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Open House London 2018

Ended Sep 23, 2018 at 11:59 AM

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Open House London is the world’s largest architecture festival, giving free public access to over 800 buildings, walks, talks and tours over one weekend in September each year.

Over the weekend of 22-23 September, visitors can gain access to some of London's best buildings; many of which are not usually open to the public.

Get on board and let us take you to your Open House London. Below are some top picks of Open Houses near our routes. For full information, find out more here.


Westminster Pier:

10 Downing Street

10 Downing Street has been the residence of British Prime Ministers since 1735. Behind its famous black door the most important decisions affecting Britain for the last 277 years have been taken. Find out more about this Open House here.

Engineering Walking Tour

A walk through the engineering past, present and future of London, travelling from Westminster along the river to London Bridge with expert guides explaining how the city has been shaped by engineers like Brunel & Bazalgette. Find out more about this Open House here.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

This route in this Victorian government office building includes the magnificent and richly decorated Durbar Court, India Office Council Chamber, Locarno Suite and Foreign Office Grand Staircase. Find out more about this Open House here.

HM Treasury

A quadrangular, English Baroque revival building covering the entire complex, Great George Street constructed 1899-17 in two phases. This building’s refurbishment was completed in 2002 is now occupied by HM Treasury. Find out more about this Open House here.

New Scotland Yard

The Met Police’s new home on the Embankment, created from the 1930s Curtis Green building with a new curved glass pavilion entrance and extensions to the rooftop and rear. Find out more about this Open House here.

Portcullis House

Portcullis House contrasts its imposing facade with a generous light-filled courtyard covered by a glass roof at second level and surrounded by a 2-storey cloister. It has an extensive collection of Parliamentary portraiture from Gilray to Scarfe. Find out more about this Open House here.

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Historic gabled Victorian building was purpose-built for the RICS in Franco-Flemish style, with a later addition of a Georgian Townhouse to the building. It’s the only surviving Victorian building in the street. Find out more about this Open House here.

Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies

This building was built as a discreet addition to Banqueting House in 1895; at the time the extension housed their offices, lecture hall and galleried library - a sister library to the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Find out more here.

The Banqueting House

This stunning regal building is the only surviving building from Whitehall Palace, one of the first examples of the principles of Palladianism being applied to an English building. It’s also the site of a set of magnificent ceiling paintings by Rubens. Find out more about this Open House here.

Westminster Hall

One of the finest and largest Medieval halls in Europe with a magnificent hammerbeam ceiling. Work began in 1097 and was completed in 1099 under William Rufus. Find out more about this Open House here.


London Eye (Waterloo) Pier:

National Theatre

A key work in British Modernism with three theatres, designed with workshops and theatre-making all on-site. Find out more about this Open House here.

Rambert

Rambert's new home provides the company with state of the art facilities for the creation of new choreography and music for dance. It also enables the company to unlock the riches of the Rambert archive. Find out more about this Open House here.


Embankment Pier:

Admiralty House

This building is a former Admiralty Building, behind Robert Adam's Admiralty Screen on Whitehall. It is owned by the Government Property Agency and has works of art and antiques on display from various national collections. Find out more about this Open House here.

Benjamin Franklin House

This Georgian house is the only surviving home of Benjamin Franklin, retaining many original features including central staircase, lathing, 18th century panelling, stoves, windows, fittings and beams. Find out more about this Open House here.

IET London: Savoy Place

Originally built between 1886 and 1889 as a joint Examination Hall for the Royal College of Physicians & Royal College of Surgeons, this building was renovated in 1909 for the Institution creating a spectacular 20th century interior. Find out more about this Open House here.

National Liberal Club

An impressive Victorian neo-Classical building overlooking the Embankment of the river Thames, it is the second-largest clubhouse ever built, the first London building to incorporate a lift and to be entirely lit by electric lighting. Find out more about this Open House here.

The College of Optometrists

Headquarters for professional and examining body for UK optometrists occupying two terraced houses, No. 41 (Flitcroft c1730 with later additions) and No. 42 (rebuilt by Tarmac plc, c1989) including Council chamber, print room, library and museum. Find out more about this Open House here.


Blackfriars Pier:

100 Victoria Embankment – Unilever House

This is a landmark curved building which has been transformed to give it a new lease of life. Find out more about this Open House here.

Apothecaries’ Hall

This is a courtyard building with some of the best-preserved 17th century livery hall interiors. Built on the site of the Blackfriars Priory and replacing the original hall burned down in 1666. Courtyard refurbished in 2017. Find out more about this Open House here.

Middle Temple Hall

One of London's finest surviving Elizabethan Hall (1562), 101ft long and 41ft wide, highly atmospheric, with double hammerbeam roof, screen and notable paintings, with 17th and 20th century additions. Find out more about this Open House here.

Somerset House

This restored building has five wings, four of which surround large courtyard. Construction began in 1775, and the new wing, which overlooks Waterloo Bridge, dates back from 1850 by Sir James Pennethorne. Find out more about this Open House here.

The Salvation Army International Headquarters

This building is a transparent and welcoming working environment with full-height glazing and feature steel columns. The brief was to create a space 'modern in design, frugal in operation and evangelical in purpose'. Find out more about this Open House here.

