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Urbanistas

New exhibition, 6 March – 27 June 2015, Roca London Gallery

Urbanistas: women innovators in architecture, urban and landscape design, a new exhibition curated by Lucy Bullivant opens on 6 March 2015 at Roca London Gallery, Station Court, Townmead Road, London SW6 2PY, www.rocalondongallery.com. It showcases the ideas of some of the finest women practitioners based in, or working in, the UK today. Each is a role model for their peers and those entering the profession, showing incredible ingenuity and resourcefulness as they tackle societal needs through their designs for urban living.

The five exhibitors are Irena Bauman, co-founder of Bauman Lyons Architects, Leeds; Alison Brooks, founder, Alison Brooks Architects, London; Alessandra Cianchetta, co-founder of AWP, Paris; Liza Fior and Katherine Clarke, co-founders of Muf Architecture + Art, London; and Johanna Gibbons, co-founder, J&L Gibbons, London. With projects completed and ongoing for sustainable urban and suburban mixed-use developments, a variety of housing types (including live-work), landscape architecture and masterplanning frameworks, the Urbanistas represent the highest standards of cohesive design.

The exhibition complements Roca's focus on creativity and sustainability, manifest both in its long commitment to working with the world's leading architects – from Herzog & de Meuron and Zaha Hadid to Rafael and Belen Moneo and David Chipperfield – and in its environmental policies. Roca London Gallery Manager Eva Woode explains the relevance of Urbanistas to the company's sustainability agenda: “We wanted to highlight the contribution that women are making to urban design, through sustainable and livable examples, because we believe that cities should be developed by city users – and that emphatically means both genders. As an extension of this, we are founder sponsors of the AJ Women in Architecture Awards, which celebrate excellence in design and thought leadership and promote role models for aspiring architects and young women in practice.” Now in their fifth year, the 2015 AJ Women in Architecture Awards will be announced on 27 February.

Urbanistas curator Lucy Bullivant says: “This is a particularly exciting time to be looking closely at urban design and those marshalling ground-breaking projects in the field, as the pressure to generate long-term sustainable and socially responsible solutions increases. Although there has been a lot of discussion recently about the value and viability of ‘garden cities’, a concept dating back to the end of the 19th century, Urbanistas shows that re-evaluating existing neighbourhoods is more important to today's urban design and liveability agenda, and of course far more sustainable in terms of future-proofing spaces to help support people's lives in the 21st century.”

Exhibition highlights include: Alison Brooks’ innovative reinterpretation of the archetypal London garden suburb, Barnet, compact live-work housing, Harlow, and variations on the Bath Crescent housing typology on a former industrial site; Irena Bauman's versatile retrofitting strategies with the community in Dewsbury and Holbeck, Leeds; multi-scalar urban design by Alessandra Cianchetta at AWP – from long-term strategic planning to detailed retrofitting work, at La Défense, Paris, regenerating 100,000m2 of unused space for public use; Muf's inspired integrative regenerative strategies, identifying and nurturing the community assets of areas such as Dalston, east London; and Johanna Gibbons’ vision of the city as a conceptual landscape.

Exhibition designers, the architectural firm Feix & Merlin, described their approach: “We designed a family of five objects, each individually adaptable to the selected exhibits, as a series of geometrically folded ribbons that echo the nature of the exhibition as well as respond to the interior design of Roca London Gallery itself.” For further information please contact Theresa Simon & Partners theresa@theresasimon.com 020 7734 4800 and 07976 766221.

Notes to editors:

Talks programme

Two public evening talks on 16 and 30 April 2015 will feature the exhibitors and the curator in debate about topical issues and challenges faced by cities today and the role contemporary architecture and urban design can play in their sustainable futures. Please check for programme updates on www.rocalondongallery.com.

Roca London Gallery

Roca Galleries are part of Roca's international strategy to express the brand values of design, innovation, sustainability and well-being. They also convey a desire to maintain an ongoing dialogue with society and professionals who share an interest in shaping the future of bathroom spaces. The various Roca Galleries in Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Shanghai and London are a vehicle for expressing this desire, while providing a meeting place and area for interior decorators, designers and architects worldwide.

First opened in October 2011, the Roca London Gallery is the result of a cooperative effort with Zaha Hadid Architects. The Roca London Gallery is a functional and flexible area where the Roca product showroom shares its space naturally with exhibitions, presentations, professional meetings and events relating to design, architecture and sustainability. ~ Roca London Gallery, Station Court, Townmead Road, London, SW6 2PY ~ W: www.rocalondongallery.com ~ T: 020 7610 9503 ~ @rocalongallery

Opening times:

  • Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 5.30pm
  • Saturdays from 11am to 5pm
  • Open until 8pm on the last Tuesday of every month
  • Admission Free

About Roca

Roca is a company specializing in the design, production and marketing of products for bathroom spaces as well as ceramic floorings and wall coverings used in architecture, construction and interior design. The firm has more than 21,100 employees and 76 production plants and is present in more than 135 countries around the world.

Roca, world leader in the definition of bathroom spaces, collaborates with highly prestigious designers, architects and interior designers such as Rafael Moneo, David Chipperfield, Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron, Schmidt & Lackner, and Javier Mariscal, among others. Additionally, it works incessantly to develop and promote initiatives that aid environmental conservation. Roca's commitment has led to ongoing developments in new products focused on water conservation. www.roca.com

Lucy Bullivant, curator, Urbanistas: women innovators in architecture, urban and landscape design

Lucy Bullivant Hon FRIBA is a leading architecture curator, critic, author and consultant who investigates and evaluates innovative synergies in contemporary architecture and urban design between theory and practice across cultures. She works internationally with leading museums, galleries, cultural and educational institutions, publishers, corporate and non-profit bodies, and in February 2013 founded Urbanista.org, a new webzine of critical analysis of urban design.

She is Adjunct Professor in the history and theory of urban design, Syracuse University in London, and her book Masterplanning Futures (Routledge, 2012) won Book of the Year at the Urban Design Group Awards, 2014. In May 2015 her new book, Recoded City: Co-Creating Urban Futures, (Routledge), with Thomas Ermacora, is published.

Feix&Merlin

Feix&Merlin Architects is a boutique architecture studio based in London and Sao Paulo, co-founded by Julia Feix and Tarek Merlin in 2006. Since its creation Feix&Merlin have consistently produced work that is magical and full of mystery, trying to keep an emphasis on work that is progressive, unusual and whimsical. Their first built project, ‘Eyes Wide sHut’, a beach hut on the east coast of England, completed in 2007, sought to create a new interest in the traditional UK holiday destination. Since then they have worked for some of the UK's leading developers such as Argent, Igloo and Urban Splash; educational institutions such as the London School of Economics; retail brands like Ferrari; London property estates including Shaftesbury and Crown Estates, as well as a number of other exciting projects for private residential clients. Feix&Merlin were finalists for the Young Architect of the Year award in 2008 and nominated for the LEAF Awards 2009.

JARDINS DE L'ARCHE at La Défense, render, Alessandra CianchettaAWP. Render by sbda