Open House Festival

Zaha Hadid Foundation: Open day


Edward Robert Robson, 1874

Zaha Hadid Foundation, 10 Bowling Green Lane, EC1R 0BQ

Explore parts of this Grade II listed former Victorian primary school, once the HQ of Zaha Hadid Architects and now home to the Zaha Hadid Foundation. Our new exhibition, Paper Museums, featuring projects designed by Zaha Hadid, opens during the Open House festival - free entry.

Getting there






19, 341, 38, 61

Additional travel info

The closest train and London Underground station is Farringdon which is served by the Elizabeth, Hammersmith & City, Circle and Metropolitan lines. The station has step-free access. Barbican station is also close by. There are public bicycle racks outside the building. ZHF is within the Congestion Charge zone.



Accessibility notes

There is a 7cm high step between the site gate and the street. If the gate (97 cm wide) is closed it can be operated via an intercom and opens automatically. An alternative, wider step-free gate can be used, do contact us in advance and we can make it available. There is step-free access to all public spaces on the ground floor only, in some cases via ramps or outdoor paved areas.


Open day (ground floor): drop-in

From 11am until 3pm (last entry 2.45pm), the ground floor of this Grade II listed, 19th-century former school building will be open to the public for self-guided visits. Visitors will be able to explore how the different spaces were used in the past, when it was a school and by Zaha Hadid Architects, and discover how they are used now by the Zaha Hadid Foundation. Information leaflets will be available to guide visitors around the ground floor. A display of handling objects related to other School Board for London buildings contemporary to 10 Bowling Green Lane, and to when it was the headquarters of Zaha Hadid Architects, will be in the reception. A workshop for families with children aged 5 to 12 will take place in the gallery; people are welcome to visit the gallery to see the work created by the families.

Free drop-in family workshop: 'Fun with Forms'

Time: 11am to 2.30pm
Learn to make repeating patterns and fun shapes in this ‘parametric’ den making activity. In this workshop we will take inspiration from the work of Zaha Hadid and learn how to make curving forms of our own, with paper, cardboard, and string at a life size scale. Suitable for children aged 5 to 12. This workshop is led by architectural designer Jahba Anan. All materials will be provided, no booking required. Children must be accompanied at all times. Maximum of 30 people at any one time in this workshop.

Building tour (upper floor): sign up on the day

11.30am, 12pm, 1pm, 1.30pm and 2pm.
Led by staff from the Zaha Hadid Foundation, there will be a limited number of spaces for short, guided tours of the upper floor. Tours will last about 15 minutes. On the day at reception, visitors can sign up for a tour, places are allocated first come, first served, no spaces can be booked before the day. The times of the tours are 11.30am, 12pm, 1pm, 1.30pm and 2pm. Unfortunately, due to the small spaces, we are not able to exceed more than 8 people per tour. This part of the building is now used as staff offices and normally closed to the public. Please note, there are no lifts to the upper floor and access is via narrow stairs only.

Building history

This Queen Anne-style building is Grade II listed and was completed in 1874 for the School Board for London, opening as the Bowling Green Lane School. The building was designed by E.R. Robson in collaboration with J.J. Stevenson. It retains much of its original Victorian layout and exterior. In the 1970s it ceased operating as a school and in the 1980s was divided up into artists' studios. It was once the international headquarters of Zaha Hadid Architects, beginning in 1985 when Zaha Hadid took up one of these studios. Her practice grew until it took over the whole building. Since 2022, it has been the home of the charity Zaha Hadid Foundation which is returning the building to educational uses through public exhibitions, research and a public programme of events.


Personal photography for non-commercial use is allowed on the ground floor, but not on the guided tours of the upper floor. Visitors are welcome to visit the family activity in the gallery, but please avoid taking photographs of young participants in this space.

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