Open House Festival

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The 2023 festival highlights

This year we asked that every festival contributor responded to the 2023 brief and criteria to make sure that every open day championed access, learning and celebration. This selection of contributors have been selected because of how well they took this brief on.

A tour that contrasts the before and after of the architecture of the 1922 Northern line extension, examining the impact on the existing terminus at Golders Green as well as the new station architectural vernacular created by Stanley Heaps

Stanley Heaps, 1923

Guided tour

373 Euston Road, Birkbeck College

education

The refurbishment and roof extension of 7-storey building at 373 Euston Road to accommodates a 180-person lecture theatre, high-quality classrooms, as well as formal and informal co-learning spaces.

Penoyre & Prasad, 2020

Guided tour

4 Bayer House

residence

Part of Golden Lane Estate which was the first public housing to be listed. A maisonette with much of the original detailing and finishes.

Chamberlin Powell & Bon, 1957

This is a beautiful house in Eric Lyons' last SPAN development from 1982

Eric Lyons and Span Developments, 1982

Guided tour

8 Stoneleigh Terrace (Highgate New Town, Stage 1)

housing, residence

Built during the golden era of Camden public housing under Borough Architect Sydney Cook. Peter Tábori studied with Ernő Goldfinger and worked with Denys Lasdun, and met Ken Adie when both were students at the Regent Street Polytechnic.

Camden Architects Department, Ken Adie, Peter Tábori, 1972

Drop in

Acland Burghley School

education

An important example of 1960s comprehensive school design in the Brutalist style. Acland Burghley has recently received support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its ambitious ‘A Hall for All’ project and have welcomed in a resident orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a collaborative partnership which is a UK-first.

Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis Architects, 1966

Drop in / Guided tour

Alton Estate

housing, mixed use, walk/tour, online

Alton Estate is renowned for its mix of high-rise Le Corbusian architecture in Alton West & its low-rise Scandinavian approach to modernism in Alton East. Designed by the London County Council architects they completed in 1959.

Rosemary Stjernstedt, Oliver Cox, LCC, 1950

Located inside a fully renovated 1800s Zionist Chapel in Forest Hill, Anise Gallery will be open to the public to admire and see our completed space at The Old Chapel. There will be kids arts workshops, an exhibition and artwork sale.

Tate Harmer, 2023

Drop in / Guided tour

Art Hub Open Studios

art studio

Art Hub Studios will be holding studio tours as part of its Open Studios event, explaining the history of the Industrial Estate, its position within the Thames Barrier & Bowater Road Conservation Area and its current use as art studios.

n/a, 1940

Drop in

Blackhorse Workshop

industrial, community/cultural, education

A makerspace offering open access to a fully equipped wood and metal workshop with bench space, tools and machinery. Includes education space, community café and 40 studios for creative businesses.

Assemble, 2014

Drop in

Brentford Canal Toll House and Gauging Lock

infrastructure/engineering

Single-storey canal toll house (1911) where tolls were collected for passing through the lock. Grand Junction Canal connected the Thames at Brentford to the Industrial Midlands in 1794 at the height of the industrial revolution.

Unknown, 1911

Guided tour / Young people

Burlington House: Royal Astronomical Society

institution/profession, scientific, library

The home of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1874, refurbished in 2007. Part of the extension to Burlington House to provide accommodation for learned societies.

Robert Richardson Banks and Charles Barry, 1874

Exceptional example of the 'luxury cinema style' of the 1930s with outstanding Gothic interior by Theodore Komisarjevsky. The first Grade I listed cinema. Visitors must be aged over 18.

Cecil Massey and Theodore Komisarjevsky, 1931

Drop in

Canons Park

public realm/landscape

Grade II listed historic park landscape containing several listed buildings, including an 18C 'temple' building, bothy and compound, and walled kitchen garden, converted in 1937 to an informally planted garden by Harrow Council.

