The Open House website crashed, so online bookings will start on Monday at noon.

To make life a little easier in the meantime, I have updated the list below to include the phone number or email address for those venues you don’t book via the Open House website. May help save a few page loads on their struggling webserver.

It’s that time of year again, when people sit hunched over their computers with multiple web browsers open desperately trying to grab the few prized tickets to see inside some of London’s buildings.

Yes – this Thursday (16th Aug) at around 10am, bookings will be taken for the annual Open House Weekend.

They are changing the process slightly this year, due to a lot of people booking tickets then not turning up. You will need to register an account before being able to reserve any venues.

Update: Here is the direct link to the registration page.

Somewhat annoyingly though, they are still letting venues take bookings by email or phone instead of online, which can really screw up planning as, especially with email, you don’t often know if a booking request was accepted until several days later.

Would be much better if all venues were booked via the same online form. Oh well.

Gripe over – the guides have been sent out to those who pay for them, and below is the list of venues that need prebooking. If you bought copy of the guide, then you already know the phone number or email address for some of them. If you didn’t pay then you’ll have to wait until Thursday morning to find out.

A note that Croydon isn’t in the guide this year, apparently due to funding cuts, and Brent wasn’t going to be in either, but the venues themselves stumped up the necessary, so well done them, especially the Neasden Bunker owners who I understand drove that initiative.

Notable addition this year is the return of The Gherkin – although they are not taking bookings and you just have to join the (lengthy) queue.  Sadly missing are TfL’s head office at 55 Broadway and the BT Tower.

Caveat emptor – the list below is based on the printed guide, but whatever their website says is the final decision.

The weekend is held over Sat/Sun 22nd-23rd Sept 2012.

The icons indicate if booking is by email or telephone. No icon means it is booked via the website.

Barking and Dagenham

Barking Central I & II

Barking Central incorporates a Learning Centre framed by a colonnade and topped by two parallel housing blocks and a wooded public square designed by Muf. Built in two phases, phase II completes the masterplan by connecting the colonnade to an existing street and shopping centre with bike store and shop building. Other new buildings reset the new wooded square in an open frame. RIBA London Award Winner 2011.

Meet: Sat 11am at Barking Learning Centre, 2 Town Square IG11 7NB#
Sat 11am-1pm.

Becontree Heath Leisure Centre (christy.o’shea@lbbd.gov.uk)

This brand new state-of-the-art leisure centre contains a 10 lane 25 x 25m pool, a learner pool, a 4 court sports hall and a 100 station gym. A play area and community space ensures all areas of the population are catered for.

Althorne Way, Dagenham RM10 7FH
Sat 10am-1pm/Sun 10am-1pm.

Castle Green (020 8724 1500)

An extended PFI school and community facility in the heart of the borough. Design encourages imaginative teaching methods. State of the art facilities have been developed in line with new pedagogy focusing on importance of communication. Architecture plb with Bouygues 2005. Entry: school, community theatre, sports and arts areas.

Gale Street, Castle Green, Dagenham RM9 4UN
Sun 8.30am-1pm

Closed Loop Recycling (nick.cliffe@closedlooprecycling.co.uk)

CLR is a state of the art plastic bottle recycling facility, 35,000 tonnes of waste plastic bottles are recycled per year into food-grade plastic used to manufacture new food and beverage packing. Many green design features with a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating.

16 Choats Road, Dagenham RM9 6LF
Sat 10am-5pm.

Lee Tunnel & Beckton Sludge Power Generator

The biggest sewage treatment works in the UK and one of the largest in Europe, currently undergoing a major expansion programme, features a sludge powered generator for energy efficient waste disposal. The Lee Tunnel will collectively capture an average of 39m tonnes of sewage a year and will help prevent more than 16m tonnes of sewage mixed with rainwater overflowing into the River Lee.

Beckton Sewage Streatment Works, Jenkins Lane, Barking IG11 0AD
Sat/Sun 10am-3pm

The Broadway (020 8507 560)

Original theatre recently modernised with striking but sympathetic new double-height foyer space, preserving the original facade which now forms part of interior.

Broadway, Barking IG11 7LS
Sat 10am-5pm.

The Granary

Restoration of a 5-storey Victorian Granary on the River Roding with contemporary bronze clad extension, featuring low-tech approach to viable sustainability. Sustainable features include PV, natural vent, thermal mass. Schmidt Hammer Lassen/Pollard Thomas Edwards 2012. Entry: Granary and river terrace

80 Abbey Road, Barking IG11 7BT
Sat 10am-1pm


Middlesex University – Hendon Campus, The College Building

An innovative glass and steel roof was added to the original 1930s quadrangle creating a landmark space for students and staff to meet in a modern environment with a traditional backdrop. The project included the complete refurbishment of all teaching facilities.

The Burroughs, Hendon NW4 4BT
Sun 11am-5pm

Phoenix Cinema (020 8444 6789)

Recently reopened after restoration for its centenary, it is one of the oldest cinemas in the country with 1910 barrel-vaulted ceiling and Art Deco wall reliefs by Mollo and Egan. Grade II listed. Birwood 1910/Howes & Jackman 1938/Pyle Boyd Architects 2002/HMDW Architects 2010. Entry: auditorium, projection room, public and private areas.

52 High Road N2 9PJ
Sun tours at 10.30am, 11.15am, 12noon, 12.45pm.

Wrotham Park (020 8275 1425)

A privately-owned Grade II listed Palladian mansion with grand interiors restored in 1883, set in 300 acres of parkland in the midst of 2,500 acres. Built for Admiral The Hon. John Byng.

Wrotham Park, Barnet EN5 4SB
Sun 10am-5pm.


