Urban sprawl

If a design theme is emerging for the summer it is surely the great outdoors, as townies strive to bring the best bits of the suburbs into city centres.

Last month organisers of the London Architecture Festival installed turf, planting and a timber ‘landmark’ structure by Moxon Architects and Price & Myers in the crescent section of Store Street in central London to extend its month-long celebrations into the streets (DW Blog 28 June).

Bat and ball
Bat and ball

Now arts bursary scheme The Vauxhall Collective is at it, with plans to relaunch the notion of the Great British Weekend starting with a project to urge city types out into the street over the August Bank Holiday at the end of next month.

Victoria  Bench by Gareth Neal
Victoria Bench by Gareth Neal

For Vauxhall Collective’s launch event, The Urban Picnic, furniture designer Gareth Neal is creating pop-up picnics in London’s East End. Tarmac and concrete spaces will be transformed into grassy glades for those wishing to sprawl around to share their picnic fare.

Bat by Gareth Neal
Bat by Gareth Neal

For leisurely idlers Neal’s Victoria Bench might come in handy. For more active souls though, he’s designed decorative bats to stimulate a few ball games.

Dress code? Well, shorts, of course, with the obligatory knotted hankie headgear. Unless, that is, you prefer the 1930s elegance of cricket flannels, straw boaters and cravats.

The Urban Picnics will ‘pop-up’ at a secret East London location on 28 August and at Elys Yard at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London E1 on 29 August.



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