10 buildings to see at Open House London 2017

Published 31 August 2017

On 16 and 17 September buildings across the capital will be opening their doors as part of Open House. Here, we pick some of the more unusual and some of the not-to-be-missed buildings to visit over the weekend.

    • Barretts Grove by Amin Taha Architects

      Barretts Grove by Amin Taha Architects

      Barrett’s Grove

      Amin Taha Architects

      In the running for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize, this block of six apartments by Amin Taha Architects challenges the typical brick-built housing aesthetic.

      The building’s structure is made from cross laminated timber: layers of wood which offer a more sustainable alternative to concrete and steel. Clad in perforated hit-and-miss brick, and featuring oversized wicker basket-like balconies, the unusual apartment block sits playfully next to its more traditional neighbours.

      Where 42 Barrett’s Grove, N16 8AJ

      When Saturday, 1pm – 4pm

    • Belarusian Memorial Chapel by Spheron Architects

      Belarusian Memorial Chapel by Spheron Architects

      Helene Binet

      Belarusian Memorial Chapel

      Spheron Architects

      Designed by Spheron Architects to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, this is London’s only all-timber church.

      Standing in the grounds of Marian House – a cultural centre for the Belarusian community in Woodside Park – the tiny building’s domed spire and shingle roof are inspired by the traditional wooden churches of Belarus.

      Where Marian House, Holden Avenue, N12 8HY

      When Saturday, 1pm – 5pm

    • Burntwood School by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

      Burntwood School by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

      Rob Parrish

      Burntwood School

      Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

      The winner of the 2015 RIBA Stirling Prize, this project by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), has transformed a 1950s campus school.

      Six new buildings – four teaching pavilions, a sports hall and a new performing arts centre – are clad in precast concrete panels and sit alongside the school’s existing buildings, forming a completed and coherent campus.

      Where Burntwood Lane, SW17 0AQ

      When Saturday, 11am – 5pm

    • Crystal Palace Subway by Charles Barry Junior

      Crystal Palace Subway by Charles Barry Junior

      James Balston

      Crystal Palace Subway

      Charles Barry Junior

      Be prepared to queue to get into this relic of Victorian construction hidden beneath the A212 as the ornate subway opens for just a few days each year and is always popular with Open House visitors.

      Designed by Charles Barry Junior, this Grade II listed vaulted subway was created to link Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace to the nearby high level railway station. Since the station was demolished in 1961, the vaults have been used as a playground, for illegal raves, and starred in the music video for the Chemical Brothers’ single Setting Sun.

      Where Crystal Palace Parade, SE19 1LG

      When Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 4.15pm

    • Hidden House by Coffey Architects

      Hidden House by Coffey Architects

      Tim Soar

      Hidden House

      Coffey Architects

      It isn’t easy to find Coffey Architects’ Hidden House but when you do it is a real gem.

      Hidden from view, the one-storey house sits above the former prison vaults of the Clerkenwell House of Detention and beside a Grade II listed Victorian school.

      With its floating roof, light-filled spaces, and oak-lined perimeter walls, the Hidden House shows what can be done on even the most constrained of London sites.

      Where 59 Kingsway Place, Sans Walk, EC1R 0LU

      When Saturday and Sunday, 11am – 6pm

    • Leadenhall Building by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

      Leadenhall Building by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

      Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

      Leadenhall Building

      Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

      Pre-booking is essential for this rare chance to get a look inside the architecture practice of Richard Rogers RA.

      Located on the 14th floor of the 51-storey Leadenhall Building, or Cheesegrater as it is affectionately known, the office of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners is a colourful and light-filled space offering views of Lloyds of London, St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London.

      Where 122 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4AB

      When Saturday, 10am – 4pm

    • Royal College of Physicians by Denys Lasdun

      Royal College of Physicians by Denys Lasdun

      Mike Fear

      Royal College of Physicians

      Denys Lasdun

      This Grade I listed building by Denys Lasdun is widely regarded as one of London’s most important post-war buildings.

      Overlooking Regent’s Park, the mosaic-clad modernist gem includes an oak panelled chamber, a marbled hall, and a spectacular flying staircase.

      Where 11 St Andrew’s Place, Regents Park, NW1 4LE

      When Sunday, 10am – 5pm

    • Studio Wayne McGregor by We Not I

      Studio Wayne McGregor by We Not I

      Richard Davies

      Studio Wayne McGregor

      We Not I

      Located in what was previously the Broadcast Centre for the London 2012 Olympic Games, this space for choreographer Wayne McGregor CBE was one of the first to open as part of the centre’s legacy use.

      Designed by We Not I, the three dance studios combine with a series of playful spaces in which to collaborate, make and create.

      Where Broadcast Centre, Here East, 10 East Bay Lane, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E15 2GW

      When Saturday, 10am – 5pm

    • Walmer Yard by Peter Salter

      Walmer Yard by Peter Salter

      Helene Binet

      Walmer Yard

      Peter Salter

      The first residential building by architect and academic Peter Salter, this complex of four interlocking houses took more than a decade to complete.

      It’s a project that has to be seen for its vivid, creative use of materials and its wacky space arrangements.

      Where 235 – 239 Walmer Yard, W11 4EY

      When Saturday, 10am – 4pm

    • W Plumb Family Butchers

      W Plumb Family Butchers

      Richard Travers

      W Plumb Family Butchers

      Designated as a “rare survival” by English Heritage, this Grade II listed former butcher’s shop is well worth a trip to see and is only opened for a few special events throughout the year.

      Featuring elaborate Art Nouveau tiling depicting scenes of animals grazing, a mahogany cashier’s booth, a mosaic tiled floor, and iron meat rails and scrolls, the shop has been carefully preserved, giving an idea of what the high street looked like back in the 1900s.

      Where 493 Hornsey Road, N19 3QL

      When Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 5pm

    • Burlington House at dusk

      Visit the Royal Academy during Open House

      This year the RA is once again taking part in London’s Open House weekend.

      Come along to Burlington House and explore the Academy’s four centuries of architectural history from Sydney Smirke to Foster + Partners.

      More details about events, activities and displays to be announced soon…