Various architects, 1713

Drop in / Guided tour

Carnival of Invention

open site

A day-long takeover of Station Road celebrating local invention, community and creativity. Bringing together the past, present and future of South Norwood with interactive arts & crafts, live performances, a feast and a go kart race.

Drop in

Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha) London

community/cultural, religious

Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha) London is the UK's oldest established Sikh Place of Worship. Originally founded in 1908 it has been at the current site since 1969 and have recently been refurbished into a modern Sikh place of worship.

Unknown

Guided tour

Chart Street Studios

offices

The redevelopment of a former furniture warehouse in Hackney. Using CLT and glulam, the existing building has been extended to include a new building over the yard as well as a new office space on the top floor of the main building.

Ian Chalk Architects, 2021

Drop in / Walking tour

Cody Dock - Lea Way Celebration

community/cultural

Our event will focus on celebrating the rich heritage of Cody Dock, one of the last remaining brick-lined docks in London. Our one-day festival will provide exciting opportunities to explore the lesser-known history of the Lower Lea Valley

Thomas Randall-Page, 2022

Drop in

Cressingham Gardens

housing

Low-rise high density estate located next to Brockwell Park. Innovative design with pioneering architectural elements & echoing natural topography. Under threat of demolition by Lambeth council. Tours provided of estate and rotunda.

Rae Evans, Roger Bicknell, Don Eastaugh, Ted Hollamby, 1967

Drop in

Crystal Palace Park Trust - Garden Party

public realm/landscape

On Sunday 17th September, we celebrate the historic takeover of Crystal Palace Park by the charitable, community-led Crystal Palace Park Trust. Join us for the Garden Party: a free festival of music, markets, makers and merriment!

Joseph Paxton, 1854

A self-guided tour through the active conservation and restoration project revitalising the Crystal Palace Victorian Subway

Drop in

CUFOS - Community Use For the Old Station

community/cultural

The former Alexandra Palace Railway Station now run by a charity for use by local people and organisations for classes, meetings and many other leisure activities.

Unknown, 1873

Drop in

DEEP SPACE

residence, art studio

New build live/ work unit, unique architecture in a quiet mews in Brockley.

Charles Coull, 2017

Drop in

Ferry Lane Estate

walk/tour

A tour round the estate, with visits to residents' homes, information on the original design principles, tenancy types & history plus an opportunity to appreciate the setting with the River Lea bordering the estate. Approx 90 mins.

Jack Lambert for the Greater London Council , 1978

Drop in

Floating House

residence

Paul McAneary Architects, 2020

Drop in

Foster + Partners

architectural practice

We're excited to open up our London campus. Foster + Partners is a global studio for sustainable architecture, urbanism, engineering and design, founded by Norman Foster in 1967. Hosted across several buildings, the public can explore the studio, take part in interactive exhibitions and workshops, and gain an insight into the wide range of disciplines and projects across the globe.

Foster + Partners, 1990

Drop in

Foundry Co-Working Hub

offices, architectural practice, walk/tour

Cullinan Studio converted this Victorian warehouse into their low-energy office in 2012, retaining 80% of the existing building fabric. The Foundry co-working hub is now home to several organisations working in the built environment.

Cullinan Studio, 2012

Gaunson Creative Studios in South Tottenham, home to over 70 artist studios, will be opening its doors for the first time since 2019. Visitors will be able to meet and buy from over 50 artists across the weekend.

Unknown

Drop in

Greenside Primary School

education

One of only two primary schools designed by Erno Goldfinger using a pre-cast concrete system - an important modernist building. The building is Grade II* listed and has a fine top-lit mural in the foyer, commissioned by Goldfinger and designed and painted by Gordon Cullen, recently re-restored. The schoolkeeper's cottage has recently been refurbished and brought into the daily life of the school.

Ernö Goldfinger, 1952

Drop in / Talk

Guildhall Art Gallery

gallery

Open daily 10.30am-4pm. Regular guided tours 12.15pm & 1.15pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays, see below. Home of the City of London's art collection, & remains of London's Roman Amphitheatre

Richard Gilbert Scott, 1999

Drop in

Haberdashers' Hall

livery hall

Opened by the Queen in 2002 as one of the first new livery halls in the Square Mile for nearly 40 years, this is a brick building with traditional lime mortar and handsome lead roof, standing around a peaceful courtyard.