  Danson House (01322 621238)

Fine Palladian villa built for Sir John Boyd as a suburban villa, in Oxford stone with four rooms on principal floor surrounding a central elliptical staircase in a top-lit well with eight Ionic columns below a dome. Entry: terrace principal floor, bedrooms, gardens.

Danson Road, Welling DA6 8HL
Sun tours at 11am and 2pm

  Hall Place (01322 621 238)

Grade I listed early Tudor three-sided mansion built for a Lord Mayor of London c1540 with later (c1650) extensions. Now re-opened after major restoration and development with fine Great Hall and Tudor kitchen. Set in formal gardens on the banks of the River Cray with splendid 18C gates.

Bourne Road, Bexley DA5 1PQ
Sat tour at 10.15am


Shri Sanatan Hindu Mandir

Beautifully carved temple made from Jaisalmer and Bansipahadpur limestone hand-carved in India and shipped to London for assembly by expert craftsmen. Construction based on ancient Hindu Scriptures that give guidance on dealing with buildings to form a perfect masterpiece. Entry: main temple and shivalay. NB. Respectful dress please – no shorts, short skirts, sleeveless blouses.

Ealing Road (near junction of Stanley Ave), Wembley HA0 4TA
Sat tours at 11am, 1pm, 2.30pm/Sun tours at 1pm, 2.30pm, 4pm,

Underground Bunker, Neasden [I’ve been here] (katy.bajina@networkhg.org.uk)

Underground 1940s bunker used during WWII by Winston Churchill and the Cabinet. Purpose-built of reinforced concrete, totally bomb-proof subterranean war citadel 40 feet below ground, with Map Room, Cabinet Room and offices, housed within a sub-basement protected by a 5ft thick concrete roof.

Brook Road NW2 7DZ
Sat 8.30am-5pm.

Zog House (openhouse2012@solidspace.co.uk)

A modest contemporary family house built with the revolutionary Solidspace split-section, which takes open plan living from the horizontal to the vertical and aims to establish a new housing typology for the 21C. Shortlisted RIBA Awards 2010.

1a Donaldson Road NW6 6NA
Sun 10am-1pm.


Bromley and Sheppard’s College (020 8460 4712)

Founded to house the widows of clergymen, the original building consisted of 20 houses built around a classically-styled quadrangle. Captain Richard Ryder – one of Sir Christopher Wren’s surveyors – was in charge of design and construction.

London Road (entrance via Wren Gates, no vehicle entry), Bromley BR1 1PE
Sat tours at 1.45pm, 2.30pm, 3.15pm, 4pm

Camden Place (Chislehurst Golf Club) (020 8467 2782)

Early 18C mansion and home of Napoleon III 1870-80. Brick facade, early 18C Dutch wall paintings and breakfast room with exquisite original plaster ceiling by James Stuart. Golf Club from 1894.

Camden Park Road, Chislehurst BR7 5HJ
Sat/Sun tours at 10am and 11am

The Churchill

Wonderful example of a repertory theatre in style of European opera houses, with vast stage, sub-stage workshops and auditorium seating 785. Ken Wilson 1977. Entry: auditorium, stage, wings, dressing rooms, rehearsal spaces.

High Street, Bromley BR1 1HA
Sat 10am-12noon.

The Odeon, Beckenham

Art Deco cinema with proscenium arch, stained glass windows and typically Deco mouldings.

High Street, Beckenham BR3 1DY
Sat/Sun tour 9.30am


73 Chester Road

Semi-detached late Victorian house, carefully transformed in 2006 to reduce its carbon footprint by over 80%. Sustainable features include walls internally insulated; high performance windows; solar hot water and PV panels; sun tunnel; wood burning stove; water saving techniques.

73 Chester Road N19 5DH
Sat tours at 10am, 11am, 12noon, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm.

78 South Hill Park

‘This is a building that pinpoints a moment in which Britain was at the forefront of a rethinking of the aesthetics and meaning of modernism. A singular work of an incredibly fertile mind. Each room is deceptively complex. The house is an extraordinary personal statement of intent.’ Edwin Heathcote (2011).

78 South Hill Park NW3 2SN
Sat 11am-5pm.


Arlington House was the last of a series of a new type of London hostel created by Lord Rowton, a Victorian philanthropist. An imposing building, it houses 95 flats for homeless people and 35 low rent flats for local workers. In the last stage of refurbishment, the lower and ground floors have been opened up with a new restaurant, artist studios, training facilities and conference suites.

220 Arlington Road NW1 7HE
Sat 10am-3pm.

British Medical Association House (020 7383 6363)

Designed for the Theosophical Society and acquired by the BMA in 1923. Extended by Wontner Smith (1928/9) and Douglas Wood (1938/50 and 1959/60). Sir Edwin Lutyens 1913. Entry: council chamber, Princes room, Hastings room, library, garden.

Tavistock Square WC1H 9JP
Sun 10am-5pm.

British Museum, World Conservation and Exhibition Centre

An important new project that will transform the way the British Museum displays and looks after its collection. Construction began in Spring 2010 and is due to be completed in late 2013. The Project Model Room is host to members of the Project team and Project artist in residence.

Great Russell Street WC1B 3DG
Tours of the construction site Sat 10am & 11.30am

Gray’s Inn

700 year old legal collegiate institution. Hall includes 16C screen. Much of Inn redesigned in neo-Georgian style by Sir Edward Maufe after 1941 bombing.

Gray’s Inn WC1R 5ET
Sun tours at 10.30am, 12noon, 2pm

King’s Cross/Granary Building 

A mixed-use development of the King’s Cross ‘railway lands. 20 historic and 30 new buildings set in high quality public space. Central St Martins Granary Building and Granary Square. Sustainable features include central heat and power/renewable technologies. Entry: 4th floor.

