London Festival of Architecture 2019 - Leicester Square
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London Festival of Architecture 2019

Discover the full beauty of London’s architecture and take a second look at Leicester Square with these exciting festival events!

01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019

at Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. Price - From FREE.

It’s not all about the skyscrapers


Architecture takes on many forms. From towering skyscrapers to intricate designs, London is full of examples.

That’s where the London Festival of Architecture comes in. Standing proud as the world’s largest annual architecture festival, in the world’s capital city of architecture. Running across London from 1st – 30th June 2019, the festival brings an abundance of FREE and fun activities to our streets.

The heart of London is one of only four official London festival hubs.

So, get ready to discover a different side to Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus!

We’ve done the leg work for you and included everything you can get involved with below. Keep scrolling to discover more. Or, tap below to see the full list of events on our Facebook event.

What does architecture mean to you?


This year, the festival theme is boundaries.

Architecture is often seen as something that creates boundaries. But, could it be something that breaks them down?

Discover more about the West End’s historic gems or uncover the secrets of new buildings designed to be inclusive for all. Whatever you decide, the West End is jam-packed with hidden treasures waiting to be rediscovered.

Most events are FREE and are staged by a core festival programming team working alongside architecture and design practices and practitioners, leading cultural and academic institutions, artists and many others.

The Alfred Hitchcock London Locations Walk - 1st June 2019

Bayswater tube station, W1

FREE Admission

Alfred Hitchcock biographer/historian Sandra Shevey looks at the buildings in Hitchcock’s films and contextualises them with the remit of the films. Beginning at Bayswater tube in London’s West End, the tour moves east through Leicester Square in the heart of London and ends in Covent Garden.

Duration: 11am – 2pm

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Leicester Square

The rich history of the Trocadero featuring Crystal Maze LIVE Experience - 3rd June 2019


The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience, W1

FREE Admission

The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience welcomes architectural enthusiasts to an evening lecture on the rich history of the Trocadero, looking back over the past 150 years, to its origins as a Theatre & Music Hall, through its restoration into a grand turn of the century restaurant, all the way to its present incarnation as the ALL NEW Crystal Maze LIVE Experience London. We then welcome guests to tour The Maze’ four zones; Medieval, Industrial, Futuristic and Aztec before heading to the iconic Crystal Dome.

Duration: 4pm – 7.30pm

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Leicester Square

Creating Urban Friendly Boundaries - 10th June 2019


The Prince of Wales Theatre, W1D

FREE Admission

Olivero Bland Studio, winners of the Public Medal at London Design Biennale 2018 , are back in London to speak about friendly boundaries that promote the public realm and create neighbourhoods with this exciting talk at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

Their practice is based in Guatemala, in the 4 Grados Norte urban development, which is carefully designed and set to promote, create, socialize and cause human interaction and is a true urban oasis worth visiting. This is one example of how the ongoing creation and intervention of boundaries between the private and public space can be a detonator to urban change and the collective conscioussness the drives communities. This talk is a brief exploration of Case studies (proven and ongoing) of urban detonators in Guatemala and Central America that through design have been responsible for positive change.

Duration: 12.15pm – 12.45pm

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Leicester Square

Classical London: A walking tour through Westminster - 12th June 2019


Strand entrance to Somerset House, WC2

FREE Admission

Join George Saumarez Smith, a leading classical architect and director of the award-winning practice ADAM Architecture, on an architectural walking tour through Westminster. Focusing on the development of the classical tradition over the centuries, the tour will include work by some of the greatest of British architects including Wren, Chambers, Nash and Lutyens. Starting at the Strand entrance to Somerset House Strand and finishing in Berkeley Square, the tour will take approximately 1 ½ hours. The tour is free but with only 25 places available, please pre-book and arrive by 5.30pm for a prompt start.

Duration: 5.30pm – 7pm

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Leicester Square

Between Life and Death: A Walk ‘on the edge’ around - 12th June 2019


Starting point near Leicester Square tube station, WC2

Tickets £12

Walk ‘on the edge’ – between the West End and what was once countryside, between respectability and poverty, even between life and death. This guided tour explores the alleys and courtyards by Covent Garden, formerly the site of London’s most notorious slums and now an area of extravagant leisure, hearing descriptions of the buildings around Seven Dials and the Rookery of St Gilesand relating them to Hogarth’s famous print of Gin Alley. Discover how the area was improved with the earliest surviving social housing and the way in which architects have reinvented these areas – in some cases perhaps more controversially than in others – for the lifestyles of 21st century Londoners.