Hopkins Architects, 2002

Guided tours of the UK's first Passivhaus Plus school, led by the architects. This is an opportunity to visit a leading zero carbon education space - a haven of ecology complemented by a palette of natural, low-carbon materials.

Architype, 2019

Guided tour

Havant House 53

residence

A victorian mid terrace house with a dark blue exterior and a zany tiled front garden. Full of original features without being dictated by the era, colour continues inside with a yellow rubber floor in the kitchen.

Natasha Landers (Designer), 1910

Guided tour

Highpoint

residence, housing, walk/tour

Grade I listed Modernist apartment blocks retaining many original features.

Lubetkin & Tecton, 1935

Drop in / Guided tour

Hogarth's House

historical house

Early 18C red brick home of artist William Hogarth extended significantly c1749-1764. A 2020 extension adds a curved glass wall in the shape of Hogarth's Line of Beauty. Delightful walled garden containing famous ancient mulberry tree.

Unknown, 1715

Grade ll listed Oxford Movement Anglican church built 1887-88. Historic England describe the exterior as ‘quirky and aggressive’ but the interior is ‘very spare and elegant, the proportions subtly adjusted’. Elevated choir and sanctuary.

Joseph Peacock, 1887

Grade I listed 1934 residential block of flats in Hampstead, designed by the Canadian modernist architect Wells Coates for clients Jack and Molly Pritchard. English Heritage blue plaque for Bauhaus masters Gropius, Breuer and Moholy-Nagy.

Wells Coates, 1934

Drop in

Jeffrey's Place

offices

Historic 1850s Camden warehouse, recently renovated by Tasou Associates to rationalise internal spaces, open up the building to more natural daylight and create a comfortable office space.

Tasou Associates, 2018

Drop in

Lakeside Centre

art studio, civic, community/cultural

Iconic brutalist building in the heart of Thamesmead, renovation led by Bow Arts Trust in partnership with Peabody, supported by the Mayor’s London Regeneration Fund (LEAP). The centre has opened as a cultural hub for Thamesmead.

00 Architecture in partnership with Bow Arts, 2017

Drop in / Guided tour

Lea Bridge Library

library

Studio Weave were commissioned to design an extension to the Grade-II listed Lea Bridge Library in East London, adding a cafe and adaptable community space – to deliver a revived civic heart for the Borough of Waltham Forest. This project is supported by the Mayor of London.

-

Drop in / Guided tour

Lewisham Homes presents: The Pepys Estate, High Up

walk/tour, housing

Visit the Pepys Estate, a 1960s social housing estate built by the Greater London Council. You will be able to visit the top of a residential tower (one of the tallest buildings in London when built) and hear about local community projects.

Greater London Council, 1966

Guided tour

Leyton House

residence

Leyton House is a new build house that has been designed to maximise the potential of its urban infill setting.

McMahon Architecture, 2020

Drop in / Guided tour

London Fire Brigade Memorial Hall

monument

Open Day: LFB's grade II listed Memorial Hall, part of the LFB's Headquarters, opened in 1937. The hall is rarely seen by the public & contains stunning large memorials by Gilbert Bayes commemorating firefighters lost protecting London.

Some aspects by Gilbert Bayes, 1937

Drop in

London's Roman Amphitheatre

miscellaneous, sport, monument

UPDATED: Open daily 10.30am-4pm Closed Mon 19 September. Combined guided tours of Amphitheatre and Guildhall Art Gallery at 12.15pm & 1.15pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. The capital’s only known Roman Amphitheatre

Roman , 70

Drop in

Markfield Beam Engine and House

industrial

A masterpiece of Victorian engineering, Markfield Beam Engine provided a vital public health facility from 1855-1964.

