A Smarter City: Winners Event

Thursday 7 December
18:00 - 20:30


Over the past six months The City Centre has hosted a series of exhibitions and events as part of our ‘A Smarter City’ programme. We have focused on three themes; Smart Green Spaces, Smart Buildings and Smart Infrastructure in order to search for new ideas that could be taken forward and used within The City of London.

Join us at The City Centre for an evening of presentations from our competition winners AtkinsSchréderBAMMomentum Transport and McGregor Coxall. Presentations will be followed by a Q&A session between the winners, jury and audience as well as drinks and networking. We will finish the evening with our esteemed jury announcing the overall winner of the A Smarter City ideas competition.

Click here for more information on the programme and shortlisted entries 


Workshop for Young People: Architectural Photography Design Studio

Saturday 2 December
10:00 – 15:00 

On an artist led tour of the City learn how to get the perfect photograph of the different historic and contemporary architectural styles you see. Improve your photographic skills and learn how to capture the rich heritage of the City as it changes around you. For young people aged 14-19yrs. 

Run by photographer Grant Smith

Please wear weather appropriate clothing

Participants should bring their own camera or smartphone however please let us know at the time of booking if you do not own one as we can lend you one.


Workshop for Young People: Animate the City Design Studio

Saturday 18 November 
10:30 - 16:00


Be inspired by the City of London model to create your own stop-motion cut-out animations of the City skyline of the Future. Learn how to use istopmotion software and create storylines using simple design motifs. For young people aged 14-19yrs. 

Run by artist Reza Ben Gajra

A Smarter City: Smart Infrastructure Panel Talk

Chaired by Patricia Brown

Wednesday 15 November
18:00 - 20:00


For the third and final part of our A Smarter City competition we focused on 'Smart Infrastructure' and searched for new ideas on security, energy and transport in the City of London. New data and real-time analysis about behaviours and usage in The City offer the ability for us to do more with less. Both low and high tech solutions, coupled with progressive policy measures can quickly unlock capacity and efficiency across energy networks and roadways.

Join Patricia Brown at The City Centre along with three of the shortlisted entrants to our Smart Infrastructure competition to have a lively debate about how ‘Smart’ ideas can improve working and travelling around The City of London. This free event will include presentations from James Rhodes and Giulio Ferrini from SYSTRA, Anna Sieczak and Oliver Lee from The Landscape Partnership and Oliver Riley from Aecom.


Half-Term Workshop for Young People: Transforming Spaces through Design  

27 and 28 October
10.30 – 16:00

Have you ever heard of landscape architecture? Where architects design buildings landscape architects reimagine and design for the future of a city's outside environment. If you’re aged 14-19yrs and into art, architecture or design spend two days during October half term learning about an amazing career path you might not have heard about before.

You’ll get to meet professionals who will set you a brief responding to a real site in the City of London. You will get to try out your own ideas for how to transform it for the better, coming up with creative ways to change how it looks to make an impact on how people feel and act when they are there. To perfect your final designs you’ll visit the site, learn from case studies and do a range of practical activities including architectural drawing and Sketch-Up. You’ll also get the chance to improve your communication and public speaking skills, working in teams to complete a final presentation for your project.

In collaboration with:


© Thames Tidal Powered School by CLTH in associate with Elementa Consulting and visualisation by Forbes Massie 2017

© Thames Tidal Powered School by CLTH in associate with Elementa Consulting and visualisation by Forbes Massie 2017

A Smarter City: Smart Buildings Panel Talk

Thursday 12 October
18:00 - 20:00

By 2050 the global population will reach 9 billion people, 66% of these will live in cities. In order to adapt to the challenges brought about by this urban population boom The City of London is becoming ‘A Smarter City’. By making changes to the way we connect and respond to architecture and the built environment we can increase The City’s resilience. The Square Mile’s high quality, flexible buildings and infrastructure provide significant capacity for growth, with a distinctive character derived from a diverse mix of buildings, uses, streets, spaces and unrivalled heritage and culture.

Join us at The City Centre along with three of the shortlisted entrants to our Smart Buildings competition to have a lively debate about “Smart” solutions to some of the architectural challenges within The City of London. This free event will include presentations from Alison Richings from EndpointMcGregor Coxall’s Mike Cowdy and Wayne Head from Curl la Tourelle Head Architecture


Open House 2017 at The City Centre

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September
10:00 - 16:00

Free drop in talks

The City Centre will be open all weekend as part of Open House 2017. Open House London is a city-wide celebration of the buildings, places, and neighbourhoods where we live, work and play. 

Over the weekend visitors will have access to our A Smarter City exhibition and an overview of the latest developments and architecture in the City of London via the interactive 1:500 scale Pipers model that shows the future skyline with all of the proposed new towers.

