Must see: we tour the newest of this year’s Open House weekend offerings

The Open House London weekend is upon us, with over 200 news buildings on its updated list.
The Open House London weekend is upon us, with over 200 news buildings on its updated list.
(Image credit: The Green, Nunhead, by AOC Architecture)

Every year, London’s Open House weekend is one of the capital’s most hotly in-demand architecture events, with queues known to be forming outside well-known buildings that are otherwise closed to the general public and lucky visitors getting a sneak peak of new private houses and exclusive offices left, right and centre.

There are always the much-loved classics, often back by popular demand, such as 30 St Mary Axe (a.k.a. the Gherkin), but every year, we equally eagerly look forward to getting our chance to visit the new kids on the block – the additions that come from the past year’s architectural crop. This year is no exception; Open House London, running on the 17-18 September, will be boasting a striking 200 or so brand new buildings to its growing list. Highlights include the recently renovated, Brutalist Salters Hall in central London and a competition to win a visit to the top of ArcelorMittal Orbit, in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Private houses are also represented in abundance: from expertly handled renovations, such as Archmongers’ Clock House, to home extensions, such as Bureau de Change’s Folds, and new builds, like 31/44 Architects House in Lewisham. There is plenty to choose from if you’re looking for inspiration.

With an impressive total of more than 750 buildings of all shapes and sizes opening their doors to their discerning guests – topped by a free programme of walks, engineering and landscape tours, cycle rides and experts’ talks  - this year’s annual architectural celebration will no doubt be as big and bold as ever.  A new and revamped guide to the weekend’s offerings is also available to help you navigate this September’s rich pickings.

King's Gate (and the Zig Zag Building), Victoria, by Lynch Architects (2015) 

King's Gate (and the Zig Zag Building), Victoria, (2015) 

(Image credit: Lynch Architects)

Clock House, by Archmongers (2015)

Clock House, (2015)

(Image credit: Archmongers)

Bruno Court by Burnet, Tait and Lorne (29135)

Bruno Court (29135)

(Image credit: Burnet, Tait and Lorne)

Airbnb Headquarters by Threefold Architects

Airbnb Headquarters (2016)

(Image credit: Threefold Architects)

Alphabeta office building by RHE Architecture

Alphabeta office building by RHE Architecture (2015).

(Image credit: Hufton + Crow)

ArcelorMittal Orbit by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond

ArcelorMittal Orbit (2011)

(Image credit: Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond)

Bevin Court by Skinner, Bailey and Lubetkin

Bevin Court (1954)

(Image credit: Skinner, Bailey and Lubetkin)

Broadway Market Mews by Weston Williamson/Vine Architecture Studio

Broadway Market Mews (2016)

(Image credit: Weston Williamson/Vine Architecture Studio)

Camberwell Library by John McAslan + Partners

Camberwell Library (2016)

(Image credit: John McAslan + Partners)

Dartmouth Row by Carl Trenfield Architects

Dartmouth Row (2016)

(Image credit: Carl Trenfield Architects)

Folds by Bureau de Change Architects

Folds (2015)

(Image credit: Bureau de Change Architects)

Godson Street by Edgley Design.

Godson Street by Edgley Design (2016).

(Image credit: Jack Hobhouse)

House in Lewisham by 31/44 Architects.

House in Lewisham by 31/44 Architects (2016). 

(Image credit: Anna Stathaki)

The Institution of Structural Engineers by Hugh Broughton Architects

The Institution of Structural Engineers by Hugh Broughton Architects (2016).

(Image credit: James Brittain)

Chisenhale Primary School Elevated Playground by Asif Khan

Chisenhale Primary School Elevated Playground (2016)

(Image credit: Asif Khan)

Salters' Hall by Basil Spence, refurbished by de Metz Forbes Knight

Salters' Hall by Basil Spence, refurbished (1976 / 2016)

(Image credit: De Metz Forbes Knight)

The Makers House by Liddicoat & Goldhill

The Makers House (2016)

(Image credit: Liddicoat & Goldhill)

The Yard House by Tuckey Design

The Yard House by Tuckey Design (2015). 

(Image credit: James Britain)

Y:Cube, YMCA Mitcham by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners

Y:Cube, YMCA Mitcham by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners (2015)

(Image credit: Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners)


Open House London runs on the 17-18 September. For more information visit the website

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).