RIBA Forgotten Spaces
From 4 October to 10 November at Somerset House, WC2 — enter from the southern side at Victoria Embankment (somersethouse.org.uk)
Could Londoners have a new zoo in the empty gas holders of Bromley-by-Bow? Could we splash in a platform pool at abandoned Aldwych Tube? Or maybe the River Fleet could flow once more through Camden’s St Pancras Gardens? These ideas and 23 others are the pick of a Royal Institute of British Architects competition to find uses for the capital’s neglected spaces, and are laid out in Somerset House’s own hidden spaces, from its Great Arch Hall through to its courtyard lightwells. Admission is free.
Midcentury Show East
Sunday 13 October, 10am to 4pm at Haggerston School, Weymouth Terrace, E2 (modernshows.com)
Browse the last-century treasures from 50 European dealers (this cool office suite is from the Rocket gallery in Shoreditch) and tour this recently refurbished school designed by Erno Goldfinger, who also designed west London’s Trellick Tower. Entrance is £8 on the day, or £7 web-booked before Sunday.
Design Nation Presents
Open now until the end of October at the Southbank Centre, SE1 (southbankcentre.co.uk)
Learn the stories behind Britain’s best contemporary crafts, as leading members of the promotional group Design Nation fill the Festival Hall with their latest work. We love Carly Dodsley’s cocktail coasters (£6 each) and Gillies Jones’s spectacular “landscape study” glassware. This bowl is £3,500.
“We want people to appreciate these beautiful objects and to understand why they cost what they do,” said Adam Thow, of the Southbank Centre Shop.
October 16-20, Pavilion of Art and Design, Berkeley Square, W1 (pad-fairs.com)
Filling a spacious tent, built around the tree trunks of this London square, are 60 galleries showing upmarket modern design, such as silversmiths Juan and Paloma Garrido’s extraordinary Rotation Armchair. These pieces often end up in museums, or in the private collections of the very rich. The rest of us can go to gawp. Despite the £20 ticket price (students £10), it’s well worthwhile.
Antiques & Fine Art Fair
October 11-13 at Esher Hall, Sandown Park Racecourse, Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey (01797 252030; esherhallfair.com)
Though much smaller than the huge shows in town, this “boutique” fair yields everything from Russian and Oriental textiles and carpets and Art Deco pieces, to 18th-century Swedish furniture. This Swedish Rococo commode is £4,000 from D Larsson Interiör & Antikhandel. Tickets cost £5, and there’s plenty of free parking.