Jason Allen 15/04/24

London's Getting A Fireworks Show You Stand Inside Of

The Architectural Blasting Chamber sounds like it can’t possibly be real.

But like so many of Bompas & Parr’s other insane projects – underground boating lakes of booze, a literal flavour rainbow that you could walk through, and gin & tonic clouds that you consumed through the pores of your skin – it is real, and it’s going to be incredible. Because if there’s one thing Bompas & Parr do well, it’s pushing an envelope so hard it’s practically in another postcode by the time they’re done.

In this instance the envelope in question is the London Architecture Festival’s 20th anniversary, and the push is an effort to finally reinvent the art of the fireworks display. Because nothing says ‘happy birthday’ quite like accidentally redesigning the skyline.

bompas & parr fireworks

Part one of this endeavour will involve the aforementioned Architectural Blasting Chamber, in which you’ll be suited up in some hardcore PPE and sent into a custom built bomb-proof room, where you’ll then light your fireworks and see them explode right there inside with you. Honestly, it sounds like a life insurance scam, but it’s going to be truly, actually awesome.

bompas & parr fireworks

Fireworks hows from the 17th century look so much cooler than ours

Part two of the push will be a big ol’ competition to try and find the world’s most creative ideas for fireworks shows. B&P recon they’ve become a little stagnant, and they have a good point. Fireworks were invented in China over a thousand years ago, but displays today follow basically the same exact format (light fuse, stand back, say ooh/ahh). Nowadays we have drones, computer-aided design, and digitally controlled firing systems – and a creative, explosively inclined soul could create something truly extraordinary.

Both the winners of the competition, and the blow-yourself-up chamber will be featured in the festival itself which will take place in June. And the kicker? The whole thing is in aid of Maggie’s, a charity offering free support to anyone with cancer.

So it will hopefully light up lives, not just the sky.


NOTE: The Architectural Blasting Chamber will be part of this year’s London Architecture Festival, set to take place throughout June. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but we’ll keep you in the loop when they do. In the meantime, you can find out more at the website right here.

What to know what else is going on in town? Check out London’s best pop ups

The Architectural Blasting Chamber