Sanctuary, Architecture, Spatial Justice and the Arts

16th June

Bernie Spain Gardens on the Southbank

2.55 – 3.40
Free event. As spaces are limited please register attendance via


Sanctuary, Architecture, Spatial Justice and the Arts is a panel discussion chaired by Áine O’Brien – Co-Director of Counterpoints Arts, who will be joined by Sumita Sinha (Director, Ecologic Chartered Architects) and Natasha Reid (artist – creator of the Embassy for Refugees) and Maurice Wren (CEO of The Refugee Council).

This panel will discuss the concept of ‘sanctuary’ within architectural practice and when this has been applied, where and to what end. It will focus on the notion of ‘spatial justice’ and how it is understood within architectural practice specifically in relation to projects offering refuge for refugee communities. It will also explore how the concept of sanctuary can be re-framed as a democratic value, an architectural ethic and a legal principle.

Natasha Reid’s The Embassy for Refugees is a site-specific commission and it allows art practice, architecture, design, human rights advocacy and participatory methods to be interwoven in Reid’s deliberate re-construction of the ‘typology’ of the Embassy building. In creating an organic hybrid, Reid questions and extends the application of ‘diplomacy’ in relation to the global realities of refugees together with humanitarian and legal principles associated with concepts of sanctuary.

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