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London Architecture and Design 2021

Status: open

16 Sep – 25 Sep 2021

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Overview

London Architecture and Design 2021
Tour Highlights

This tour is limited to 20 participants

  • Travel to London with architecture and design writer Stephen Crafti, to explore the latest and greatest in architecture & design.
  • For 10 days stay at the Philippe Starck designed St Martins Lane Hotel in London’s Covent Garden.
  • Join Architect Ike Ijeh on visits to The Shard, and Bankside, Shoreditch and Spittalfields – some of London’s rejuvenated districts, renowned for their cutting-edge architecture.
  • View designs from the late Zaha Hadid, one of the world’s leading architects and enjoy an exclusive private visit to a private apartment in the famed Brutalist Barbican Centre.
  • View Tom Dixon’s distinctive furniture and lighting in his showroom and ‘Sea Containers’ restaurant at the London Mondrian, where Dixon’s interior design echoes that of an ocean liner.
  • Explore the workshops and studios of London-based designers including, handbag designer Anya Hindmarch, and jewellery designer Hannah Martin.
  • Join Max Fraser, author of the London Design Guide and Deputy-Director of the London Design Festival (2012-2014), exploring some of the city’s finest bespoke stores and galleries, on a program especially curated for the group to take advantage of the London Design Festival events.
  • Unearth treasures at the world-class Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum & Design Museum, and visit extraordinary Sir John Soane’s Museum on an exclusive out-of-hours tour.
  • London’s A-League gastronomic scene typically combines fresh and contemporary food with a superbly designed setting. We dine at two of London’s fashionable new restaurants, enjoy a lunch at the London Mondrian at Sea Containers in the signature restaurant designed by Tom Dixon, take afternoon tea at the Zaha Hadid designed ‘Magazine’ at the Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens.
  • Our visit is timed to coincide with two important events on the London calendar – the London Open-House Weekend and the London Design Festival – these events will be incorporated into our program, bringing us even closer to London’s glorious, innovative, beautiful, historic, cutting edge architecture and design.
Itinerary

Itinerary

The following itinerary lists a range of key sights which we plan to visit. You may expect that the daily activities described in this itinerary be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours, special exhibitions and the availability of designers. The designers included in this itinerary have busy practices and many commitments and their participation in this program will be confirmed closer to our travel date. In exceptional cases, some planned visits may be changed. The tour includes lunch and dinner indicated in the itinerary where: L=lunch and D=evening meal.

St Martins Lane Hotel London - 9 nights

Day 1: Thursday 16 September, Arrive London
  • Introductory architecture tour with architect Ike Ijeh
  • The View from the Shard
  • Welcome Drinks
Day 2: Friday 17 September, London
  • Morning specially curated walking tour with Max Fraser, Author of The London Design Guide
  • Contemporary Applied Arts
  • Dover Street Market
  • Welcome Dinner at local restaurant
Day 3: Saturday 18 September, Open House London
  • Activities associated with the ‘Open House London’ (program to be confirmed in August 2021)
Day 4: Sunday 19 September, London
  • Barbican Centre: Gallery, housing and theatre complex
  • Private visit to an Apartment in the Barbican
  • Afternoon at leisure: ‘Open House London’ activities
Day 5: Monday 20 September, London
  • Architectural Walking tour of Shoreditch and Spitalfields with architect Ike Ijeh
  • Victoria & Albert Museum (fashion & 20th century furniture)
Day 6: Tuesday 21 September, London
  • Sir John Soane’s Museum – exclusive out-of-hours visit
  • Walking tour of Sloane Street
  • Anya Hindmarch Pont Street Boutique (Subject to Confirmation)
  • The Magazine Restaurant at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Day 7: Wednesday 22 September, London
  • Highlights tour of the Tate Modern
  • Lunch at ‘Sea Containers’ Restaurant at London Mondrian
  • Somerset House
Day 8: Thursday 23 September, Mayfair, Holborn & Fitzrovia
  • Full day organized by Max Fraser
  • Hannah Martin Studio and Workshop
Day 9: Friday 24 September, Shoreditch & Clerkenwell
  • Morning with Max Fraser
  • Too Good Fashion Studio
  • Farewell Dinner at a Local Restaurant
Day 10: Saturday 25 September, Depart London
Day 1: Thursday 16 September, Arrive London
  • Introductory architecture tour with architect Ike Ijeh
  • The View from the Shard
  • Welcome Drinks

Travellers should make their own way to St Martins Lane Hotel. We embark on our London program at 1345hrs, when we shall gather in the hotel foyer and head out on a walk that will introduce some of the city’s ever-changing neighbourhoods. Our guide will be practicing architect Ike Ijeh, who founded the ‘London Architecture Walks’ company with the aim of sharing the cityscapes of this cosmopolitan metropolis with anyone interested in learning about its unique character.

