Open House London is the capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design. Now in its 24th year, it is a city-wide celebration of the buildings, places, and neighbourhoods where we live and work.
The initiative is a simple but powerful concept: hundreds of great buildings of all types and periods open up their doors to all, free. It is a truly city-wide celebration of the buildings, places and neighbourhoods where we live, work and play, and a quarter of a million people take the opportunity to get out and get under the skin of London’s amazing architecture.
Here are some local goodies:
A classic 1700s house, 155 Holland Park Avenue, with each room in the house depicting a different style, ranging from Victorian Gothic to a Maharaja’s loo. An eccentric, international house. Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm. Half-hourly tours. Pre-book on 020 7602 2489. Maximum 10 people at one time and you may be asked to remove your shoes.
The Silchester Estate, is a new development of 112 mixed tenure homes, community and retail facilities delivered by Peabody and RBKC. Highly controversial, Jo Poole, secretary of the Silchester Residents Association accused RBKC of “socially cleansing” the neighbourhood, after plans were proposed which could see most of the estate demolished. Other residents have said residents that there was already a “strong community which will be broken up by these plans.” The new estate is designed around a communal garden and integrates an existing 20-storey tower within a new urban block and with a public sculpture by Nathan Coley. There will be hour long tours on both Saturday and Sunday, 11am and 12pm.
264 Westbourne Park Road (pic above) has been on the Open House circuit for a couple of years and looks amazing. The building is two independent houses each with it’s own entrance, placed on top of each other. Architects Studio Bednarski echoed the adjacent Victorian houses to create its contemporary design. Cezary Bednarski created it as his family home. The tiny 5 x 18 metre corner plot (pic left) was created around 35 years ago when a dangerous structure notice was served on a house that stood there, long since left derelict by a Nigerian prince. The tiny site was too small for a single house with a garden, which pushed Cezary — needing to make his investment make sense financially — into the idea of building two houses on top of each other, made possible by the corner plot. Saturday and Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Closed from 12pm – 3pm. Shoes off. Last entry 4.45pm. Max 6 per tour.
Open House London – 17th and 18th September and to see more buildings open for scrutiny click here … openhouselondon