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