Rhodes House renaming project and ‘hard to reach’ groups. The collective is led by local residents, has deep roots in the community and all leads have working class backgrounds.
Somers Town ACTS Collaboration (STAC)
Somers Town ACTS Collaboration (STAC) brings together artist and curator Henry Coleman, architecture studio Studio Bates Rai / Cab and the socially engaged performance practice of artist Suzy Crothers. Suzy will be supported by Polly Brannan of Open School East and the UK Mexican Arts Society a local cultural institution based on Chalton Street, Somers Town. The collaboration is formed around the skills and experience to produce large scale public artworks and socially relevant architectural structures alongside sincere community engagement and ambitious green play projects. All harnessed to an established passion for the Architectural and Social intricacies of the Somers Town area.