King’s Cross Visitor Centre, The Granary Building, 1 Granary Square N1C 4AA
Sat 10am-5pm/Sun 1pm-5pm. Hourly tours from 11.15am on Sat

London King’s Cross Station, Western Concourse

The £547million redevelopment of the Grade I listed Victorian station encompasses eastern and western ranges, main train shed and new Western Concourse. Entry: Western Concourse, parcels yard pub and main train shed

Info Desk, King’s Cross Station, York Way N1 9AP
Sat 2pm-5pm. Half-hourly tour

Senate House [I’ve been here]

London’s tallest secular building when it opened in the 1930s as the administrative HQ of the University of London, this Grade II listed landmark Portland stone structure balances classicism and modernity. Handsome, lavishly-panelled interiors and original period features. Recently undergone extensive refurbishment. Some works ongoing. Charles Holden 1937/BDP (refurb) 2009.

University of London, Malet Street WC1E 7HU
Historical tour: 10am, 12noon, 2pm & 4pm.
Architecture tour : 10.30am, 12noon, 1.30pm & 3pm
Behind the Scenes tour: 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm, 4pm

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

The finest Gothic Revival station hotel in the world, formerly the Midland Grand Hotel, now lovingly restored and recently reopened as St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Sir George Gilbert Scott 1873. Entry area: lobby, grand staircase, at least one room.

Euston Road NW1 2AR
Sat tours on the hour 9am-6pm

The Coach House

Victorian house retrofitted to save 70% carbon, features internal and external insulation, high performance double glazing, integral draught stripping, LED low energy lights. New for 2012: smart energy controls.

2a Belsize Park Gardens NW3 4LA
Sat/Sun tours at 10am, 11am, 12noon, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm


A new landmark office and meeting centre. To the Euston Road façade it appears a concrete clad, steel framed tower, internally to the rear and side a glazed atrium links to the restored Arts and Crafts Grade II listed former Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital. EGA Gallery on site. Entry: ground floor atrium, listed ex-hospital building, 9th floor conference suite.

130 Euston Road NW1 2AY
Sat tours at 10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm

City of London

4 Bayer House

Part of Golden Lane Estate which was the first public housing to be listed. A maisonette with many of the original detail and finishes.

Golden Lane Estate EC1Y 0RN
Sun 11am-5pm.

Barbican Centre

An exploration of the Barbican via the Highwalks, the history of the site and the history behind the original design and the ideas that inspired it. Gives an overview of the £14.1million refurbishment by AHMM making one of Britain’s most notoriously difficult buildings accessible

Silk Street EC2Y 8DS
Sat 12noon-3pm.

Fishmongers’ Hall

Fishmongers’ Hall is a rare example of a Greek Revival town building featuring an arcaded granite base and a riverside terrace. Designed by the architect Henry Roberts (1831-5), a student of Sir Robert Smirke, the Hall’s classical simplicity is contrasted by the magnificence of its interior rooms.

London Bridge EC4R 9EL
Sat tours at 10am, 12noon, 2pm, 4pm

Heron Tower

The tallest building within the City of London and its most outstanding recent landmark, on a prominent site. Giving highly flexible workspace, the building form organizes itself around a series of office “villages” with a triple-height atrium at the heart of each. A transparent and distinctive structure integrating innovative technology to promote environmental responsibility.

110 Bishopsgate EC2N 4AY
Sat tours at 10am, 11am

Mansion House [I’ve been here]

Residence of the City of London’s Lord Mayor, retaining its 18C character, with superb plasterwork and wood carving. (IanVisits note – is also open for paid tours every Tuesday lunchtime).

Walbrook EC4N 8BH
Sat 9am-5pm/Sun 9am-5pm.

Masonic Temple, Andaz Liverpool Street (former Great Eastern Hotel)

Grade II listed grand Victorian railway hotel refurbished with stylish contemporary interiors. Greek Masonic Temple with magnificent Grade I listed interior of marble and mahogany, built 1912 at immense cost. Charles Barry 1884/Conran & Partners and Manser Practice 2000. Entry: Temple only.

Bishopsgate EC2M 7QN
Sun 10am-4pm. Half-hourly tours

St Bride Foundation Institute

Built as a printers’ institute in the Anglo-Dutch style, in red brick with sandstone dressings, steeply pitched tiled roof and Dutch gables. Once home to a swimming pool, many of the original features can still be seen. Special display on sporting heritage. The pool, the presses, the debates, the parties – for over a century this unique venue has been home to a slice of Fleet Street life.

Bride Lane, Fleet Street EC4Y 8EQ
Sat 10am-1pm/Sun 1pm-5pm.

St Paul’s Cathedral – Triforium Tour

Wren’s Library with original fittings and Trophy Room with Wren’s first model for his new cathedral. Stunning view down the nave from above the Great West Doors. Sir Christopher Wren 1710. Entry: Triforium.

Access via South Churchyard Entrance, St Paul’s Churchyard EC4M 8AD
Sat 10.30am-4pm. Tours every 15 mins. Duration 45 mins.

Tower 42

The City of London’s tallest occupied building, consisting of three hexagonal chevrons, at 601ft was the first to break previous restrictions on tall buildings in London. During a comprehensive refurbishment in 1995, a new glass and steel entrance hall was built on Old Broad Street and the external steel cladding was replaced.

25 Old Broad Street EC2N 1HQ
Sat tours at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm

Watermen’s Hall (book by sending a letter in the post)

Only remaining Georgian Hall in the City of London, and perfect example of domestic architecture of the period.

18 St Mary-at-Hill EC3R 8EF
Sat tours at 9am, 10.30am, 12noon, 1.30pm


Bluebell House

A structurally innovative low energy family home, with many sustainable features, set in a wooded backland site. Clad in brick and timber, it features a large green roof planted with bluebells lifted from the site.