Unknown, 1886

Architect Ana Sutherland will lead a guided tour of the Cator Estate, covering Eric Lyons' Span estates and unique modernist homes designed by architects Patrick Gwynne, Peter Moro and Walter Greaves.

Drop in

Nourish Hub

community/cultural

The Nourish Hub turned a vacant post-office into community space where learning about healthy eating and cooking food is used to connect diverse cultures, teach meaningful skills and bring people together. This project is supported by the Mayor of London.

RCKa, 2021

Drop in

Our Yard at Clitterhouse Farm

public realm/landscape

Our Yard at Clitterhouse Farm is a community enterprise working to protect historic Victorian farm outbuildings and transform the site into a vibrant and sustainable community hub. Shortlisted for the Open City Stewardship Awards 2021.

OfCA, Freddie Wiltshire, Billy Adams, 2020

Drop in

Paxton Locher House

residence

A unique modern courtyard house making brilliant use of a restricted site. A retractable glass roof gives wonderful natural light and opens the house to the sky in dry weather.

Paxton Locher Architects, 1995

Guided tour

Phoenix Cinema

cinema

One of the oldest cinemas in the country with a barrel-vaulted ceiling and Art Deco wall reliefs by Mollo and Egan. Grade II listed.

S. Birdwood, 1910

Drop in / Guided tour

Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery

historical house, gallery

Designed by Sir John Soane as a family home and country residence. Following a three-year conservation project, Pitzhanger has been returned to Soane’s innovative original design and re-opened to the public in March 2019.

Sir John Soane, 1800

Drop in

Pullman Court

housing

Grade II* listed buildings, modern movement style with balcony walkways and period internal features.

Frederick Gibberd, 1936

Drop in / Workshop

Pushkin House

community/cultural, historical house, concert/performance space, event

The independent cultural centre Pushkin House will contribute to this year's Open House Festival through a programme of events and community initiatives at its Grade-II listed building in Bloomsbury Square.

Henry Flitcroft, 1744

Drop in / Talk / Workshop

Quaker Meeting House - Brentford & Isleworth

religious, cemetery, community/cultural, garden, historical house, library, mixed use

The B&I Meeting House is a Grade II* listed late-Georgian Quaker Meeting House (1785), surrounded by peaceful and green gardens and a Quaker burial ground. Still in active use today, the architecture includes unique examples of old Quaker practices no longer found in more modern Meetings. Consistent renovations and updates have added new rooms, accessible ramps and toilets, and a full kitchen.

Unknown, 1785

Drop in

Sandys Row Synagogue

religious

Built as a Huguenot chapel in 1763, the building has been in continuous use as a synagogue since 1860 and retains many original features including the gallery. Oldest remaining Ashkenazi synagogue in London and third oldest in the country.

Unknown, 1763

Drop in

Schindel Studio

art studio

Schindel studio is a shingle clad, purpose built, sustainable artist's studio in Leytonstone, East London, for the landscape painter Amelia Humber.

Archer + Braun, 2022

Drop in / Talk

South Norwood Library

library, civic

The purpose-built library is a fine example of brutalist architecture. Built by Hugh Lea, Borough Architect for Croydon, in 1968 the main volume shows miesian influence with an abundance of natural light, interrupted by a concrete cuboid.

Hugh Lea , 1966

Drop in

Spruce House

residence

Ao-ft co-founders', Liz Tatarintseva and Zach Fluker, Spruce House and Studio is the pair’s joint home in east London’s Walthamstow. Not only has it been a personal labour of love, it’s also the first flagship project of the practice owners' newly minted architecture practice.

Ao-ft, 2021

Drop in

Squaring the Corners Activity Day + Tour

public realm/landscape

nimtim architects, with artist Katie Schwab, have reimagined four of Becontree’s existing corner plots, as a new public square for the community to meet, rest, play and grow. The square is the first space of its kind on the Estate.

nimtim architects, 2023

Drop in / Guided tour

Stanley Arts

theatre, entertainment, community/cultural, mixed use, concert/performance space

A public hall, theatre and gallery in grand Edwardian style. Grade II listed, Stanley made fun of the Victorian style with grand ornamentation. It reflects Stanley's interest in science, the arts and public cultural improvement.

