Several SW19 buildings are open to the public as part of annual event
For the first time in its 25-year history, every London borough is participating in this year’s Open House, with free entry to more than 800 of the city’s most compelling buildings.
Highlights this year include the recently revamped New Scotland Yard; London’s latest iconic tower, nicknamed ‘the vase’; an urban farm in Waterloo; an exhibition by starchitect Norman Foster and the gargantuan Francis Crick Institute at King’s Cross.
Almost every building type is represented: government buildings, offices, places of worship, military buildings, livery halls, industrial complexes. There’s even a yurt and a medieval barn.
Buildings in Wimbledon include 9 Parkside Avenue, 106 Gladstone Road, the Buddhapadipa Temple in Calonne Road, Cannizaro Studios in Cannizaro Park, Donhead Preparatory School in Edge Hill, Elliot Wood at 241 The Broadway, Wimbledon College of Arts New Studios in Merton Hall Road, New Wimbledon Theatre, the Chapter House in Merantun Way and Wimbledon Windmill.
Old favourites like the BT Tower and William Morris’s Red House are back in, while City of London icons – the Cheesegrater and the Gherkin – are once again free to enter during the weekend of September 16 and 17.
Architectural nerds are well-catered for with serious, thoughtful design including a 1930s house in Romford designed by Penguin Pool architect Berthold Lubektin, the controversial Maggie’s Centre at Bart’s and a hipster housing block in Stoke Newington vying for the Stirling Prize.
By giving free entry to London’s best buildings, Open House champions great architecture and the importance of the public realm.
“We want Londoners to speak as confidently about their built environment as they do about books, music and art. Getting the public inside great buildings and visiting places that are well-designed is the best way to do it,” says Open House Director Rory Olcayto.
As each Open House weekend has come and gone, London’s skyline – and public interest in architecture – has been transformed. Neither the Gherkin nor Grand Designs existed when Open House was launched in 1992. Today, it is a key date in London’s cultural calendar. Last year more than a quarter of a million people visited at least one building each over the weekend.
This year’s Open House is also the last chance to visit Crossrail stations – on prebooked tours – before they open to the public next year.
August 31, 2017