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Archikids Festival

Archikids Festival

The City of London is home to some of the world’s most diverse and dynamic architecture that has long captivated and enthralled tourists and locals. Imagine the iconic Square Mile of the City, long regarded the domain of stockbrokers and investment bankers being taken over by 7,000 riotous children and their families. Its hallowed confines, where international business deals are brokered on a daily basis, now play host to a unique festival of architecture for thousands of budding architects, enabling them to celebrate and be inspired by the capital’s landmarks.

London’s family festival of architecture

Archikids is London’s annual festival of architecture during which the streets and recognisable landmarks of the City are thrown open to eager young Londoners. The pulsating energy of this financial hub is replaced by a different kind of vibe, that of 35,000 children and adults engaged in a weekend of innovative and stimulating activities, workshops and tours to discover the Square Mile’s most iconic buildings and public spaces.

Inspiring budding architects

AK_Lets Go Lego
Image courtesy Open City

Launched in 2012 by Open-City, London’s leading architecture education charity, this exciting festival will be held on 23rd and 24th July and invites children aged 5 to 11 and their families to a free and fun-filled exploration of the City’s famous buildings and institutions. The event is concentrated in four ‘Festival Hubs’ including 30 St Mary Axe (colloquially known as the Gherkin and often regarded as the symbol of London’s contemporary architecture), Broadgate Estate, the roof garden of 6 Bevis Marks and the Aldgate area. With over 30 educational and engaging activities to choose from, children will learn the intricacies of design and engineering by building Lego landscapes, designing skyscrapers and geodesic domes, participating in interactive competitions, all the while enjoying some family fun. The festival, which is free to attend, aims to encourage youngsters from the capital and especially from the City’s neighbouring areas including Hackney, Shoreditch, Spitalfields and Islington to explore and appreciate facets of the city’s evolving architecture that are not usually accessible to children.

Square footage in the Square Mile

The City, often referred to as the ‘Square Mile’, is the business and financial heart of London. While it is not as big a draw to tourists like the fashionable areas of Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Mayfair, or the historical landmarks of neighbouring Westminster, it is one of the world’s prominent corporate and financial powerhouses. Often compared to New York’s Wall Street, its signature skyscrapers dot the London skyline and are renowned for their dynamic and distinctive style. Featuring celebrated buildings including 95 storey The Shard, the tallest building in Europe, the curiously shaped Gherkin and the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral to name a few, the City features some of the most striking examples of traditional and contemporary architecture.

Flat 3009 The Heron 5 Moor Lane EC2Y 9AP - ViewA - 15.07.2014
View from The Heron

The City has a relatively small residential population compared to the huge numbers of people who commute to work here, primarily in trading and financial services. With professionals working longer hours, the City is gradually becoming a more established place to live. Restricted supply makes property here a sound investment proposition. Traditionally major stakeholders have been resistant to residential developments, which has impeded the construction of modern high-rise office complexes, resulting in major banks and financial institutions shifting base to nearby Canary Wharf. However exclusive lifestyle amenities, low crime rate, unparalleled transport links and a pool of determined buyers has resulted in bourgeoning numbers of luxurious new-build developments in the area including The Heron, a 36 storey residential skyscraper that is posed to redefine city living at its finest, the sought-after St Dunstan’s Court and the landmark riverside development, One Tower Bridge. With professionals increasingly looking at renting in the City or seeking a convenient pied-à-terre, developers are building new homes in places such as Farringdon, leading to real growth in those areas. As specialists in letting properties in the City, our team of experienced professionals are happy to help.

The City of London features some of the most eye catching architectural wonders seen anywhere in the world. During the weekend of 23rd to 24th July, enterprising young architects will be treated to a unique opportunity to discover the City’s ever evolving architecture. We look forward to a fun filled weekend that will hopefully inspire a whole new generation of Londoners to be passionate about the city they live in and pursue a career in architecture, engineering and design.



About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 19 prominently located branches and 8 international offices.