William Ford Robinson Stanley, 1903

Drop in

St Patrick's Church

religious

Built thanks to a generous gift from local benefactress, Mrs Lavinia Keene, St Patrick's was consecrated in July 1940 and is unusual in style. The concrete and brick interior contrasts with the dramatic, colourful reredos. Grade II listed.

A. E. Wiseman, 1940

Guided tour

Sun Rain Rooms

architectural practice, offices, residence

Set in a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, Tonkin Liu's studio has been extended. Designed and built by the practice, an innovative timber roof and reflecting pool gathers the bouncing rain, to make it a good place to be on a bad day.

Tonkin Liu, 2017

Whatever happened to the historic River Tyburn? Victor Keegan, author of Vic Keegan’s Lost London (1) and Vic Keegan’s Lost London (2) will chart the history of this extraordinary river which still springs from the Hampstead Hills but leaves experts arguing over if and where it reaches the Thames.

Drop in

The Great Fire of London

walk/tour

In 1666, the conflagration devastated most of the City, thousands of houses, many churches and St Paul's Cathedral destroyed. Christopher Wren played a major role in rebuilding the City. Free walks led by City of London Guides

Christopher Wren, 1666

Drop in

The Royal Society

institution/profession, scientific, education, library, online

A spectacular Grade I listed building designed by famed architect John Nash. Built in 1831, these former townhouses have undergone refurbishments throughout their history. The building is now home to the UK's national science academy.

John Nash, Decimus Burton, 1831

Open House of 13 Nubia Way and oral history exhibition of Europe's largest black-led community self-build for rent iintiative including archive material and new video. https://sites.gold.ac.uk/inlivingmemory/tomorrow-is-built-today/

Architype, 1997

Drop in

Two-up Two-down House

architectural practice, residence

Two-Up Two-Down House is a reworking of a Victorian mid terrace by architects Khan Bonshek. They use imaginative spatial devices to maximise the limited floor area. Double height volumes & blurring of rooms combine to create space & light.

Khan Bonshek, 2018

Drop in

Vanbrugh Park Estate

housing

Vanbrugh Park Estate was designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon. The estate shares many stylistic similarities with their wider work such as the semi-circular curved motifs, purposeful use of light, and approach to community living.

Chamberlin Powell and Bon, 1963

Guided tour

Walthamstow Wetlands

walk/tour, industrial, public realm/landscape

Join us for a tour of the refurbished Marine Engine House with our architects Witherford Watson Mann.

Witherford Watson Mann Architects, 2017

Drop in

Waterloo City Farm

architectural practice, garden, education, community/cultural

Feilden Fowles is situated within a walled garden on a discreet corner of Waterloo City Farm. Feilden Fowles designed the farm and its office and educational spaces, which is run by two charities: Jamie’s Farm and the Oasis Community Hub.

Feilden Fowles, 2016

Guided tour

West India Dock Impounding Station

infrastructure/engineering

The recently automated impounding station controls the water level in the docks using the original Worthington Simpson pumps driven by Lancashire dynamo.

Unknown, 1929

Guided tour

Winscombe Street 1960s terrace

housing, residence, garden

Terrace of five three-storey houses and a studio incorporating a sequence of communal and private spaces. Influential prototype for Camden social housing developments of the 1960s and 70s.

Neave Brown, 1965

Join us for an open tour exploring the architecture, use, and restoration of the WWII fighter pens and air raid shelters that were part of RAF Kenley's airfield defenses.

Air Ministry Works and Buildings, 1940

Grade II* listed Art Deco building with well-preserved interior. Auditorium with deep coved ribs; proscenium arch flanked by fluted columns. Restoration fully funded by donations from Zoroastrian faith community, without government grants.

F. E. Bromige, 1936