“It is a really fundamental question how architecture is different from nature, or how architecture could be part of nature, or how they could be merged… what the boundaries between nature and artificial things.” Sou Fujimoto.
Adding a novel twist to one of London’s best-loved gallery, every year an artist is chosen to design and build a temporary structure outside the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens.
The artist commissioned for making the 2013 building is the award-winning Japanese architect, Sou Fujimoto. The iconic Japanese designer is the thirteenth architect to be selected for the Serpentine Gallery structure honour. At 41-years-old, Fujimoto is also the youngest architect to accept the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion project.
This year’s pavilion is made from a lattice of steel poles, which have been put together in a similar way that a scaffolder would erect scaffolding around a building.
The poles of Sou Fujimoto are however of a much more delicate appearance than that of common scaffold. The structure looks incredibly elusive and pristine, the sort of formation you might find in the Ice Palace at Superman’s parents’ abode. Or even outside a Walt Disney-style castle, whilst temporary repairs are quietly taking place so that the Sleeping Beauty is not disturbed from her slumbers.
Until late September, the British Museum is showing artefacts from one of the most famous and prolific of human catastrophes caused by a natural disaster. The event occurred in AD 79 when the Earth opened up and Mount Vesuvius spewed its red hot innards over unsuspecting Italians going about their daily business.
The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum lay buried for 1700 years until archaeologists exposed the secrets of their last moments before catastrophe struck.
The Italian authorities have kindly lent the British Museum 250 artefacts, many of which have never been seen before outside of Italy.
There are also life-size casts of some of the hapless victims – their last actions as human beings frozen in time only to be gazed upon by an awestruck audience nearly 2,000 years later. The human casts include a family comprising of two adults and two children, a particularly sobering reminder of how these people met their end. Also on display is an extremely famous cast of a pet dog in the exact same position as the one he died in as Vesuvius struck.
If you are looking for absorbing and thought-provoking things to do in London then it’s really worth visiting the British Museum to muse over the fascinating paraphernalia from this dark period in Italian history.
Imagine the grotesque firework display lighting up the whole Bay of Naples and the sheer power of the pyroclastic flow as red-hot ash, travelling at 200 miles per hour, forced its way into every nook and cranny, smothering and entombing all life in its path.
Only 500 tickets per day are released for this exhibition, so it could be a good idea to arrive early to avoid disappointment. The British Museum is situated on Great Russell Street and the nearest tube stations are Tottenham Court Road, Holborn or Russell Square.
For more information on the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition and other impending events at the British Museum, visit the official website at britishmuseum.org.
There are not too many places in London where you can watch a good year’s worth of shows in one weekend for a paltry £4.50 per gig! You may be pleased to learn that great entertainment, which is favourable to your wallet, can be found at the Kings Place festival in September.
The Kings Place opened to the public in 2008 and due to its diverse programme soon established itself as a leading cultural European landmark. This dynamic, award-winning building is now considered as being one of London’s hubs for dialogue, music, art and food.
Every September the Kings Place hosts a diverse music and arts festival and 2013 promises to be the best one yet!
In fact with poetry, comedy, music and other interesting acts suiting a huge range of tastes, diversity certainly sums up the Kings Place Festival 2013. To wash down a heady day of watching some of the finest poets, comedians, orchestras and musicians, you can refresh yourself by joining in the chocolate tasting and beer tasting events – no, don’t worry, not together!
While the arts and the spoken word is fundamentally regarded being an adult’s domain, children are heavily catered for ay the Kings Place Festival. From making some great paper flowers from recycled paper at the Craft Closet to exploring the magical world of Debussy with some of the principle players of the Aurora Orchestra, there are plenty of workshops designated for the youngest members of society.
Musician Sasha Siem was identified by the Guardian newspaper as an artist to watch out for this year. Sasha will be playing songs from her debut album ‘Most of the boys’ on the final day of the Kings Place Festival 2013.
Kensington Palace has been home to many a royal since the 17th century. Presently it is the official residence of the latest Royal baby, Prince George of Cambridge, plus mum and dad of course!
This stylish palace in the Kensington and Chelsea area of London was also home to Diana Princess of Wales as well as the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret. You can visit the palace and gardens and see for yourself “how the other half lives!”
The Palace was originally known as “Nottingham House” and was bought by King William and Queen Mary from the 2nd Earl of Nottingham for £20,000. King William promptly instructed Sir Christopher Wren to expand and improve the building. This Wren did with his usual visionary aplomb and ever since that time Kensington Palace has been the residency of choice for a long list of Royals.
William and Kate will shortly move up to Princess Margaret’s 20-room dwelling along with baby Prince George and Prince Harry will move into the apartment left vacant by the couple.
It’s a hard life but somebody has to do it!
London #Fashion Week needs little introduction. Held twice a year in February and September, this prodigious event is ranked alongside Paris, Milan and New York as one of the “big four” worldwide fashion shows.
This biannual fashion spectacle, which naturally features a heady mix of the world’s biggest designers and world-class emerging talent, takes place in London’s stunning Somerset House. With 55 fountains elegantly pirouetting in the courtyard, this magnificent building on the south side of the Strand overlooking the Thames provides the perfect backdrop for one of the capital’s most publicised events.
For four days Somerset House will be transformed into Britain’s heart of fashion with catwalk shows, designer shopping, hair and beauty and a series of educational talks from a panel of fashion industry experts.
There will be four ‘Trend’ catwalks at the impending London Fashion Week 2013, which will all be styled by award-winning fashion director and British journalist Hilary Alexander. The ‘Trend’ themes for this year are; Graphic Art, Urban lifestyle, Eastern promise and Dolls house. As always at a Fashion Week, the catwalks during September’s event are guaranteed to be rammed to the rafters for this unique and inspiring look at the latest designs in the world of fashion.
You can sort out your entire autumn/winter wardrobe with over 100 designers to choose from, including: Issa London, Vivienne Westwood and Linda Farrow.