8a Waldemar Avenue W13 9PY
Sat 11am-4pm. Half-hourly tours

Zero Carbon Loft (karina@greenstructures.co.uk)

‘An eco-refurbishment project which crammed in just about every energy- and water-saving device known to man whilst highlighting the importance of retrofitting existing buildings.’ Alistair McGowan.

38a Cumberland Road, Hanwell W7 2EB
Sat 10am-5pm/Sun 10am-1pm


North London Hospice (jguy@northlondonhospice.co.uk)

Hospice offering specialist palliative care, including treatment rooms, day room and café. The L-shaped building is expressed as two brick-clad sliding volumes framing a rear courtyard. Sustainable features include ground source heat pump and solar collection.

Barrowell Green, Winchmore Hill N21 3AY
Sat 10am-12.30pm.

Priory Hospital North London (020 8920 5604)

Grade I listed neo-classical villa designed for Walker Gray. Grounds laid out by Repton. Elegant trompe l’oeil breakfast room.

Grovelands House, The Bourne N14 6RA
Sun 10am-12noon.


St Alfege Church Crypt (020 8853 0687)

Magnificent Baroque church, Grade I listed, gutted by fire in 1941 and restored by Sir Albert Richardson to original design. Many original features. Burial site of Thomas Tallis, organist/choirmaster (1505-85). Nicholas Hawksmoor 1714.

Greenwich Church Street SE10 9BJ
Sat & Sun Crypt tours at 2pm


39 Parkholme Road

Minimal and green remodelling of a Victorian terraced family house, incorporating exceptional thermal efficiency, solar heating and water recycling throughout the original structure and a new copper and glass box extension.

39 Parkholme Road E8 3AG
Sat 10am-5pm. Architect-led hourly tours

Lenthall Terrace

A sustainable refurb of a double fronted Victorian terrace with a 2-storey curved glazed brick extension and a subtle single storey side extension. Contemporary design complementary to existing period features. Sustainable features include provision for solar panels, rainwater harvesting, insulation including solid wall, green roof.

107 Lenthall Road E8 3JN
Sat/Sun 1pm-6pm. Hourly tours

Hammersmith and Fulham

20 Lena Gardens

A pioneering Passivhaus retrofit demonstrating that this incredibly low energy standard can be applied sympathetically to existing, period buildings. Green Tomato Energy 2011.

20 Lena Gardens W6 7PZ
Sun tours at 10am, 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm & 4pm with engineer.

BBC Television Centre (0370 901 1227)

World’s first purpose-built television studios, designed by Graham Dawbarn in 1960 – including famous statue of Helios and John Piper mural. Famous studios are grouped around the distinctive circular central building well-known from its regular on-air coverage.

Wood Lane W12 7RJ
Sun 10am-5.30pm.
No inside photography or filming.

BBC White City Media Village (0370 901 1227)

A vibrant complex regenerating the area, featuring art by Yuko Shiraishi. Works on broadcasting by previous Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and graphic designer John Morgan are inlaid into the street. Entry: media centre only.

Wood Lane W12 7TQ
Sun 10am-5pm. Half-hourly tours.

Charing Cross Hospital (020 8383 5226)

Riverside Wing (Ansell and Bailey 2006) with sculpture by David Mach, newly restored hospital chapel (Ralph Rubbs) with stained glass by John Piper and the West London Mental Health Centre (Frederick Gibberd Partnership) with sculpture and prints by Bill Woodrow. Other works by Peter Blake and Marc Quinn.

Fulham Palace Road W6 8RF
Sat tour at 2pm

Fulham Palace (020 7610 7165)

Former residence of the Bishop of London. Tudor courtyard with Georgian additions and Butterfield chapel (1867). Reopened after restoration in 2006 and returned to late Georgian colour scheme. Samuel Pepys Cockerell 1814.

Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA
Sat tours of offices 10am, 11am, 12noon,

Hammersmith Clinical Imaging Centre & new L Block Building (020 8383 5226)

Europe’s largest clinical imaging centre with new block of the neighbouring Sir John McMichael Centre. Sheppard Robson 2007+2011.

Burlington Danes, Du Cane Road W12 0HS
Sat tour at 10.30am


Hale Village

New high-density waterside development with green design features including bio mass, green roofs. Includes residential for sale and rent, student accommodation and range of
community facilities.

Meet: Outside main entrance Tottenham Hale Rail Station Station Road N17 9LR
Sat 10am-5pm. Hourly tour


Grade I listed Modernist apartment blocks retaining many original features such as concertina windows and metal doors.

Highpoint, North Hill N6 4BA
Sat 10am-5pm. Tours every 30 mins except between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.


The Queen’s Theatre (01708 443333)

Opened by Sir Peter Hall, a robust example of 1970s civic architecture and a vibrant and successful producing theatre.

Billet Lane, Hornchurch RM11 1QT
Backstage tours 10am, 11am, 12noon

The Round House

Grade II* listed late Georgian elliptical 3-storeyed stuccoed villa.

Broxhill Road, Havering-atte-Bower, Romford RM4 1QH
Sun tours at 12noon, 2pm, 3.30pm


Ickenham Manor

Four-bay timber-framed Tudor Manor House, connected to a Medieval hall. Later additions include 16C stair tower and two 18C brick wings.

Ickenham, Uxbridge UB10 8QT
Sat tours at 10am, 11am, 12noon

The Old Vinyl Factory

A fine collection of Art Deco buildings, formerly EMI’s UK HQ. A process of refurbishment of operational buildings is currently underway. Wallis Gilbert & Partners 1920s. Entry: shipping building, exterior of Art Deco buildings.

