Celebrating Architecture and Design Around the Globe

Sylphe, Chaumont garden festival

With the advent of Archtober here in New York, we thought we’d share how the rest of the world celebrates architecture.  Pack your bags, pull out your passports, and get ready for an international design tour-de-force!

From our cousins across the pond comes UK: LOVE ARCHITECTURE. The festival is national, taking in this year’s Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award-winning buildings, as well grand old piles in the country, which become accessible during the National Trust for the Heritage’s Open Days (September). Oh, and clog-dancing, without which no festival would be complete.


Friends House, London. Architect: John
McAslan and Partners. Winner: RIBA London Award 2015. Photo: Hufton and Crow


18th-century engraving of the 12th century Amberley Castle by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

The French Mediterranean towns of Montpellier and La Grande Motte host the Festival des Architectures Vives, or Lively Architecture Festival (September). Site-specific installations by young architects and designers are on view in streets and courtyards, some of which are only accessible during the festival, in the historic city centers. The call for 2016 entries is open.


Montepellier: ”Médusa” by Alban Guého

France also hosts the Journées du Patrimoine (September) a wildly popular event that’s loosely equivalent to Open House New York (Oct. 17-18, 2015) but with much older buildings. The doors of such exclusive sites as the Palais de l’Elysée (the President’s residence) are open to the public. Visitors to the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire (April to November), which has been drawing crowds of art and garden lovers for 23 years, can also take in the somewhat older (ca. 1000) Château de Chaumont.

Above: Chaumont sur Loire: “Sylphe” – Festival International des Jardins, © E. Sander

chaumont gnomes

Chaumont sur Loire: “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” – Festival International des Jardins, 2012 – © E. Sander

In Africa, Johannesburg’s AZA Future City (September) is a festival of talks, events, and tours that celebrates creativity and demonstrates the social and economic value of design (not to mention soccer!).

soccer johannesburg

Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa – Architect: Populous, Boogertman Urban Edge & Partners; Photographer: Chris Gascoigne

Down under, the Adelaide Festival of Architecture and Design is currently in full swing (October 8-13). Attractions include a rooftop tour, open studios, and – we’re saving the best for last — a boutique bar crawl.

woods bagot model

This model by Woods Bagot is among those displayed at Space Land, an architectural model exhibition on show during the Adelaide Festival of Architecture and Design