Opening the doors of 700 London buildings
How would you like to step inside some of London’s most beautiful designed buildings? Open House London weekend is the perfect opportunity to explore the city and experience some amazing architecture and design – all for free! You can find our post from last year’s Open House London here.
One of the most unique factors of this architecture festival is that it allows free access to buildings that aren’t usually open to the public. The BT Tower, London’s ‘Gherkin’ and even 10 Downing Street can all be visited if you are lucky enough to be selected from the ballot or prepared to face the cue! If you’re not, then there are still hundred’s of buildings to choose from during the two days. With beautifully designed residences to innovative infrastructure projects and prestigious civic buildings – the variety is endless!
See below for some of this years highlights picked by the Open City team:
Royal College of Physicians | 11 St Andrew’s Place, Regents Park NW1 4LE
This striking Grade I listed post-war treasure has an equally impressive interior and beautiful gardens that are also open to view. Designed by British architect Sir Denys Lasdun, it sits alongside Regent’s Park with great views and plenty of interesting features to keep you busy.
The Roof Gardens & Babylon Restaurant (formerly Derry & Toms) 6th Floor, 99 Kensington High Street (entrance on Derry Street) W8 5SA
A fine example of 30s architecture, now home to 1.5 acres of beautifully themed gardens with Spanish Garden, Tudor Courtyard and English Woodland Garden. All three gardens have recently undergone extensive refurbishment and the space has been an escape from London for over 75 years, go and relax!
Village Underground | 54 Holywell Lane EC2A 3PQ
These brightly coloured recycled tube train carriages in the middle of Shoreditch have been transformed to make affordable artists’ studios. Sitting on reclaimed land on top of an abandoned railway viaduct, these unusual spaces are firmly grounded in strong ecological principles.
Walter Segal self-build houses | 5, 6, 8, 10 & 11 Walters Way, Honor Oak Park SE23 3LH
This close of 13 self-built houses is hugely inspiring. Built using a method developed by Walter Segal, each house is unique and includes sustainable features such as solar electric, water and space heating. Tucked away in Lewisham these little gems are definitely worth a look.
Deephams Sewage Treatment Works | Ardra Road, Edmonton N9 0BD
Whilst visiting a sewage works might not seem like the most pleasurable experience, you are sure to learn a lot on a tour of Deephams. This extensive treatment facility currently processes over 209,000 tonnes of flow arriving at the works each day. The engineering is truly spectacular.
There are also plenty of walks, activities and competitions surrounding the festival and special events for children as part of Open House Junior. There truly is something for everyone.
- Come and join us for a Crafternoon at JW3 and play your part in creating a giant map of London and have a go at making marshmallow buildings in geodesic shapes. For ages 2-9 at the JW3-Jewish Community Centre, 341-351 Finchley Road, London, NW3 6ET, London, England.
- Maggie’s Culture Crawl on Friday 18th September – a moonlit walk through London with the opportunity to see Open House architecture and raise money for Maggie’s Cancer Centres.
- Enjoy a tour of Ladywell Fields, a charming river restoration project within an existing park. The scheme has created new river channels, backwaters, pools and riffles, and greatly improved habitats within the river corridor along with improved access and educational benefits. Meet: Sat 11am at northern entrance of Ladywell Fields, Ladywell Road, SE13 7XB
- This year, join the summer of cycling! And win exclusive access to fascinating landmarks on a Santander cycle! Keep your eyes on @openhouselondon twitter page for more information.
Open House London is always a lot of fun and a brilliant way for everyone to see, explore and learn about London’s amazing architecture. For more information check out openhouselondon.org.uk
What: Open House London
Where: In various buildings across London
When: 19 & 20 September 2015
You may also want to check out the free Bermondsey Street Festival.