252 – 254 Blyth Road, Hayes UB3 1HA
Sat/Sun 10am-5pm. Hourly tours


9 Alwyn Avenue

Striking contemporary open plan extension re-orientating family living space towards the garden and wonderful views. Clever visual connections and mastery of light and space. Central deconstructed cubic space, with tall cornerless sliding folding doors, floats visually between the light. Entry: ground floor only.

9 Alwyn Avenue W4 4PA
Sat 10am-5pm. Tours every 15 mins

St Mary’s Convent (020 8568 7305)

Convent in 18C Grade II listed house with original features. Various additions including west wing (1913-15) and harmonious care home facilities and chapel by PRP Architects (1998-2001).

10 The Butts, Brentford TW8 8BQ
Sat tours at 10am, 12noon, 2.30pm


Almeida Theatre (020 7359 4404)

Built as reading rooms and a lecture hall in 1830s, it was renovated and opened as the Almeida Theatre in 1980. Recent major refurbishment. Burrell Foley Fischer (refurb) 2003. Includes front of house, stage, dressing rooms, green room, wardrobe, sub stage, auditorium, box office, bar, workshop.

Almeida Street N1 1TA
Sat tours at 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 12noon

Arsenal Emirates Stadium

A 60,000 capacity all-seat stadium with five levels of accommodation, and four seating tiers, contained within a compact site footprint respecting height restrictions.

Queensland Road N7 7AJ
Sat architect-led tours at 1pm, 2pm

Bloomberg LT

Originally a gentleman’s club by Giles Gilbert Scott, now HQ of Bloomberg and transformed internally. Expansion into the new Foster building increased their presence in this urban block. Key features include ground floor TV studios and glass-and-steel central staircase. Tour also takes in Bloomberg Space (general access Sat 11am-4pm), with high ceilings, clean lines.

39-45 Finsbury Square EC2A 1HD
Sat 11am-4pm. Half-hourly tours

Lantern House

Victorian house refurbishment distinguished by generous palette of materials and finishes. Precision is balance with playfulness and ingenuity. Sustainable features include sedum roof. Studio Octopi 2012. Entry: all areas.

18 Evershot Road N4 3BB
Sun 10am-4pm. Hourly architect-led tours.

Oak Room, New River Head 

Formerly the boardroom of the 17C water house the Oak Room is a fine late Renaissance room demonstrating the New River Company’s wealth. Fine 1697 carved oak interior. Entry: Oak Room & Oak Room approaches.

Rosebery Avenue EC1R 4TT
Sat/Sun 10am-4pm. Hourly tours

Park Theatre

A £2.4m conversion (in progress) of an office block into a state-of-the-art theatre with two auditoriums, café bar, education studio and 3 residential flats. David Hughes Architects 2012.

Clifton Terrace N4 3JP
Sat 10am-1pm. Hourly tours.

Penthouse flat, The Print House (020 7404 3336)

Penthouse apartment over 2 floors of converted and extended former print works with large open-plan living/dining/cooking space featuring helical stair within top-lit polished plaster drum. Entry: flat interior at 4th & 5th floors, terrace.

32 Aylesbury Street EC1R 0ET
Sat 10am-5pm. Regular tours

Kensington and Chelsea

100 Princedale Road

The UK’s first certified PassivHaus refurbishment, by Octavia Housing, of Victorian social home as part of Retrofit for the Future programme. Innovative ideas alongside tried and tested principles, achieve an 80% CO2 reduction and 94% less energy use.

100 Princedale Road W11 4NP
Sat 10am-5pm. Regular architect-led tours

Natural History Museum – Rare Books Room

The Rare Books Room has original sketches and architectural plans. A cathedral of nature. Alfred Waterhouse 1881.

Cromwell Road SW7 5BD
Tours at 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4pm of original Waterhouse public galleries, and behind-the-scenes tours to Rare Books Room

Royal Court Theatre (020 7565 5000)

Interior incorporates vermilion-painted wall by artist Antoni Malinowski. Old panelling has been removed to expose Victorian iron and brickwork in a mix of old and new. Entry: front of house, auditoriums and backstage.

Sloane Square SW1W 8AS
Sat tours at 10.30am & 12noon

Trellick Tower

Goldfinger’s 31-storey “Unite d’Habitation” built as social housing and now one of London’s most desirable addresses. Monumental in style, with its free-standing service tower and surreal boiler house, it retains beautiful detailing and a rich use of materials.

5 Golborne Road W10 5UT
Sun 10.30am-5pm. Tours every half hour

Victoria and Albert Museum

Introducing the rich and varied architecture of the V&A Museum, allowing access to some areas usually closed to the public on special tours.

Cromwell Road SW7 2RL
Sat tours at 11am, 2pm, 4pm


Beefeater Distillery [I’ve been here]

The distillery is home to the only globally recognised gin still made in the capital. Merging the old with the new, its architecture combines Victorian style seamlessly with the handiwork of Douglas and J D Wood who extended the building in the 1960s.

20 Montford Place SE11 5DE
Sat 11.30am-3pm/Sun 12.30pm-4pm.
A Gin and Tonic or soft drink for visitors at the end of the tour.

BFI IMAX (Jelena.Milosavljevic@bfi.org.uk)

Multi-storey, glass-enclosed cylinder, illuminated by coloured lighting at night, with most sophisticated motion-picture projection system in the world.

Waterloo Roundabout SE1 8XR
Sat/Sun 11am-4pm regular tours of projection booth,

Essex Mews

Making better homes by reconfiguring domestic spaces,

RIBA prize-winning developers Solidspace in collaboration with Matthew Wood Architects, recently launched these 3 detached homes, their latest development following Centaur Street and Zog House.

Essex Mews SE19 1BS
Sat 10am-5pm. Half-hourly tours

Lambeth Palace

Archbishop of Canterbury’s London home, dating from 13C; 19C work by Blore, and crypt vestibule opened 2000.

