10 buildings to see at Open House London 2018

Published 16 September 2018

On 22–23 September buildings across London will open their doors as part of Open House. Here, we pick some of the not-to-be-missed buildings to visit over the weekend.

    • Bloomberg European Headquarters

      Bloomberg European Headquarters

      Bloomberg European Headquarters by Foster + Partners

      Photograph by Laura Mark

      Bloomberg European Headquarters

      Foster + Partners

      Shortlisted for the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize, which recognises the best building in the UK, the new European HQ for Bloomberg is one of the world’s most sustainable office buildings and the largest stone building built in the City of London for more than a century. The building designed by Royal Academician Lord Foster, features too blocks of offices linked by a pedestrian shopping arcade. Inside, a spiralling ramp provides circulation within the offices and major art commissions by Cristina Iglesias and Olafur Eliasson Hon RA can be seen in and around the building.

      Where 3 Queen Victoria Street, EC4N 4TQ
      When Saturday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday, 10am – 1pm

    • Red House by 31/44 Architects

      Red House by 31/44 Architects

      Rory Gardiner

      Red House

      31/44 Architects

      Open House is always a great chance to have a nosey around some of London’s most interesting private homes. Shortlisted for the 2018 RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize which recognise the best UK building built for under £1 million, this house shows what can be done with some of the capital’s left over bits of land. Set on the end of a Victorian terrace in East Dulwich and with many issues of overlooking to overcome, the three-bedroom house features sunken courtyards, split levels and an interesting red-coloured façade, from which it takes its name.

      Where 37 St Aidans Road, SE22 0RN
      When Saturday, 10am – 5pm

    • Aga Khan Centre by Fumihiko Maki

      Aga Khan Centre by Fumihiko Maki

      © Hufton + Crow

      Aga Khan Centre

      Fumihiko Maki

      Be the first to see this newly completed building, as it opens to the public for the first time during Open House weekend. Designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect, Fumihiko Maki, the Aga Khan Centre is a place for education, cultural exchange and research into Muslim civilisations, sitting within the new development of King’s Cross. The building features six gardens, courtyards and terraces, each reflecting different Muslim values, from openness and dialogue to respect.

      Where Aga Khan Centre, 10 Handyside Street, N1C 4DN
      When Saturday, 12 – 5pm and Sunday, 12 – 4pm

    • The Dorfman Architecture Court, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

      Visit the Royal Academy during Open House 2018

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

      Come and explore the Academy’s four centuries of architectural history, from Sydney Smirke RA and Richard Norman Shaw RA to Foster + Partners and explore Sir David Chipperfield RA’s transformation of the new campus).

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

    • US Embassy by Kieran Timberlake

      US Embassy by Kieran Timberlake

      Open City

      US Embassy London

      Kieran Timberlake

      Earlier this year the US Embassy moved into its new home in Nine Elms – a location which US President Donald Trump dubbed as “horrible and lousy”. But Open House is a chance to pass over the moat which surrounds the building and take a look inside for yourself. The new £750 million embassy building takes the form of a 12-storey glass cube shrouded in sail-like ETFE plastic shading devices. With gardens on each floor the building includes lobbies, a north-facing gallery, a grand stair, an entrance hall and offices.

      Where 33 Nine Elms Lane, SW11 7US
      When Saturday, 09.45am – 12noon

    • Pope's Grotto at Radnor House from the Thames

      Pope's Grotto at Radnor House from the Thames

      Open City

      Pope’s Grotto

      Alexander Pope

      After coming to live in Twickenham in 1719, Alexander Pope built himself a villa. Connected to five acres of surrounding land by an underground tunnel, this villa also included a grotto – which was later redesigned by Pope as a museum of minerology and mining. Over time, it has amassed a collection including a stalagmite from Wookey Hole in Somerset, basalt from the Giants’ Causeway in Northern Ireland and material from Cornish tin mines. Today, the grotto is only thing to remain of Pope’s house, which was demolished in 1808.

      Where Radnor House School, Pope’s Villa, Cross Deep, TW1 4QG
      When Saturday, 10am – 12.30pm

    • White Collar Factory by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

      White Collar Factory by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

      Open City

      White Collar Factory

      Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

      This project is the result of an eight-year-long research project between architectural practice Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) and developer Derwent London and features six buildings including offices, studios, incubator space, restaurants and apartments. Set just off Old Street roundabout, the development’s 16-storey tower provides a marker for the area. Don’t miss the chance to take a look up on the roof where you’ll find a surprising running track.

      Where 1 Old Street Yard, Old Street, EC1Y 8AF
      When Saturday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday, 1 – 5pm

    • 15 Clerkenwell Close by Groupwork + Amin Taha

      15 Clerkenwell Close by Groupwork + Amin Taha

      Open City

      15 Clerkenwell Close

      Groupwork + Amin Taha

      Sitting within the grounds of a vanished 11th-century Norman Abbey, this mixed-use building – containing apartments and an architects office – alludes to its historic past with carved columns, cloisters and mosaic floors. Designed by Amin Taha, it is a rare example of contemporary load-bearing limestone, displaying the character of the material. Yet, this could be a last chance to see the newly completed building, as a planning dispute between Taha and the London Borough of Islington threatens to see it demolished.

      Where 15A Clerkenwell Close, EC1R 0AA
      When Saturday, 1 – 4pm and Sunday, 1 – 4pm

    • Maggie’s Barts by Steven Holl

      Maggie’s Barts by Steven Holl

      Open City

      Maggie’s Barts

      Steven Holl

      Opened in December last year, this new Maggie’s Centre by American architect Steven Holl differs from typical Maggie’s Centres in that, rather than being arranged around a central kitchen, the rooms are set vertically across three storeys. Designed as a “vessel within a vessel within a vessel”, the cancer care centre is set behind a façade of translucent white glass and coloured panels inspired by the medieval method of musical notation, known as “neume notation”.

      Where St Bartholomew’s Hospital, EC1A 7BE
      When Saturday, 10am – 5pm

    • Waterloo City Farm by Feilden Fowles

      Waterloo City Farm by Feilden Fowles

      Open City

      Waterloo City Farm

      Feilden Fowles

      On an unloved plot of land just off Westminster Bridge, architecture practice Feilden Fowles has created an urban sanctuary which houses their own office alongside a community farm. Set within a garden designed by Dan Pearson, the timber farm buildings, classroom spaces and studio structure demonstrate small scale social design which can be achieved at low cost – even in the centre of London.

      Where 8 Royal Street, SE1 7LL
      When Saturday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday, 10am – 5pm

    • Isokon Building (Lawn Road Flats) by Wells Coates

      Isokon Building (Lawn Road Flats) by Wells Coates

      Nick Kane

      Isokon Building (Lawn Road Flats)

      Wells Coates

      Completed in 1934, this Grade I-listed modernist block of flats in Hampstead was the first apartment building built in the international style in London. Fostering an avante-garde community, the flats became the home for many of the Bauhaus movement’s big names fleeing from Nazi Germany during the Second World War, including Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and Lazslo Moholy Nagy.

      Where Lawn Road, NW3 2XD
      When Saturday, 11am – 4pm and Sunday, 11am – 4pm

    • Maki and Associates. Aga Khan Museum.

      Fumihiko Maki

      Bodies of Thought

      Seen Fumihiko Maki’s Aga Khan project during Open House? Then come and hear the Japanese architect talk about his work at the Royal Academy on 24 September.