London always has plenty going on for the discerning, culture-loving visitor, but this weekend the capital will turn into a full-on 48-hour architectural celebration: yes, it is time for the annual London Open House.

Under the umbrella theme 'Revealing', this year's events will offer guests the chance to step inside a staggering 800 buildings, which will be open - freely or via booking - to visitors all across the city.

Many of the recurring favourites will be there, but most importantly, this year sees a slew of brand new buildings opening their doors for the first time. From the box-fresh Leadenhall Building by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which just got its finishing touches earlier this month, to LSE's RIBA-award winning Saw Swee Hock Student Centre by O'Donnell + Tuomey, there are rich pickings to be had.

And it is not just all about large-scale cultural and commercial work. A number of smaller residential projects, creative conversions, extensions and new builds also feature in the selection, showcasing London's creativity on the domestic front. Other themes to be explored are: 'How the City Works', touching upon question of transport and infrastructure; 'Places and Spaces of the City', examining landscape design; and 'A Greener City', on sustainability.

The architecture buzz has even spilled over into London Fashion Week. Fashion designer Margaret Howell is this year's Design Partner - having supported Open House since 2003 - and worked closely with the initiative for her S/S 2015 show at the Rambert, deftly fusing fashion with architecture. 'This year we needed to move our show to accommodate the growing number of guests,' explains Howell. 'I knew I wanted something with the working space and spirit of our Wigmore Street shop and that's hard to find.'

Here we pick our top twenty buildings to step inside this weekend.

 

TAGS: NEW YORK DESIGN