Lambeth Palace Road SE1 7JU
Sat 10am-4pm. Tours every 15 mins, duration 1 hour.


Forest Hill Pools (ferguson@lewisham.gov.uk)

Newly completed redevelopment of Victorian baths integrating the original façade into a contemporary leisure facility, including striking zinc waved roof and terracotta frontage, newly landscaped areas and green roof to the rear. Entry: all areas.

Dartmouth Road SE23 3HZ
Sat tours at 11am & 1pm

The Capitol (formerly Forest Hill Cinema) (020 8291 8920)

Formerly Capitol Cinema, Grade II listed rare survival of a complete 1920′s cinema in Art Deco style, later a bingo hall and now a pub. Regular architectural tours including behind-the-scenes to largely untouched first floor area.

11-21 London Road SE23 3TW
Sat/Sun 10am-5pm

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance ( tours@trinitylaban.ac.uk)

The largest purpose-built contemporary dance centre in the world. A gently curving facade with richly coloured plastic-cladding by architects of Tate Modern leads into spaces filled with vivid colour and dynamic form created through collaboration with artist Michael Craig-Martin. 2003 Stirling Prize winner.

Creekside SE8 3DZ
Sat tours at 3pm, 4pm and Sun tours at 1pm, 2pm


31b St Mary’s Road

One of a small number of Peter Foggo houses, single storey, flat roofed house inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, with skylights, two wings, mahogany panelling and floor-to-ceiling windows. A large open-plan living room looks out onto landscaped gardens. Peter Foggo 1965. Entry: all except 1 bedroom, utility room.

31b St Mary’s Road SW19 7BP
Sun 10am-4pm. Half-hourly tours except for 12.30pm-2pm.


Abbey Mills Pumping Station

Thames Water’s novel, compact pumping station housed in a high-quality landmark building. The Grade II old pumping station (Sir Joseph Bazalgette, 1860s) may also be viewed from outside. RIBA Award Winner.

Abbey Lane E15 2RW
Sat/Sun tours at 10am, 12noon, 2pm.

West Ham Bus Garage [I’ve Been here] (020 7055 9600)

The bus garage project was part of the effective and sustainable relocation of Stratford and Waterden Road bus garage operations, It is the most environmentally sustainable bus garage in the UK, considerably exceeding the Mayor’s target of 20% on-site renewables generation. Sustainable features include biomass boilers, 100kw wind turbine with 50% of the roof being green.

Stephenson Street E16 4SA
Sat 10am-5pm. Half-hourly tours


Richmond Theatre (08448 717 651)

A typical Matcham design, this beautiful 840 seat theatre was exhaustively researched and then restored in 1989 to a fabulous crimson, cream and gold. All original mouldings restored and renewed.

The Green, Richmond TW9 1QJ
Sat tours at 10.15am and 12noon

Strawberry Hill House (www.strawberryhillhouse.org.uk/openhouse)

Recently subject to a £9million refurbishment programme, this most influential early Gothic revival building has been restored to its dramatic original glory, recreating Walpole’s original intention for his own home.

268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4ST
Sat 12noon-5.30pm. Regular tours

The Glasshouse

Contemporary courtyard style house with a low profile of just 7m. The house is a linear arrangement of rooms accessed from the 40m long double-height gallery surrounded by established trees and shrubs which also creates a boundary wall enclosing the garden.

River Lane, Petersham TW10 7AG
Sun 10am-5pm. Half-hourly tours


Bermondsey Warehouse Loft (020 7407 3336)

Open-plan loft apartment within a converted warehousewith washing/dressing/utility spaces concealed within a ‘floating’ white acrylic solid surface-clad block. Entry: apartment and courtyard.

15 Bermondsey Exchange, 179-181 Bermondsey Street SE1 3UW
Sun 10am-5pm. Half-hourly tours,

London Bridge Station redevelopment 

Tour of Thameslink sites, the iconic new Borough High Street Bridge and early redevelopment works on the station (subject to project activities) and archeology that has recently been unearthed. Various/Grimshaw/Jestico and Whiles (current redevelopment) 2011.

London Bridge SE1 9SP
Sat/Sun tours at 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm

Tower Hamlets

Balfron Tower

Trellick Tower’s older, shorter, and lesser known sister. Grade II listed 27-storey block designed in the brutalist style for the London County Council.

Balfron Tower, St Leonard’s Road E14 0QR
Sat 1pm-5pm. Half-hourly tours

Canary Wharf Crossrail Station Construction Site [I’ve been here]

A unique opportunity to view the Canary Wharf Crossrail construction site. When complete the station, built in a reclaimed dock will be six-storey’s high, and will be large enough to accomodate One Canada Square laid on its side. Spoil has been removed by barge and taken to create a nature reserve in Thames Estuary.

Meet: Site entrance, exit level of the West India Quay DLR
Sat 10am-4pm. Engineer-led tours of the site, every half hour

Georgian House by Langland and Bell

A Georgian house dating from 1792, re-imagined by Turner Prize-nominated artists Langlands and Bell, who lived in the house for nearly 30 years.

40 Myrdle Street E1 1EU
Sun 10am-4pm. Half hourly tours


A digitally fabricated gem – a highly sculptural and bespoke installation to create an extra bedroom within its host house that magically swells from the walls to create a beautiful nook.

1 Narrow Street E14 8DP
Sun 2.30pm-6.30pm. Half hourly tours

Tower Bridge Exhibition

Two massive piers were sunk into the river bed to support the construction, with over 11,000 tonnes of steel providing the framework for the towers and the walkways, and clad in Cornish granite and Portland stone. Magnificent views from the high-level walkways, and original steam engines in situ.