Modern Architecture within The City of London
12:00 - 13:00

(both Saturday and Sunday)
Chairman of The City Centre and New London architecture Peter Murray will be giving a talk on Modern Architecture within The City of London and discuss the changing face of the Square Mile's built environment.

Model talk and Q&A
14:00 - 14:30

(both Saturday and Sunday)
One of The City Centre's knowledgeable team will give an introduction to our Pipers architectural model and answer your questions on the past, present and future of The City of London's architecture.


Engineering Academy: Building the Future of London’s Built Environment

Monday, 7 - Friday, 11 August

Calling all young people with an interest in engineering in the Built Environment.

If you’re considering pursuing a career in engineering, are interested in the construction industry or just want to find out more about how to have a voice in the development of your city then The City Centre’s Engineering Academy is where you need to be this August.

Through a range of hands-on practical activities such as design, maths and construction challenges as well as inspiring trips to new developments you will have a fun, inspiring and creative chance to learn more about Engineering in the Built Environment.

You will get access to our scale model of the City of London and the chance to meet professionals from across the industry who can give advice on CVs, study routes and university applications. This course will challenge you to work like a real structural or civil engineer; think strategically, problem-solve and work as a team to respond to tasks set.

You will learn about the key issues in the city that affect you. You will come up with original ideas, design solutions to real life building problems and extend your knowledge of how Engineers are integral to turning building designs into reality.

To apply download the expression of interest form and return it to us by Friday 28th July. For more information or to send us your form email the Head of Learning,

Archikids at The City Centre

Saturday, 22 and Sunday, 23 July
11.00 - 16.00

Free event, sign up on the day at Museum of London

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The City Centre have teamed up with the Museum of London and Open City to take part in Archikids a weekend of family activities in the square mile. Families can sign up on the day at the Museum of London for a fun-filled tour of the area around St Paul's Cathedral and Cheapside led by Lettie Mckie. Kids will be given an i-spy activity sheet to complete on the walk which ends at The City Centre.

These 30 Minute walks will be happening throughout the day then participating families can stay on at The City Centre to attend a workshop inspired by the City of London model. Families will get the chance to help us create a giant collage of the City's future skyline using the colourful craft materials provided.



The City Cycling Tour

Saturday, 22 July
14:00 – 16:00

Join Peter Murray (Chairman of The City Centre and NLA) for this special cycling tour of The City of London.

At the weekend the streets of The City of London are transformed. The quiet and serene Square Mile is the perfect place to explore by bike. This tour will take in key pieces of architecture such as Smithfield Market, the Barbican, London Wall and The City Cluster including The Gherkin and the Leadenhall Building. We will explore the rapidly changing architectural landscape and investigate the opportunities and challenges that will arise over the next decade.

This tour will start and at The City Centre, 80 Basinghall Street, EC2V 5AG and end at Aldgate in the East.



A Smarter City - Public Realm

Wednesday, 5 July
18:00 - 20:00


Public space is an important characteristic of the City of London, with 200 pocket parks and churchyard gardens and numerous plazas totaling over 1 million square feet. To ensure that the public realm is being utilised, the City of London, and the entire capital, must enhance both flexibility and innovation when it comes to the design and development of new public spaces. 

Join us at The City Centre along with some of the shortlisted entrants to our Smart Green Spaces competition to have a lively debate about the future of London’s public realm.

Chaired by Patricia Brown (Director, Central), this free event will include presentations from Broadway Malyan's Ashish Gupta, Will Sandy and Mak Gilchrist from The Edible Bus Stop Studio and Carlin Fier from Brookfield, and a panel joined by Romy Rawlings, ‎UK Business Development Manager at Vestre.

Retrofit in The City Walking Tour

With David Thompson

Saturday, 24 June
14.00 - 16.00


Although tall buildings are increasingly dominating the City’s skyline the vast majority of new development within the square mile is retrofit, where an historic or post-war building is re-clad or renovated in order to make it suitable for 21st Century use.

This tour will include some of the best and most recent examples of retrofit including Lutyen’s former Midland Bank now luxury hotel The Ned and Frederick's Place a perfectly preserved Georgian cul de sac down Old Jewry opposite James Stirling's 1 Poultry. We will examine these and many other notable examples of retrofit considering how it enables architects to preserve the past while providing for the future.


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Get Into Urban Planning

Saturday, 24 June
11:00 – 14:00

Join Oxford Brookes School of Built Environment for a free workshop to introduce you to the work of Urban Planners in the City of London. Working with details of a real site within the square mile you will get the opportunity to explore and consider the issues that shape our built environment s - the preservation and use of historic buildings, improvements to transport infrastructure, the future needs of Londoners and the cost of development. 

Young People considering a career in the built environment (planning - surveying - property - urban design) will get a practical, hands-on taste of what it would be like to study this field at Oxford Brookes.  