Our tour finishes at Renzo Piano’s extraordinary Shard London Bridge, the European Union’s tallest building that looks like a great shard of glass rising from the Thames. Piano, who with Richard Rogers designed Paris’ Pompidou Centre, drew inspiration for The Shard  from London’s church spires depicted in Canaletto’s paintings of the city, and from old images of the masts of sailing ships on the Thames. We shall ascend to The View from the Shard, observation decks located on the 68th, 69th and 72nd floors that allow magnificent views over the city. There is no better way to orientate yourself in London! While there, we shall partake in a welcome cocktail on the 72nd floor.

The evening will be at leisure so that you can sample the restaurants and bars of central London. (Overnight London)

Day 2: Friday 17 September, London
  • Morning specially curated walking tour with Max Fraser, Author of The London Design Guide
  • Contemporary Applied Arts
  • Dover Street Market
  • Welcome Dinner at local restaurant

Today Max Fraser, author of the London Design Guide and Deputy-Director of the London Design Festival (2012-2014), leads us on a tour to explore some of London’s most creative and innovative neighbourhoods. You’ll visit a host of design-savvy and directional places and enjoy hosted, private talks by some of London’s best design talent, both established and emerging.

After lunch we travel by tube to Contemporary Applied Arts, an establishment founded in 1948 to promote and champion British craft. It is a multi-disciplinary space that displays and sells the work of over 350 members, from well-established craftsmen to recent graduates.

Next we visit the Dover Street Market, established by renowned Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garcons. Housed in the former Burbery building, this is a creative and exciting mini-department store that not only sells Comme, but also the designs of leading British figure Paul Harden.

We shall return to our hotel for some time at leisure before making our way a short distance to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. (Overnight London) BD

Day 3: Saturday 18 September, Open House London
  • Activities associated with the ‘Open House London’ (program to be confirmed in August 2021)

Today has been set aside for participation in the Open House London Program – a popular annual event when some of the city’s architectural treasures, both old and new, large and small, public and private, open their doors to visitors. The program of openings will be released in August 2021. (Overnight London) B

Day 4: Sunday 19 September, London
  • Barbican Centre: Gallery, housing and theatre complex
  • Private visit to an Apartment in the Barbican
  • Afternoon at leisure: ‘Open House London’ activities

A visit to London wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Barbican Centre, a cultural and housing development that has both inspired and caused controversy since its inauguration. As well as taking a tour of this impressive complex, we shall visit one of the private apartments and the residents’ garden.

The rest of the day will be at leisure for you to visit other properties included in the Open House London program. (Overnight London) B

Day 5: Monday 20 September, London
  • Architectural Walking tour of Shoreditch and Spitalfields with architect Ike Ijeh
  • Victoria & Albert Museum (fashion & 20th century furniture)

This morning we shall transfer to London’s East End to embark on a walking tour of the multicultural Shoreditch and Spitalfields districts, historic suburbs that have undergone a period of renewal and redevelopment. On this walk we will again be accompanied by practicing architect Ike Ijeh who will show us some of the cutting edge architecture for which the area is becoming renowned in London’s rapidly evolving architecture scene.

We then travel by Tube to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which has one of the most extensive collections of 20th century fashion including designers such as Coco Chanel. There’s space allocated to emerging designers as well as recent graduates from leading design schools such as the well-known St. Martins. The Museum also has a significant collection of 20th century furniture, lighting and objects. (Overnight London) B

Day 6: Tuesday 21 September, London
  • Sir John Soane’s Museum – exclusive out-of-hours visit
  • Walking tour of Sloane Street
  • Anya Hindmarch Pont Street Boutique (Subject to Confirmation)
  • The Magazine Restaurant at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery

We start the day with a visit to an extraordinary museum often overlooked by visitors to London. Sir John Soane was the Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in the early 19th century. He started to collect paintings, drawings, books, plaster casts, architectural models, ancient artefacts, furniture and decorative arts with the goal that his students could easily access and study the wealth of objects, and also gain inspiration from them. The thousands of items are still presented in Soane’s townhouse where the rooms are carefully preserved as closely as possible to the way they were when he bequeathed the collection to the nation. As our visit takes place before the official opening time, we will have the museum to ourselves during our exclusive tour.

We then travel by Tube to Sloane Square and take a walk down magnificent Sloane Street, home to many of London’s most exciting shops, including Tods, Giuseppe Zanotti Design, Loro Piana, Prada and Giorgio Armarni. In the nearby streets are found fascinating smaller boutiques such as Egg Clothing, and Yarn, Patricia Roberts’ chic knitwear store.

