Open House Festival

From Old Oak to White City


London County Council, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Noel and Alina Moffett and Darbourne and Darke, 1900

East Acton Tube Station,, Erconwald Street, W12 0BP

The walk will explore four different types of housing north and south of the A40, which reveal much about the history of social housing in London. It will also include a rare chance to visit an award-winning community garden.

Getting there


East Acton




Details of the walk

The homes lying on both sides of the A40 between East Acton and White City tube stations reveal much about the history of public housing in London in the 20th century.

We'll start off by visiting two early 20th century cottage estates, the Old Oak Estate and Wormholt Estate, influenced by the garden city movement.

We then have the chance to see Phoenix Farm, an award-winning community garden. It provides access to a green space for local residents, particularly important for those who do not have access to private gardens.

We'll move on to the White City Estate, the London County Council's most ambitious interwar dense housing estate, built between the 1930s and 1950s. When it opened the estate was praised for its high quality self-contained flats.

On the estate, we'll also see Malabar Court, a small 1960s system-built brutalist block designed by Alina and Noel Moffett. It has a very different approach to density - a design of ascending hexagons, reportedly inspired by the Giants' Causeway in Northern Ireland.

We'll end up at the Wood Lane Estate, Darbourne and Darke's 1970s small dense low-rise estate, built in brick. Emphasis on privacy is expressed through each home having its front door at pedestrian level and an internal network of courts and pathways.

About your tour guide

Joanna Oyediran is a qualified Open City guide. She regularly leads walks round White City for Open City as part of their year-round tours programme. She is the founder of Iya London, which unearths and shares London’s overlooked stories, past and present.

Meeting point

We will meet outside East Acton tube station on Erconwald Street.

Golden Key Academy

This tour is led by an alumnus of Open City’s Golden Key Academy – a course training up insightful and engaging guides dedicated to explaining London and bringing its many stories to life.
Further info on the Golden Key Academy can be found here

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