After 2017’s record breaking 25th edition of Open House London, the festival will once again return this September with every London borough participating. A truly citywide celebration of London’s buildings, places and spaces. Open House offers a unique opportunity for people to explore and learn about the city’s most compelling architecture and design over one weekend. More than 800 buildings of all kinds will open their doors on 22 & 23 September, alongside a programme of neighbourhood walks and architect-led tours – ALL FOR FREE.
Why you should go
Open House used to be one of the highlights in my grandfather’s calendar. I remember as a child he took my brother and I to see the Stock Exchange building – he was an architect. Since then I have seen inside the City Hall, The Shard (confirming that i actually do suffer from a fear of heights and vertigo), as well as various other less well-known national treasures. London is such a beautiful city and this is one weekend, where fantastic architectural and historic buildings will be open to the public. I know for a fact I want to see inside of Downing Street!
This year’s programme explores how the new London that has been emerging the past 20 years is finally coming to fruition. New buildings, new kinds of buildings, new districts, new approaches to regeneration, women taking a leading role in making London, engineering excellence underpinning the capital’s successful reinvention. All of this show how good design can make London a more enjoyable and vibrant city in which to live and work.
• Uncovering the hidden narrative of Old Oak and Park Royal, one of the country’s most important industrial areas and the heart of ‘making’ in London
• New London districts at Wembley Park, Hackney Wick with Here East and BUJ Wickside and Barking Riverside
• Major new landmarks U.S. Embassy, the Royal Opera House renovation, and Bloomberg’s new HQ
• A collection of housing exemplars then and now including developments High Path by Clarion HG, Peabody’s Thamesmead Estate, and Kensal House Estate
• A ‘year of engineering’ celebration of the secret city makers, including a showcase of work by engineers to the starchitects AKT II (Living Unit Installation and AKT II studios in White Collar Factory). Plus civil engineering at the HS2 viewing platform in Park Royal, Whitechapel Cross-rail tours, and energy and recycling plants.
• New ways of looking at buildings through an understanding of 15 key component ‘elements’ – a staircase, a lift, a loo etc.
• Highlighting leading women across all boroughs who have played a part in shaping London today
• Returning favourites Waiting Rooms at Peckham Rye Station, 10 Downing Street, BT Tower and the Shard
• Over 100 must-see homes including Michaelis Boyd Architects’ Round House, Office S&M’s Valetta House and Red House by 31/44
• RIBA award winners Belvue School Woodland Classrooms, Hackney Town Hall and No.1 New Oxford Street, the new COS HQ.
Rory Olcayto, Open City’s director say, “From Hackney Wick to Park Royal, Wembley to Nine Elms and the ever-changing Kings Cross, Open House is shining a light on the places shaping the capital with striking landmark buildings and new approaches to town planning. The cubic futurism of the American Embassy, Here East’s Day-glo ‘fun palace’ and the cool, sculptural qualities of the Aga Khan’s HQ are real stand-outs this year.”