Tower Bridge Road SE1 2UP
Sat/Sun 10am-4pm. Tours on the hour

Town Hall Hotel & Apartments

Beautiful redevelopment of former Grade II listed town hall incorporating sensitive contemporary design complementing the original Edwardian/Art Deco features. A modern extension is covered in a metal laser-cut ‘skin’, in a pattern inspired by the Art Deco metal ornamentation still evident in the remaining council chamber. RIBA Award Winner 2011.

Patriot Square E2 9NF
Sat/Sun 10am-4.30pm. Half hourly architect-led tours 10am-1.30pm, and 2pm-4pm staff-led tours


Clapham House

Sensual, sculptural transformation of Victorian family home, interweaving house and garden. Of particular note is an iconic, lavishly-carved and digitally-fabricated staircase. The house is inspired by the beauty of its central garden.

23 Mallinson Road SW11 1BW
Sat 1.30pm-5.30pm. Half-hourly tours

Falcon Wharf

Ecologically intelligent landmark hotel, an integral part of the Falcon Wharf development and surrounding Nine Elms corridor. Four distinctive linked blue-clad towers are constructed in steel, glass and timber.

34 Lombard Road SW11 3RF
Sun tours at 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm 4.30pm,

‘Nightingale Triangle is Wow Factor’

A Lowered rear of house achieving a level glassy kitchen/dining/living/garden terrace, with loft under ridge, all eco-friendly. Client said “it has lit up my life”. Entry: ground & 1st floors.

58 Temperley Road SW12 8QD
Sun 11am-1pm. Tours every 15 mins,


68 Dean Street

Fine example of early 18C London domestic architecture by local carpenter/builder, with separate cesspits for the Meards and servants, and hidden rooms. John Meard Jnr 1732.

8 Dean Street W1D 4QJ
Sat/Sun 10am-5pm. Tours on the hour (not 1pm).

1508 London (fmyatt@1508london.com)

Gallery space and studio contained within RIBA London Award Shortlist 2011 building by Squire and Partners. Howick Place was formerly a vast Post Office sorting office; 1508 London designed their space to reflect their luxury design expertise in what was the Queen’s personal sorting office.

7 Howick Place SW1P 1BB
Sat 10am-5pm/Sun 10am-1pm. Hourly tours

Dover House, Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland (johnson@scotlandoffice.

Elegant Whitehall facade and domed entrance commissioned by the Duke of York. Interesting original interiors.

66 Whitehall SW1A 2AU
Sat 10am-4pm.

Former Conservative Club [I’ve been here] (020 7024 0103)

Grand and monumental building with rich carvings and spectacular decorated saloon at its heart. Conserved and refurbished to replace 2 wings and provide new glazing to atrium at junction of new and old sites. Grade II* listed.

78 St James’s Street SW1A 1JB
Sat 10am-2pm. Timed entry every half hour

Gap House

New family home with a minimal carbon footprint on a very narrow site (8ft wide), once the side alley and garden of adjacent house. Each room has good natural light whilst fitting in between two listed buildings in conservation area. Cost effective design methods achieved an environmentally friendly house, utilising amongst many eco-friendly devices ground source heat pump heating and rainwater harvesting. RIBA Manser Medal Winner 2009.

28D Monmouth Road W2 4UT
Sun 10am-12noon. Half-hourly tours.

Home House (openhouse@homehouse.co.uk)

Built in 1776 by Wyatt with very fine interiors by Adam. Was the London base of the Countess of Home and is probably the greatest surviving Georgian town house.

19, 20 & 21 Portman Square W1H 6LW
Sun tours at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Park Lane Hotel [I’ve been here] (020 7290 7170)

London’s finest monument to Art Deco features original marble bathrooms, fireplaces and recently restored Grade I listed Ballroom.

Piccadilly W1J 7BX
Sat/Sun 10am-4.30pm.

Reform Club (generaloffice@reformclub.com)

Built as a Whig gentleman’s club and inspired by Italian Renaissance palaces. Lobby leads to an enclosed colonnaded courtyard with ‘complementary’ glazed roof and tessellated floor. Tunnelled staircase leads to upper floor. Regret no children under 12 admitted.

104 Pall Mall SW1Y 5EW
Sat 10am-5pm/Sun 10am-3pm.

Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music’s estate is made up of a mixture of historical Grade I and II listed buildings by John Nash and Ernest George alongside innovative architectural developments. The site has been extended over the past four decades; in the heart of the main building is a no-maintenance bronze roof which will last for hundreds of years and the most recent addition is the Void Practice Room.

Marylebone Road NW1 5HT
Sun tours at 10.30am & 12.30pm

St Martin-in-the-Fields (020 7766 1100)

One of Britain’s finest churches, built in the Italian Baroque tradition and which has undergone a recent £36m renewal programme. RIBA Award Winner 2009. Civic Trust Award Winner 2010.

Trafalgar Square WC2N 4JJ
Tours of the church and crypt and bellringing demonstrations 10am-2pm

St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington (020 8383 5226)

Tour of the hospital to include the original entrance foyer and chapel by Hopper & Wyatt (1843-51) with fine Victorian stained glass, the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Wing and Sporborg Link Bridge (1980-7) by Llewelyn-Davies Weeks which includes murals by Bridget Riley and the new Surgical Innovation Centre by Praxis Associates (2011) with works by Tracey Emin, Rachel Whitehead and Gary Hume.

Praed Street W2 1NY
Sun tour 10.30am of Lindo Wing and new Surgical Innovation Centre, tour 12.30pm of the hospital.

The British Academy

Grade I listed Nash-designed terraced houses described as one of London’s finest Georgian treasures. Interiors in No.10 by Bonomi later altered by Billery and Blow in 1905-07; No.11 interiors by Pennethorne, Nash’s pupil. The British Academy, the UK’s national body for the promotion of the humanities and social sciences moved to the building in 1998. 2010 refurbishment includes state of the art auditorium.