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Architecture Masterclass

Saturday, 10 June
11:00 – 14:00

An opportunity for those considering a degree in architecture to get a taster of what studying the subject is like.

Run by The Sir John School of Architecture, Art and Design at London Metropolitan University.

The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University (The Cass) offers courses across a broad range of subject areas: art (encompassing fine art, photography, English, creative writing, theatre and performance practice), architecture (including spatial planning and urban design) and design (which includes fashion, furniture, jewellery, interiors and visual communication.



The City Centre Youth Programme Pops-Up at Paternoster Square

Friday, 2 - Friday, 23 June
Paternoster Square,
City of London
Sponsored by:

The City Centre youth panel welcomes you to Paternoster Square. We have designed a new pop-up structure for the bustling precinct next to St Paul’s Cathedral working with architects from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

A group of young people have worked with architects and engineers to create a unique structure made up of over 50,000 components in the City of London’s Paternoster Square for London Festival of Architecture 2017.

The team’s work culminated in a Build Day on 2 June in Paternoster Square, where they worked with members of the public to create the temporary structure, demonstrating to them how to build with the Miniplex system. The final installation makes a striking visual impact within the square set against the majestic backdrop of St Paul's Cathedral, and will remain there until 23 June.



Retrofit in the City Panel Talk

Chaired by Gwyn Richards with John Robertson, Craig Hook and Michael Meadows

Friday, 2 June 
18.00 – 20.00

London is the eternal palimpsest, a City which is constantly altering itself while bearing the marks of the past. Responding to London Festival of Architecture’s theme of Memory, this panel discussion brings together experts across the Built Environment to discuss the need for and the impact of Retrofit. Chaired by Gwyn Richards from the City of London Corporation the panel will include leader in City retrofit and conservation, Architect John Robertson alongside Craig Hook (Chief Engineer, Sir Robert McAlpine) and Michael Meadows (Planning Director, British Land).  The talks and discussion will focus on recent retrofit of historic buildings that are united by a particular period drawing out the stories of how those buildings have been used in different ways over time.

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London Festival of Architecture Pop-Up Project

Build a Pop-up in Three Days 

Wednesday 31 May 
to Friday 2 June
10.00 – 16.00

Book Now


Sponsored by:


Supported by:

A rare opportunity to design and build a unique pop-up structure for London Festival of Architecture 2017. Working with architects from Allford Hall Monaghan Morris alongside structural engineers and construction contractors you will be involved in the creation of an entirely new structural piece from start to finish. You will get the chance to put the final piece in a real space in the City of London working for a client who manages the space who will expect your work to be of the highest quality!
The structure will be made from Miniplex, developed by AHMM architect Vlad Tenu, an adaptable modular assembly system that is easy to use. Working as a team made up of young people and professionals you will run a public event on the last day of the course demonstrating to members of the public how to use the system so that they can help you construct the final work. The piece will then remain in situ for a week during the festival so that thousands of passers by will engage with your designs.
If you are thinking about studying architecture, engineering, construction or a related built environment subject at university this course will give you an in-depth taster of what a career in the field would really be like. 


Smart Green Spaces Walking Tour

With Dr Charles Fentiman and Sarah Hudson

Saturday, 20 May
14.00 - 16.00


As part of The City Centre's ‘A Smarter City’ programme join Dr Charles Fentiman and Sarah Hudson on a walking tour that explores and celebrates The City of London's Green spaces and Biodiversity. 

This tour will include some of the Sites of Local Importance for Nature Conservation including St Mary Aldermanbury and Bunhill Fields in order to give you an understanding of the surprising number of species that can be found in the most unexpected places within the Square Mile.


Open House London 2016

17 and 18 September
10.00 - 17.00 

The City Centre will be open all weekend on the 17th and 18th September as part of Open House London with a special programme of talks and activities. 

12.00 City Talk with Peter Murray
New London Architecture Chairman and Master of the Worshipful Company of Architects Peter Murray will give a talk looking at contemporary architecture in the City of London. 

14.00 Introduction to the City of London Model
One of our knowledgeable team will introduce the 1:500 scale interactive model, revealing what it teaches about the history, present and future of the City of London.

15.00 London Stories with Olivia Armstrong (Suitable for Families)
Listen to our storyteller recount legends of London from its ancient Roman past to its most famous monuments. Did London Bridge really fall down? Who was Boadicea? and have you ever heard of the strange animal who is supposed to be the city's guardian?  

14.00 - 16.00 Build the City Workshop (Suitable for Families)
Become an architect for the afternoon! Design and create your own building model to take home using the recycled materials provided. 

Visitors can drop-in to each event on either day. No booking necessary.


