The London Festival of Architecture is Europe’s biggest annual architecture festival, and for the first time this year Regent Street will take part in partnership with architects Barr Gazetas, celebrating the street's hidden secrets in keeping with the festival’s theme of ‘memory’.
Heddon Street, Regent Street’s food and drink quarter, may only be 100m long but under the street’s cobbles are layers of fascinating history. From 15th – 18th June, ‘Hidden Heddon’ will uncover the secrets of Heddon Street’s past through installations, live music performances and an open studio. Visitors to the street throughout the weekend will be invited on a free treasure trail to discover Heddon Street’s past and present.
From 1913 to 1953, One Heddon Street was home to ‘New Gallery Kinema’ which featured a Wurlitzer organ, one of the two remaining in the world, and premiered Disney’s ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. The cinema’s grand architectural features are still visible in the Burberry store on Regent Street, while the organ remains hidden behind a screen. As part of ‘Hidden Heddon’ the cinema’s entrance will be brought back to life and visitors will be able to enter to watch some of the first films shown and footage of the area around the ‘New Gallery Kinema’ from Heddon Street.
Heddon Street also pays homage to the late David Bowie, who had his own strong ties to the street. In 1972 Bowie posed in front of 23 Heddon Street to launch his legendary persona Ziggy Stardust. 23 Heddon Street was also the site of the prominent furriers ‘K-West’ sign seen on Bowie’s album cover and has since become a shrine to fans. Throughout London Festival of Architecture, 23 Heddon Street will invite visitors to explore the great history Bowie and Heddon Street share.
From 1912-1914, the West End was a vibrant meeting place for London’s creatives, and one of the area’s most notorious venues was the basement of what is now Heddon Street Kitchen. The famous private club, ‘Cave of the Golden Calf’, attracted artists, writers and performers and epitomised decadence and debauchery. During London Festival of Architecture, Heddon Street Kitchen will be home to a number of Golden Calf inspired mementos, including an entrance through which guests can experience the unique atmosphere, dishes and cocktails of the private club. In honour of the event, Heddon Street Kitchen has created three bespoke cocktails inspired by the ingredients of the era - The Cave of the Golden Calf, Spencer Gore, and Madame Strindberg.
The whole street is celebrating the spirit of ‘Hidden Heddon’, with dozens more discovery points, special dishes and cocktails to explore. Regent Street’s Japanese offering, Sakagura, will be serving a ‘'Suntory Stardust 1973’ cocktail featuring The Chita, Suntory grain whisky, sake , freshly squeezed citrus juice, infused sugar syrup, egg white and raspberry. Those visitors who purchase a bottle of wine at Aubaine will be offered a complimentary sharing board, while Piccolino restaurant will offer Lady Stardust, including lychee, a symbol of peace in reference to Bowie’s Buddhist philosophy of life, and lavender, in homage to his live album Lavender Blue from 1983.
Official Link: http://www.regentstreetonline.com/events/hidden-heddon-arrives-this-june