Dressed as influential town planner John Nash the architect will open the event on 19 June

Will Alsop will open the London Festival of Architecture dressed as John Nash – London’s first and foremost influential town planner architect responsible for much of the layout of Regency London as we know it today. Alsop will be accompanied by the director of commission for architecture in the built environment at CABE, Paul Finch, dressed as the Grand Old Duke of York and developer Roger Zogolovitch, dressed as the Prince Regent. 

The three regal reincarnates will showcase one of LFA’s highlight installations, the launch of the world’s first water-and-solar powered wheelchair lift, designer to carry wheelchair users up and down the historic Duke of York Steps.

They will then set off - from the Duke of York’s monument - in an open topped Landau and horses up Regent Street to inspect the changes that have taken place since Nash designed the boulevard 200 years ago and to lay a wreath at the bust of Nash in All Soul’s Church. The Grand Old Duke of York will then march up to the top of Primrose Hill.

Following the procession, Alsop will begin work on a ‘live’ painting onto the sprawling window of the St James Sofitel hotel. The public will treated to a rare opportunity to view the architect in action as he paints a Nash inspired masterpiece. The finished painting will be auctioned for charity at the end of the festival.

The biennial LFA is the UK’s biggest celebration of architecture taking place in the capital between 19 June and 4 July. During the three weeks, LFA will play host to over 300 events and an estimated 300,000 visitors.