Our visit to the area includes a very special visit to bespoke handbag designer Anya Hindmarch’s Pont Street store. Our curated visit will allow us to see the remarkable processes at work in bringing Anya’s designs to fruition, including the craftsmanship required in embossing the quality leather (this exclusive visit is subject to confirmation).

Our afternoon ends with another new example of architect Zaha Hadid’s work as we visit the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens to have afternoon tea at the new Magazine Restaurant. The late Zaha Hadid was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and was internationally known for both her theoretical and academic work. For over 30 years her dynamic and innovative projects, such as the Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati, the BMW Central Building Leipzig, Glasgow’s Riverside Museum and China’s Guangzhou Opera House,reflected her revolutionary exploration and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design. Her interest lay in the rigorous interface between architecture, landscape and geology as her practice integrated natural topography and human-made systems with cutting-edge technologies. At Magazine Hadid created a flowing membrane roof with extraordinary columns that draw light into the room providing a bright sense of space, while glass walls look out onto the surrounding garden. (Overnight London) B

Day 7: Wednesday 22 September, London
  • Highlights tour of the Tate Modern
  • Lunch at ‘Sea Containers’ Restaurant at London Mondrian
  • Somerset House

This morning we travel by Tube to the Embankment and cross the Thames by the London Millennium Footbridge. This steel suspension bridge was designed for pedestrians crossing the Thames, linking Bankside with the city. Construction began in 1998 and the bridge opened in June 2000. The bridge was nicknamed the ‘Wobbly Bridge’ as it swayed for two days after opening, and was therefore closed for two years and reopened in 2002 after repairs.

Our destination is the Tate Modern, touted as the most visited modern art gallery in the world with approximately 4.7 million visitors each year. Its shell is the former Bankside Power Station designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, one of 19th-century Britain’s greatest architects whose most famous building is probably St Pancras Station. Herzog & de Meuron converted Scott’s building to produce a gallery that exhibits works of international contemporary art from 1900 to the present. Our visit will begin with a tour of the gallery’s highlights, in which the architectural conversion will also be explained. You will then have time to explore Britain’s best modern art collection.

For lunch we will walk a short distance to the newly redesigned Sea Containers House on the bank of the Thames. The building is home to the London Mondrian and to an increasing number of designer showrooms. We will have lunch at the ‘Sea Containers’ restaurant of the Mondrian, the interior of which was designed by Tom Dixon and echoes that of an ocean liner – an homage to the original maritime function of the building.

This afternoon we cross the Waterloo Bridge and visit Somerset House, one of the major venues for the London Design Festival. (Overnight London) BL

Day 8: Thursday 23 September, Mayfair, Holborn & Fitzrovia
  • Full day organized by Max Fraser
  • Hannah Martin Studio and Workshop

Today Max Fraser leads us on a full-day tour to explore another of London’s creative neighbourhoods. Many of the places visited will have events and displays to coincide with the London Design Festival.

A selection of studios and showrooms that may be included in our morning program are:

  • Carpenters Workshop Gallery presents work by leading designers including architects and furniture designers Ron Arad, Marc Quinn and Atelier van Lieshout.
  • David Gill Galleries.
  • The New Craftsmen
  • Vitsoe
  • Priestmangoode

We then travel by Tube across to Holborn where we will visit the studio of British jewellery designer Hannah Martin who will take us on a tour of her workshop. Hannah and her team create beautifully handcrafted pieces with a focus on design and quality. (Overnight London) B

Day 9: Friday 24 September, Shoreditch & Clerkenwell
  • Morning with Max Fraser
  • Too Good Fashion Studio
  • Farewell Dinner at a Local Restaurant

We again join our design expert, Max Fraser, for a morning program to another of London’s innovative neighbourhoods.

A selection of studios and showrooms that may be included in our morning program are:

  • Tent London
  • The Future Laboratory
  • Mast Brothers Chocolate Showroom and Factory
  • Jasper Morrison Shop
  • SCP Store

After lunch we will travel by tube to Too Good Fashion Studio, a brand that prides itself on unisex clothing that rejects the commercialism of fashion’s powerful multinational fashion houses, creating a new aesthetic based on individuality.