Two Temple Place

Finished in 1895 for William Waldorf Astor, to the elaborate architectural specifications of John Loughborough Pearson, this building overlooks the River Thames and embodies the outstanding workmanship of the late Victorian period. Find out more about this Open House here.


Bankside Pier:

33 Gallery Lofts

This building was a proposed complete internal alterations of former 1 bed bachelor studio. It is now a formation of new 2 bed apartment utilising floor to ceiling glazing and maximising views across Tate Modern and the Thames to St Paul's. Find out more about this Open House here.

Sea Containers House

Sea Containers House was originally built as a hotel but became an office building in the mid-1980s. In 2014 the extensive external and internal refurbishment was completed to include new offices, a hotel, restaurant and rooftop bar. Find out more about this Open House here.


London Bridge City Pier:

City Hall

The home of the Mayor of London and London Assembly, this building is an environmentally-aware space with innovative spiral ramp and fine views across London. Find out more about this Open House here.

The View from The Shard

The newest London landmark, its highest accessible point of the building is at Level 72, with an open-air viewing gallery 800ft/244m above ground, exposed to the elements, where guests are surrounded by the shards of glass forming the pinnacle of the building. Find out more about this Open House here.

Unicorn Theatre

This is the first professional, purpose-built theatre for young audiences in UK. Described as an asymmetric pavilion, the building has transparent elevations revealing its core, and was designed in consultation with young people. Find out more about this Open House here.


Tower Pier:

Billingsgate Roman House and Baths

This building contains some of London's best Roman remains and the only accessible Roman house, comprising late 2nd century house with a 3rd century bath house built within its courtyard. It was first discovered in 1848. Find out more about this Open House here.

Custom House

This iconic elegant late-Georgian building was partly rebuilt by Smirke after subsidence. The 58m neo-classical Long Room was the central reporting point for all London Customs business in the 19th century. Find out more about this Open House here.

St Mary Hill

Built after the Great Fire of London (1666), St Mary at Hill survived two further major fires and stood unscathed through the Blitz. Although marked by its experiences, the spectacular interior retains the beauty and grace of Wren’s vision. Find out more about this Open House here.

Watermen’s Hall

The only remaining Georgian hall in the City of London and a perfect example of domestic architecture of the period. Find out more about this Open House here.


Greenwich Pier:

Old Royal Naval College

  • Chapel, Visitor Centre, Jacobean Undercroft, Skittle Alley, King Charles Court and Admiral's House: Visit Sir Christopher Wren's riverside masterpiece in Greenwich. Explore the Chapel, Visitor Centre, King Charles Court, Victorian Skittle Alley and the Jacobean Undercroft. Find out more about this Open House here.
  • King William Court: This Wren-designed building was completed under the direction of Hawksmoor and Vanbrugh from 1698-1712. It has the original wood panelling, refurbished by Dannatt Johnson in 2001 for University of Greenwich. Find out more about this Open House here.
  • Queen Anne Court: This Wren and Hawksmoor building was completed 1749 when Thomas Ripley built the pavilions facing the river. Highlights include the council boardroom, grand staircase and restored Portland stonework. It was refurbished in 2000 for University of Greenwich. Find out more about this Open House here.
  • Queen Mary Court: This was the last major building on the site, completed in 1751. The original layout, timber panelling, barrel vaulting and Portland stone are still present. The building was refurbished in 2000 by Dannatt Johnson for University of Greenwich. Find out more about this Open House here.

Royal Museums Greenwich

This former naval school was converted to museum in 1937 and remodelled in recent years. Sammy Ofer Wing with Special Exhibition Gallery was added 2011. National Maritime Museum includes Inigo Jones' Queen's House, the first classical building in England, and designed 1616. Find out more about this Open House here.

The Altazimuth Pavilion

Normally closed to the public, the exterior of this charming 19th century dome features terracotta mouldings with the interior housing a new suite of modern telescopes. Find out more about this Open House here.

St Alfege Church

This magnificent English Baroque church was gutted by fire in 1941 and restored by Sir Albert Richardson to original design. It’s also the burial site of Thomas Tallis, organist/choirmaster (1505-85). Find out more about this Open House here.

The Waterman

The Waterman marks the first phase of the realisation of Pilbrow & Partners’ masterplan. A 30-storey building combined with a 6-storey building delivers 269 new homes and a public square. Find out more about this Open House here.


North Greenwich Pier:

Emirates Air Line Tour

Tour exploring the civil engineering achievements of the construction of the cable car. Led by the Emirates Air Line engineers and front-of-house team. Find out more about this Open House here.

Ravensbourne

This stunning location on the Greenwich Peninsula is home to an inspirational learning environment. It features a series of interlinked floors around an impressive central atrium. Find out more about this Open House here.


Woolwich (Royal Arsenal) Pier:

Woolwich Arsenal Clock Tower

When the historic clocktower suffered near total destruction, Ramboll's conservation engineers employed rigorous analysis, salvage testing and traditionally detailed replacements allowing over 85% of the original materials to be reinstated. Find out more about this Open House here.

This offer has ended.