10-11 Carlton House Terrace SW1Y 5AH
Sat 10am-5pm. Hourly tours

Two Temple Place ( tours@twotempleplace.org)

Two Temple Place was finished in 1895 for the first Viscount Astor, William Waldorf Astor, to the elaborate architectural specifications of John Loughborough Pearson and sits on reclaimed land overlooking the River Thames. The house embodies much of the outstanding workmanship and architecture of the late Victorian period.

2 Temple Place WC2R 3BD
Sun 11am-4.30pm. Regular tours.

Western Pumping Station [I’ve been here]

This station provides pumping power to lift the sewage and a part of the rainfall contributed by the district, a height of eighteen feet in the Low Level Sewer, which extends from Pimlico to the Abbey Mills Pumping Station, near Barking.

124 Grosvenor Road SW1V 4BE
Sat/Sun tours at 10am, 12noon, 2pm.




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Thank you

  1. Janey says:

    Thanks Ian! It wouldn’t be LOH without your advanced notice of venues to look out for and book this year. It’s much appreciated!

  2. Mark says:

    Yes, thanks SO much for all the coverage & advance links you provide for this. I never miss it.

  3. Fran says:

    Thanks – really useful. I looked all through the Open House book for a list of places where you need to book in advance and there wasn’t one.

  4. Visitinghousesandgardens says:

    Thanks for the heads up. Am contemplating camping outside the Gherkin!

  5. Alma says:

    Many thanks Ian! Precious information.

    And if you want a free Open House guide you can pick one from the City of London Information Centre, next to St Paul’s cathedral, from mid next week.

  6. Paul says:

    Another excellent guide this year Ian! – Thank you again for your hard work and effort – much appreciated.

  7. Matt says:

    Just wanted to say how fantastically useful this was — not being in the UK, I had no way of getting the guide before pre-booking opens. Thanks!

    • David says:

      Like Matt, working mostly away from the UK currently makes the current setup impossible where they post the guide for delivery on Tuesday and booking opens Thursday. I wish they would let us order the PDF version again.

  8. Russell says:

    They seem to have scrapped their plan for today. I guess the load to their servers were too much. I hope they give enough notice before putting it online again. I wouldn’t not want to miss because I missed an hour’s notice by email. Thanks Ian for providing the email contacts!!

  9. Ronnie says:

    Yes I tried as well, They should release the list at 4am in the morning. That way the ones who really want tickets will get them, and others who would not mind getting a ticket can try in the day. Will take a bit of the load off.

    • IanVisits says:

      If they are going to fiddle with the system to reward keen people – then the best option would be to give people who buy the guide the option to book venues a couple of hours before the site goes live to everyone.

      That rewards those of us willing to financially support the charity.

  10. RobLondon says:

    Totally agree Ian!

    If you buy the guide, you have preferential access or perhaps if you buy the guide then you are the only ones who could enter a potential ballot. Either way, the revenue from the extra sales would benefit Open City.

    The great thing is that a heck of a lot of people are interested in London!

  11. RobLondon says:

    Just also noticed on the OHL Facebook page, that OH had 50% no shows on pre-books last year! Ridiculous! What was the point of snapping up tix on the website and not bothering to attend. It seems to suggest then that none of these no-shows purchased the guide and simply decided it ‘didn’t matter’ that they didn’t show up.

    I have to say on my tour of 55 Broadway last year, the group size was smaller than it should have been.

    • IanVisits says:

      As a former event organiser myself, you will always have a percentage of no shows to events, even when people pay for tickets.

      Ideally you manage that – I used to work on the principle for events with “definite” and “possibles”, that half of each would turn up.

      It’s disappointing, but manageable.

  12. RobLondon says:

    Indeed (obviously circumstances dictate) it just seems the figure is rather on the high side unfortunately of OHL!

    BTW, the booking process for those not via OHL website are operative it seems.

  13. Russell says:

    That is why you always slightly over book so that even with significant no shows, you have a good number.

  14. Ronnie says:

    Open house say:

    “Thursday 14.00 hrs: we hope to have an update on coping with traffic in the next hour or two, and will give plenty of notice on here and on our enewsletter and on facebook and then do a fresh ‘launch’, either later today or tomorrow”

  15. RobLondon says:

    Postponed til NOON Mon 20th Aug

  16. Bernard says:

    Thanks Ian for publishing the list as well as the phone numbers and the E-mail addresses when the site crashed. I am not sure I would have been able to go to the Reform Club without it.

  17. RobLondon says:

    Crashed again at NOON today. Awaiting further updates.

  18. KJ says:

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been able to book several tours and am waiting to hear back from others. If I can no longer attend I will certainly let the right people know. Its very selfish for people to book onto a tour and then not show up, unless something occurred that is beyond their control, because it means others miss out.

  19. RobLondon says:

    Just another update. The bookings website was overloaded again on Tuesday evening. Latest is that a new solution is being found. The real popular ones that were down for Pre Books; T42, The River Tours and Heron are all on a ballot!

  20. RobLondon says:

    looks like all pre-books are now on a ballot? OHL organisers have advised that there has been a significant increase in their Open House program this year – Olympics feel good factor or better marketing?

    • Gemma says:

      Thanks for all the info Ian, invaluable as ever. We’re keen open house supporters and have been for years. Keenly watching the ‘for sale’ followed by ‘website crash’ debacle. It’s disappointing that so many venues are on ballot. We applied for lots but were allocated just one ticket and it seems that they haven’t entered the pairs of tickets that people applied for in the ballot together but individually so lots of couples/friends will be left with one person going and one not. I think this is a recipe for even more no shows! The Olympics were criticised for their ticketing policy but even they managed to keep families together!

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