We return to the hotel to rest after our full day, before taking taxis to our farewell dinner at one of the city’s highly rated restaurants. (Overnight London) BD

Day 10: Saturday 25 September, Depart London

The tour ends today in London. Those returning to Australia will need to make their own way to London Heathrow airport (contact ASA for information on private transfers). Participants wishing to extend their stay in London are advised to contact ASA for information about extending their stay at the St Martins Lane Hotel. B

Accommodation

Accommodation

10 days in London

St Martins Lane Hotel, Covent Garden
45 St. Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4HX
www.stmartinslane.com

In keeping with this tour’s aim to introduce you to the very latest, cutting-edge design in London, we have chosen the revolutionary St Martins Hotel, Covent Garden, as our base. This was Philippe Starck’s first hotel in London. Originally a brutalist style office block from the 1960s, the building was completely transformed with typical Starck humour. Its furniture is over scaled, ‘larger than life’. Bedrooms feature ultra-modern furniture and fittings, and although they are all white, Starck designed a lighting system that allows guests to select their own colour, depending on their mood at the time.

“Smart, witty and sophisticated, Philippe Starck’s design is a brilliant collision of influences – from the modern to the baroque – that suffuses the hotel with energy, vitality and magic. Entered through improbably tall, luminescent yellow-glass revolving doors the tallest in London—St Martins Lane’s lobby is a soaring and theatrical space that offers a provocative manipulation of dimension and proportion. Starck presents a visually stunning play on scale, with oversized columns and angled niches painted a deep fluorescent yellow, complemented by Portuguese limestone floors. From its acid-etched, double-height yellow glass façade to its unpredictable plays on vivid colour to the dramatic series of columns that appear as shining towers, St Martins Lane’s lobby is a triumph of colour and light.” St Martins Lane Hotel.

Lobby of St Martins Lane Hotel, London designed by Philippe Starck. Courtesy: St Martins Lane Hotel

How to book

How to Book

Making a Tentative Reservation before the tour price has been published

ASA INTENTION TO TRAVEL APPLICATION FORM

Some ASA tours fill almost immediately. Don’t miss out! You can register your ‘Intention to Travel’ by completing this application and returning this to ASA with a AUD $100.00 per person deposit. Once the tour price has been published, the itinerary and ASA Reservation Application Form will be sent to you. From the time you receive the itinerary you will have two weeks to either:

  • Send us a completed ASA Reservation Application Form together with an additional deposit of AUD $400.00 per person. On receipt of this Reservation Application and deposit, ASA will process your booking and if approved, send you a tour confirmation. At this time your deposit of AUD $500.00 is subject to the tour’s Booking Conditions.

Or

  • CANCEL your Intention to Travel in writing. ASA will refund your AUD $100.00 per person deposit, less a $33.00 service fee (including GST).

Participation Criteria

To participate in an ASA tour, you must be reasonably fit, in good health and able to participate in all activities without assistance from Tour Leaders or other tour members. If you require assistance, a fit and able travel companion must undertake to accompany and assist you with all tasks for the duration of the whole tour. ASA’s ability to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate your specific needs, your health and safety and the health and safety of other tour members, is of paramount importance to us. For this reason the ASA Reservation Application includes a Medical Information section. As a general guideline, you must be able to accomplish each of these activities without assistance or support:-

  • walk and stand unassisted for at least 2-3 hours a day in hot, humid conditions
  • walk confidently on and over uneven surfaces
  • climb at least 3 flights of stairs
  • embark and disembark from ferries, buses and trains
  • walk up and down steep slopes
  • walk at a steady pace and no less than 1km every 15-20 minutes
  • organise, manage and carry your own luggage
  • follow and remember tour instructions
  • meet punctually at designated times and places
  • administer your own medication

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double room for single occupancy throughout the tour. The number of rooms available for single use is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

Practical Information

Practical Information

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, six to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 10-day tour involves:

  • Exploring London on foot
  • Extensive walking (up to 5km per day) and standing during museum and other site visits
  • Using the London Underground system where participants may need to negotiate flights of stairs
  • The use of audio headsets which amplify the voice of your guide (despite noisy surroundings). This technology also allows you to move freely during site visits without missing any information.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers see: www.smartraveller.gov.au

Tour Price & Inclusions

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $TBA Land Content Only
AUD $TBA Queen rooms (for single use) Supplement

For competitive Economy, Business or First Class airfares and/or group airfares please contact ASA for further information.

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in superior twin-share rooms with private facilities in the 5-star St Martins Lane Hotel
  • The tour includes breakfast daily &  lunch and dinner indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=dinner.
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included.
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach or public transport as per the itinerary
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person at the hotel
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • Tour reference book
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Use of audio headsets during site visits
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals.
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare: Australia-London, London-Australia
  • Arrival/Departure airport transfers
  • Personal spending money
  • Luggage in excess of 20 kg (44 lbs)
  • Travel insurance.
Tour Map

Tour Map

Gallery
Terms & Conditions
Deposits

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: $500.00**
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**This amount may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply. We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we recieve written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA.

ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies.

ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider.

ASA reserves the sole discretion to canel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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