Your London architecture guide for a weekend stroll

Stop googling. Stop instagramming. Let Wallpaper* design editors (and London locals) Rosa Bertoli and Sujata Burman guide you through the streets of the greatest city on earth.

spiral stairs, glass window
The Oxo Tower Wharf – ’Art Deco jewel on the South Bank’ – features in this neat guide to London’s best buildings.
(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

Weekend life in London can be fairly daunting. There’s only 52 in a year after all, so you have to be curated about planning them, specially when there is a plethora of buildings to check off the must-see list. What if there was a cute little guide, light enough to carry around, chunky enough to be trusted? Hoxton Mini Press knew exactly what we were thinking.

The Opinionated Guide to London Architecture is the solution to that weekend problem. You can stop spending your Saturday mornings trawling Google. This book will draw you across the city in its own curated trail of 54 London buildings.

London locals Rosa Bertoli and Sujata Burman, also editors at Wallpaper*, whittled down their list in collaboration with the Hoxton Mini Press team. ‘We quite simply asked ourselves: "What makes this building an example of brilliant London architecture?" We also wanted to showcase a range of mixed-use public spaces – it is great that so many architectural gems are free and open to the public.’

Their tip for a day of architecture hunting? ‘Get out early as possible to enjoy the streets in an emptier state, and make sure to stop at a pub – or two – for a pint, to make it a true Londoner tour.’

London Architecture guide

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

The book holds a refreshing mix of old and new, brutal, art deco, pomo and more. You’ll find new appreciation for the greats: the National Theatre, James Stirling’s One Poultry, Sir John Soane’s Museum or the Tate Modern. And you’ll discover sites you never knew were there: Steven Holl’s Maggie’s Bart in Covent Garden, John Outram’s Isle of Dogs Pumping Station or a brutal church nicknamed ‘The Gate of Heaven’ in Mile End. One that just missed the cut? ‘Welbeck Street Car Park. Its amazing brutalist form is now being demolished and turned into a luxury hotel.’ Oh London...


The framing of photographer Taran Wilkhu’s shots, which illustrate each entry, always draw your eye to the details – his focus is on the crests, the cornices, the corners. And it's the careful selection of shots that make the book feel all the more curated.

This guide is a starring point, and from there, you’ll learn a lot and make some memories of your own along the way. After all, ‘Buildings are stories. Literally,’ writes Rory Olcayto, director, Open House London in the foreword. He goes on to describe the genesis of the word ’storey’ tracing it back to Roman times. London is a vast library, he concludes. Lucky then, that we’ve got a succinct guide in our back pocket.


The Hoover Building – ‘Art Deco off the A40’

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

Book about aquatics building

London Aquatics Centre – ‘Zaha Hadid’s futuristic swimming arena’

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

residential block detail

Walmer Yard – ‘Boutique residential block’

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)


The Trellick Tower – ’The tower to define all Brutalist towers’

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

Book of a building

Centre Point – ‘An intricate brutalist icon’

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)

Art deco building

Michelin House – ‘A playful art deco palace’

(Image credit: Taran Wilkhu)


An Opinionated Guide to London Architecture, published by Hoxton Mini Press, £9.95

Harriet Thorpe is a writer, journalist and editor covering architecture, design and culture, with particular interest in sustainability, 20th-century architecture and community. After studying History of Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Journalism at City University in London, she developed her interest in architecture working at Wallpaper* magazine and today contributes to Wallpaper*, The World of Interiors and Icon magazine, amongst other titles. She is author of The Sustainable City (2022, Hoxton Mini Press), a book about sustainable architecture in London, and the Modern Cambridge Map (2023, Blue Crow Media), a map of 20th-century architecture in Cambridge, the city where she grew up.