Exhibition Road in Kensington resembled a giant playground for kids and adults alike as the London Festival of Architecture enjoyed its opening on Saturday. The road was closed off to cars from Hyde Park to the Natural History Museum – a first taster of architecture firm Dixon Jones' proposal to pedestrianise the street permanently.
Among the temporary pavilions, commissioned by Brompton Estates, was the Brompton Stoops, designed by 6a Architects with graphics by icon magazine. The hundred-plus cardboard structures in varying sizes, from extra large to mini "take-away" versions, were popular with the crowds who could position the stoops as they liked.
Within the flexible confines of the stoops designer Ruth Bartlett provided TLC for old battered canvas trainers and plimsolls through her magic touch with fabric markers in the "Pimp my Plimsoll" workshop. Poet Luke Wright entertained with some stand-up, high-speed word-smithing, and artists Lundahl & Seitl invited the public to experience their performance work "My Voice Shall Now Come From the Other Side of The Room", where punters were provided with earphones and blindfolds and encouraged to blindly follow instructions.
As the day drew to a close there was a last burst of spontaneous creativity as the kids, who had appropriated most of the stoops as a bouncy castle, grabbed rolls of "Brompton Stoops" branded tape and in a frenzy created a giant spider web while passersby went snap happy. (Unfortunately we couldn't show all of the best pictures because of legal restrictions about the representation of children in the media - there were kids all over these things!)