Placemaking in the City

Panel discussion chaired by Peter Murray 

29th June
18.45 drinks and canapés reception for a 19.15 start. Event ends 20.45

Standard £35
Concession £28

*Concession price available to NLA members, CoL employees and Students


Responding to London Festival of Architecture’s 2016 theme ‘Community’ this panel discussion reflects on how we shape communities within the city, both in new buildings and retrofitting. Chaired by Peter Murray the evening will feature a range of expert panellists from across the industry who will consider the City’s current position as the world’s leading global financial centre as well as its unique architectural and cultural heritage over the last 2000 years. Panellists will debate the need for its built environment to constantly react to the fluctuations of the market and changing needs of businesses, alongside its increasing remit for the provision of high quality public space, green infrastructure and workplaces that provide for the health and well-being of employees. Panel: Paul Lincoln Deputy Chief Executive of the Landscape Institute, Oliver Bayliss Associate Director Buckely Gray Yeoman, Simon Glynn Acting Assistant Director of The City Public Realm at the City of London Corporation, Karen Cook Founding Partner of PLP Architecture, Nigel Dunnett Landscape Designer and Carlin Fier Director of Marketing and Communications at Brookfield.


Walking City Gardens

With Marion Blair

25th June, 2016

Standard £15
Concession £12

*Concession price available to NLA members, CoL employees and Students

City guide and garden expert Marion Blair will take visitors on a whirlwind tour of some of the City gardens that inspired Rebecca Louise Law’s ‘The City Garden’ installation at The City Centre.

From blitz gardens to roof gardens, Wren churchyards to private havens for City employees, this tour will give you an understanding of the complexities of the City’s network of open spaces. Far from a concrete jungle, the City has a wealth of historic and contemporary spaces for the public and workers to enjoy with well thought out planting schemes that defy a range of inhospitable and historic barriers.

90 Years of British Architecture

Panel discussion chaired by John Goodall 

15th June
18.45 drinks andcanapés reception for a 19.15 start. Event ends 20.45

Standard £35
Concession £28

*Concession price available to NLA members, CoL employees and Students


To celebrate the 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II The City Centre is hosting a panel discussion as part of London Festival of Architecture reviewing and celebrating British Architecture during her lifetime. Chaired by John Goodall the Architecture Editor of Country Life the panel will also include Kenneth Powell author of New London Architecture, Rory Olcayto Chief Executive of Open City, The Royal Academy's Architectural Programme Curator Owen Hopkins and Historic England's chief buildings investigator Elain Harwood. Each will take a different period of the Queen’s lifetime from the historic buildings of her pre-war childhood to visionary post-war design, later post-modernist innovations in the 1980s and the rebirth of the Skyscraper in the 21st Century. 


Nigel Dunnett in conversation with Tom Stuart-Smith

1st June, 2016
18.15 - 20.00

Standard £35
Concession £28
Price includes drinks and canapés

*Concession price available to NLA members, CoL employees and Students


Join landscape designers Professor Nigel Dunnett and Tom Stuart-Smith for The City Centre's inaugural public event. Nigel and Tom will be discussing the challenges and triumphs of Nigel's Beech Garden and High Walk project which forms part of the Grade II listed Barbican Estate

Professor Dunnett was commissioned to develop new gardens and plantings north west of the Barbican after waterproofing works had been carried out. The new gardens, which had to respect the listed features and layout, provided an exciting opportunity to maximise a range of benefits such as increasing the biodiversity and aesthetic value, whilst meeting the challenging site conditions of this 'podium' landscape, including exposure and a wide range of microclimates. Crucially, the gardens are a pioneering example of a radical transformation of the public realm to meet the challenges posted by climate change and to create a more sustainable approach to the urban landscape. 

The planting scheme includes 22,000 herbaceous plants to provide colour and interest throughout the flowering season and fourteen new multi-stemmed trees to provide structure and a linear aspect to the garden.

Professor Nigel Dunnett uses a pioneering approach to planting design and the integration of ecology and horticulture to achieve low-input, dynamic and diverse, ecologically-tuned landscapes. This work has been widely applied in the UK and abroad.   He has worked on many major innovative, large scale projects, including the London 2012 Olympic Park, as well as The Diamond Garden, Buckingham Palace, the John Lewis Rain Garden (central London’s first street-side ‘rain garden’) and the RBC Rain Garden at The London Wetland Centre. Nigel has also designed Gold medal winning show gardens for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Tom Stuart-Smith is a landscape designer with an international reputation for making gardens that combine naturalism and modernity. His practice was established in 1998 and work since has ranged from large gardens and public parks, to smaller private gardens. Tom has also designed a number of gardens for the Chelsea Flower Show. Eight of these have been awarded gold medals, and three have won ‘Best in Show’. Most projects are located in the UK and Europe, with a few undertaken further afield.

The City Centre is managed by Pipers on behalf of the City of London Corporation
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