Open House Festival


Back to collections

Ecological Architecture

In 2019 Phineas Harper co-curated the Oslo Architecture Triennale on the architecture of a truly sustainable economy. Here they select some examples of environmentally conscious design including ambitious carbon-saving refurbishments you can visit during the 2023 Open House Festival.

Drop in

1 Halliwick Road


A low energy refurbishment of an Edwardian house, with rear extension and loft conversion. Wood fibre insulation, MVHR, airtightness layer, triple glazing, timber structure and low embodied energy materials.

Architecture for London, 2020

A unique striking playscape and adobe home structure that integrates outside learning with innovative earth forms. Construction is 'rammed' earth made from earth filled tubes. Adobe construction is recognised for sound reducing properties.

Small Earth, 2011

Guided tour

Chart Street Studios


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

This house is a deep low carbon retrofit to classic late twentieth century terrace house typology by the owner architect. Alongside energy demand reduction to EnerPHit criteria and comfort improvement, the house interior has been remodelled

Prewett Bizley Architects, 2021

Drop in

Ferry Lane Estate


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

Guided tour

Gap House


Tours of Gap House Just 8ft wide to the street, this house is ingeniously slotted into an unpromising plot to create a comfortable, low energy, family home that makes a virtue of its constrained site.

Pitman Tozer Architects, 2007

Drop in

Green House


A new exposed CLT-frame house, built on a site once occupied by market garden greenhouses, featuring a planted façade with sliding external screens and a riad-style central atrium, assisting in natural daylighting, ventilation and cooling.

Hayhurst and Co., 2021

Drop in

Holborn House


A redevelopment of Holborn’s community centre improving and increasing facilities - the space has been designed by Stirling prize nominated 6a architects and includes a public artwork for the building, created by artist Cargh Thuring. This project is supported by the Mayor of London.

6a Architects, 2021

Walking Tour

Imagine Golden Lane at Net Zero - a walking tour


A walk from Barbican Underground Station via the Museum of London to Barbican and then to Golden Lane.

Chamberlin Powell & Bon, 1957

Drop in

Moorings Sociable Club


Newly refurbished former social club, which is now a multi-use community space in the heart of Satge 3 Thamesmead - The Moorings Open Access and Tours running all day

Stephen Mooring , 1976

An adventure in retrofit possibilities: starting with a wreck & a passionate client, we explored, researched and innovated to reduce the energy consumption by 90-95% using the lowest carbon solutions we could find.

Enbee Architecture + Design and Ahrberg Jackson Design, 2023

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

Sands End Arts & Community Centre


Amongst the RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist 2022 sits Mæ Architect's Sands End Arts & Community scheme in Fulham. The centre consists of a single-storey building comprising bright, airy and flexible event spaces and a community café.

Mae Architects, 2020

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

Southwark Integrated Waste Management Facility

industrial, infrastructure/engineering

Ever WONDERED what happens to your recycling? Southwark's FREE fun-filled, family-friendly Wonder Day is back on Saturday 14 September 2024, 10am - 4pm. Come along to our annual Wonder Day, to see our Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF) sort recycling using the latest innovations, and meet some of the amazing experts that work behind the scenes.

Thorpe Wheatley, 2012

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

Drop in

Swiss Cottage Library


Grade II listed building by renowned Modernist which has been refurbished and remodelled whilst protecting the building's landmark status.

Basil Spence, 1963