Duration: 10.30am – 12pm

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Leicester Square

Look Up! Hidden Gems in the West End - 15th & 22nd June 2019


Starting point near Green Park tube station

Ending point Leicester Square tube station

Tickets £5

How often do we rush down well known streets without looking up?

This walk, organised by award-winning history blog Look Up London, will explore the hidden architectural details that we only see if we pause and raise our gaze.

Join a walk along some of London’s most famous streets, spotting details you’ve never noticed before. From powerful family crests, to secret symbols and stories of love and despair. Look Up London will reveal fascinating stories hiding above our eyeline.

Duration: 11am – 12.30pm

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Leicester Square

Tour of Her Majesty’s Theatre with Post-Tour Cocktail - 14th June 2019


Her Majesty’s Theatre, SW1

Tickets £16

Take a tour of the lavish Her Majesty’s Theatre and enjoy a post-tour cocktail in the bar. If the walls of this historic theatre could talk, they’d doubtless tell some fascinating stories. Renamed, rebuilt and refurbished numerous times since 1705, Her Majesty’s Theatre is still at the beating heart of London’s live performance scene. There is a fitting sense of symmetry that, having started life as an opera house, it still hosts the West End’s second-longest running production: the timeless classic that is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Join Her Majesty’s Theatre for a rare tour of the French Renaissance design and enjoy a delicious cocktail in the sumptuous bar.

Duration: 1.30pm – 4pm

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Leicester Square

Royal Academy of Arts & LEGO Architecture Challenge - 23rd June 2019


Burlington House, W1

FREE Admission

As part of this year’s Big Architecture Family Day at the RA, we will invite practices to explore the boundaries between historic and contemporary architecture in our urban realm. Watch three of the UK’s leading architectural practices battle it out to create the most innovative and imaginative project that explores the boundaries between old and new. We invite the practices to consider a bit of known heritage and propose new structures that avoid clear delimitation within the urban realm. Join us and see how architects consider their surrounding built environment and forge a new relationship between historic and contemporary architecture, all in LEGO form.

Duration: 2pm – 4pm

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Leicester Square

Hard hat tours of The Londoner - 23rd June 2019


The Londonder, Leicester Square W1

FREE Admission

Woods Bagot is offering hard hat tours of new hotel, The Londoner (for Edwardian Group) on Leicester Square. Set to open in 2020, the luxury 5-star hotel will offer 350 rooms and 35 suites, multiple restaurants and lounges, a rooftop bar, underground spa with swimming pool, ODEON cinema and a 1,000-capacity ballroom. At 30m deep and with six levels below ground, this will be the deepest habitable-grade commercial building basement in London, and among the deepest in the world.

Ticket are operating on a ballot basis, so register your interest before 7th June 2019.

Duration: 10am – 1pm

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Leicester Square

Learning from Las Vegas in London - 24th June 2019


Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square, WC2H

Admission details coming soon.

Hosted in London’s Hippodrome Casino and inspired by classic postmodern text by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas In London presents an evening of symbolism, ornament and excess. This event will unravel the boundaries of taste, set in the heart of the capital, featuring talks, performances and films that will explore the book’s legacy and London’s aesthetics and architecture. Key curators, architects, designers and academics will examine our love affair with postmodernism and its origins in a city that has become an international symbol of extravagance.

Duration: 6.30pm – 8.30pm

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Leicester Square

NAMACHEKO / Daniel Libeskind Installation - 28th June - 11th July 2019


Dover Street Market, SW1Y

FREE Admission

Namacheko, a menswear brand founded by two Kurdish siblings with a background in engineering have designed an installation at Dover Street Market for London Architecture Festival based on the boundaries of the creative disciplines.

For the interactive installation, Namachecko invited Daniel Libeskind to collaborate with images and text from his latest publication, Edge of Order that explores his creative process and the intersection of art, music, history, design, and poetry in his architectural practice. Similar to Mr. Libeskind, Namacheko has transcended conventional career boundaries in order to establish themselves in their current discipline.

Duration: 11am – 7pm

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Leicester Square