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Open Call: International Residencies for London Festival of Architecture 2014

Open Call: International Residencies for London Festival of Architecture 2014 Simon Terrill, Balfron Tower, type C print, 162cm x 200cm, 2010

Simon Terrill, Balfron Tower, type C print, 162cm x 200cm, 2010

11 March 2014
by Niamh Tuft

The British Council has launched an open call for London based architecture practices to participate in a series of residencies to take place during the London Festival of Architecture in June 2014. This residency programme will pair these London based architecture practices with international architects and presents an opportunity to make new international connections, to explore fresh perspectives on familiar problems and the chance to work freely to develop creative ideas around a real and pertinent problem. 

The residencies will explore the influence of émigré architecture on London. During the Twentieth century émigrés to London had a significant impact on British architecture, bringing with them ideas that connected directly to International Modernism. British architecture continues to thrive on its international connections.

The iconic Balfron Tower, a forerunner to the Trellick Tower, was designed by Hungarian-born architect Ernö Goldfinger in 1963. Balfron will be a hub for the International Residency Programme, and working in partnership with Bow Arts Trust we will explore the impact Goldfinger’s work had on architecture and the East End of London.

Through its architecture and history, Balfron symbolises many of the tensions and opportunities associated with mobility, transition and sustainability. Specifically, Balfron encapsulates an era of optimism and boldness characterized by Modernism and the influence of émigré architects in London. However, its imminent renovation also raises questions about social housing, modernizing and redevelopment. The teams of architects are encouraged to consider themes of connectivity, mobility and transition and to extrapolate the specific design challenges of Balfron Tower and the surrounding area into a universal context. 

The programme will connect with the LFA’s overall theme of ‘Capital’ and will also address the theme of the national pavilions at Venice Architecture Biennale, which runs alongside LFA - Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014.  

How to Apply

Please download the full application pack.

If you would like to participate, please submit an Expression of Interest. This should be in the format of an A4 PDF portfolio of up to 10 pages. You can decide the format of the submission but it should include the following mandatory information:

  • Up to five examples of key projects (realised or speculative) that you feel represent your approach.
  • CV of the architect(s) applying.
  • A short statement that briefly outlines why you are applying to take part in the International Architecture Showcase and how you will use the opportunity to benefit your own practice and networks (Max 300 words). In particular applicants should make reference to international collaboration and where appropriate highlight interests in the wider themes of émigré architecture, connectivity, mobility and transition.


Submissions should be in PDF format and not to exceed 5MB in size. These should be emailed to *Deadline extended to 7 April at 4pm* Please note this open call is for London based practices, International practices will be selected through embassies and architecture organisations in their countries.