News: Raw Architecture Workshop wins Pride float competition

By Stefanie Gerdes
July 4, 2019

July 2019

by Stefanie Gerdes

Raw Architecture Workshop has won the competition to design a float representing LGBT+ architects at UK Prides this summer.

The Clerkenwell-based practice, founded in 2010, won a contest held by the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) and campaign group Architecture LGBT+.

Titled ‘Under One Roof’, the float – which was selected from 30 entries – will be part of the Pride festivities in London (6 July) and Manchester (24 August).

Raw created a structure made from timber and scaffolding with an inverted mirror as the roof.

It was designed to reflect the crowds lining the parade route, which in turn will further immerse those on board the float in the event around them, as well as ensure everyone can see the people on the structure.

Tamsie Thomson, LFA’s director, said ‘Under One Roof’ was “a brilliant winner” and she was looking forward to boarding the float for London Pride.

“Our wonderful profession is enriched by LGBT+ architects, and it’s a brilliant platform to celebrate with them,” she said.

“At the same time, as the 2019 LFA theme explores boundaries, Under One Roof will help us demonstrate our determination to tackle the discrimination which sadly still persists and creates unjust and unnecessary boundaries for many LGBT+ architects.”



Tom Guy, director at Guy Piper Architects and founder of Architecture LGBT+, agreed.

“It was amazing to see such a large response to our competition call for entries,” he said. “Under One Roof is a fantastic design that will celebrate the role of LGBT+ architects, and I’m looking forward to seeing it come to life at the Pride parades in London and Manchester this summer.”

Now in its second year, the contest “celebrates the diversity of the architecture sector, and offers opportunities for architecture students, recent graduates, emerging practices as well as staff in more established firms”, the LFA says on its website.

Raw’s win was announced in a ceremony at Borough Market in early June, with three further projects receiving a ‘highly commended’ honour.

Grimshaw Architects designed a structure called ‘Proud Ben’: a pink effigy of Big Ben, with the transgender symbol – consisting of the symbols for male, female, and genderqueer arranged around a circle – instead of the clock’s face.

If realised, it would also have played music and produced bubbles.

Second up was interdisciplinary practice BDP, which teamed up with the civil and structural engineers Connisbee for their float called ‘Kaleidoscope’.

Described with the tagline “one spectrum, endless possibilities”, it showcased the community’s diversity and the opportunities this presents.

The final commendation went to Foster + Partners’ ‘Fly High with Pride’, a sail-like canopy in rainbow colours.

Other designs included a bubbly float from Cottrell & Vermeulen, as well as New Practice’s ‘Serving Tea’ – a construction designed to resemble a tea dance, which would have given a platform to LGBT+ elders to “celebrate their important legacy”.

Robert McAlpine is managing the build and will also provide the flatbed truck to carry the structure.

The competition was judged by a panel including Architecture LGBT+ founder Tom Guy (Guy Piper Architects), Anne Cosentino (equality, diversity and inclusion manager at RIBA), the LFA’s director Tamsie Thomson and a representative of McAlpine.