A large event that appeals to people of all ages, run by volunteers and a legacy like no other. No, no, not the Olympics – we’re talking Open House. Today is a big day for architecture fans. Tickets for this year’s Open House London are now available, so some big decisions have to be made. With so many beautiful and interesting venues and tours available, it’s time to start planning and booking… well, sort of. Though some venues will require advance bookings, you’ll have to be quick to get them. Here’s our wishlist for the bookable events:
Lee Tunnel and Beckton Sludge-Powered Generator
Not the most glam of outings, perhaps, but we rather fancy a tour of the biggest sewage treatment works in the UK, which has a sludgepowered generator for energy efficient waste disposal. A big development scheme is underway that will help to prevent more than 16 million tonnes of sewage mixed with rainwater overflowing into the River Lee each year. That has to be good news. Hourly tours: 10am-3pm Sept 22, 23.
Join a tour to check out the handsome, lavishly panelled interiors and original period features of what was London’s tallest secular building when it opened in the 1930s as the administrative HQ of the University of London. The Grade-II listed Portland stone structure remains an unmissable Bloomsbury landmark. 10am-5pm Sept 23.
From the Euston Road, this new office and meeting centre for the public service trade union is a concrete-clad, steel framed tower. Internally, a glazed atrium links it to the restored Grade-II listed, former Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital. Founded in 1872 and run exclusively by and for women, the hospital is commemorated in the on-site EGA Gallery. 10am-4pm Sept 22.
Tours of the City of London’s tallest building introduce a design intended to provide extremely flexible workspace that integrates innovative technology to promote environmental responsibility. Heron Tower is organised around a series of office ‘villages’, each with its own triple-height atrium. Morning tours Sept 22.
Bluebell House, Ealing
Architect-led tours of a structurally innovative, low-energy family home, with lots of sustainable features. Its ‘living roof’ is planted with bluebells lifted from its wooded site. Sept 22.
Brentford Urban Jog
Aspirational riverside residential development, high-rise modernist council housing alongside Victorian railway terraces… these guided jogging tours will acknowledge some of the tensions as well as the oppo rtunities inherent in the ongoing regeneration of Brentford. Sept 22, 23.
Book now on londonopenhouse.org. Don’t worry if you miss out on these though as 90% of the events are open to all on a first-come, first-serve basis. See highlights from this year’s events, see the Open House Listing.