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Architecture LGBT+ Pride Pop Up 

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) and Architecture LGBT+ held a competition to create a ‘Pride Pop-Up’ in the gardens of St Anne’s Church Soho in September to coincide with Pride in London. The pop up was run with official partners: Westminster City Council, St Anne’s Church and Soho Live Festival, with events supported by the RIBA and their network sponsors. Studio Moren architectural assistant Jake Johnson led the project team of Eu Xuen Chai, Rahul Narendra Khimji, Rebeca Aguilera, Mark Wood, with advice from Herbert Lui. The team is proud to present their competition entry titled ‘Beauty Within’.

The brief was to submit a design proposal for a pop up to represent LGBT+ architects and their contribution to architecture past and present. The pop-up installation would celebrate and demonstrate diversity and pride, whilst also showcasing the role design can play within the public realm.

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) is the world’s largest annual architecture festival, with a mission to support London architectural and design talent, enthuse and engage with the public, and find new ways to look at familiar places. As well as a month-long festival of hundreds of public events in June, the festival also organises a year-round programme of other activities including design competitions such as this one.

Too often we make ourselves invisible to the outside world whilst hiding the beauty within.

Walking into the St Anne’s church yard, you are drawn to the shimmering form that sits inside. Reflections of the natural setting create a sense of calm. You notice a curtain blowing in the wind that lures you towards the mirrored object. As you brush aside the curtain, the material soothes the skin guiding you inside.

Entering a long, bright space, you notice the images of the past that line the walls. LGBT+ architects of days gone remind you of how far we have come. Glimpses of colour through the curtains at the end of the corridor creates a sense of intrigue – what is beyond the past?

A burst of colour emerges and rewards your intrigue as you move through the past to the present. Comforted by the soft fabrics that hang from above, an overwhelming sense of care takes over your body. The beauty of the colourful setting is not only reminiscent of the progress flag but also emphasizes how far we have come. You feel embraced by the love within the community.