London Open House
20–21 September 2014
Open House weekend is nearly upon us again so it’s time to top up your Oyster card and get snooping around London’s finest architecture. As per last year, the Open House website is as intuitive as a brick, so I’ve done the selfless task of filtering through it. Here is my edit of the queues you may want to join:
31b St Mary’s Road
One of a small number of Peter Foggo, single storey, flat roofed houses inspired by the US Case Study Houses scheme and 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 a landscaped garden.
Event/Entry Details: Closed 12-2pm. Half-hourly tours, pre-book ONLY on email@example.com
8 Stoneleigh Terrace
(Highgate New Town, Stage 1)
Built during the golden era of Camden public housing by Peter Tabori.
NB. Closed 1–2pm. Tours on the hour.
Last tour 4pm
Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate
13(b) Rowley Way, Abbey Road,
The last large social housing complex in London – a low-rise, high-density enclave. Terraced housing reinterpreted. Listed Grade II* in 1993. Flat virtually as originally designed.
First come basis, queuing if necessary. Regular tours.
Last entry 4.30pm
Tube: Swiss Cottage
Architect: Neave Brown
Year Built: 1968–79
St Leonard’s Road E14 0QT
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 by Erno Goldfinger.
Half-hourly tours, first come basis.
Last tour 4.30pm
DLR: All Saints, Langdon Park
Rotunda, Tulse Hill SW2 2QN
Low-rise leafy estate located next to beautiful Brockwell Park noted for its innovative design, incorporating pioneering architectural elements and echoing the natural topography.
Regular tours, first come basis. Exhibition in Rotunda.
Entry: Rotunda, private homes.
Rail: Herne Hill, Brixton
Architect: Ted Hollamby
Year Built: 1967–78
Embassy of the Czech Republic
26 Kensington Palace Gardens, W8 4QY
Unlike so many examples of precast concrete buildings which are weathering badly, this is a refined example of its kind, skilfully detailed technically and aesthetically. RIBA Award Winner 1971.
Saturday and Sunday: 10am–5pm
First come basis, queuing if necessary. Exhibition on War Photographers 1914–1918
Last entry 4.45pm
Tube: Notting Hill Gate;
Architect: Jan Bocan, Jan Sramek and Karel Stepansky
Year Built 1970
Fullwell Cross Library
140 High Street, Barkingside, Ilford, IG6 2EA
The library was built together with the swimming baths on an open site in Barkingside High Street. The circular library design copies the nearby roundabout. The complex is set back from the pavement and was intended to form a new local civic centre with a public space. Refurbished in 1990 and 2011.
Talk 2pm ‘Every Town Needs A Crown: Frederick Gibberd and Fulwell Cross’.
Last entry 3.30pm
Tube: Barkingside, Fairlop
Architect: Frederick Gibberd/Coombes & Partners/H C Connell
Year Built: 1958–68
Golden Lane Estate
4 Bayer House
Part of Golden Lane Estate which was the first public housing to be listed. A maisonette with many of the original detailing and finishes.
Half-hourly tours, first come basis. Closed between 1pm and 2pm.
Last tour 4.30pm
Architect: Chamberlin, Powell & Bon
Year Built: 1957
Greenside Primary School
Westville Road, W12 9PT
One of only 2 schools designed using Goldfinger’s school building system — precast reinforced concrete frame with brick infill. Fine, top-lit mural by Gordon Cullen. Grade II* listed.
Saturday and Sunday 1–5pm
Half-hourly tours, first come basis. Children’s worksheet/trail.
Last entry 4.30pm
Tube: Shepherd’s Bush Market, Goldhawk Road, Ravenscourt Park;
Architect: Goldfinger, Erno
Year Built: 1952
Aldermanbury EC2V 7HH
Purpose built over 5 floors to house printed books and manuscripts. Features include old pneumatic tubes system and 56 listed translucent pyramid roof lights.
Half-hourly tours 10am-3.30pm lasting 45mins, first come basis.
Tube: Bank, St Paul’s, Mansion House;
Architect: Sir Giles Scott, Son Partners
Year Built: 1974
Weymouth Terrace, E2 8LS
Grade II listed mixed comprehensive secondary school, retaining many original features. Distinctive for the large amount of timber used in the construction and contains some of Goldfinger’s boldest and most handsome public interiors, including bush hammered concrete and coffered ceilings in the entrance and assembly hall block. Major refurbishment recently completed as part of BSF programme.
Hourly tours from 1.30pm, first come basis. Tours led by parents who are architects. Presentation running in the hall and visuals of the school from past and present.
Last Entry Time
Last tour 3.30pm. Last entry 4pm.
Architect: Erno Goldfinger & Hubert Bennett/Avanti Architects
Year Built: 1963-65/2011
North Hill, N6 4BA
Grade I listed Modernist apartment blocks retaining many original features.
Regular tours, pre-book ONLY at
http://ohlhighpoint.eventbrite.co.uk from 1 Sep.
Entry: (by accompanied tour only) common parts, including restored foyers and interior of a flat. NB. No photographs within the buildings or gardens, please.
Architect: Lubetkin & Tecton
Langham House Close, Flats
Ham Common, TW10 7JE
A landmark in ‘Brutalism’. Exposed shuttered concrete and brick construction with iconic oversized concrete ‘gargoyles’ and geometric fenestration. Interior features exposed brick chimney/mantle/squint and architect-designed cupboards.
First come basis, queuing if necessary.
Last entry 5pm.
Entry: entrance hall to flats 25-30, interior of flat 7.
Rail: Richmond, Kingston;
then 65 bus to Ham Common
Architect: Stirling and Gowan
Year Built: 1958
48, 74 & 79 Perronet House,
Princess Street (buzz flat 74 to enter)
Elephant and Castle SE1 6JS
Purpose-built council block with scissor construction flats with spectacular views of Elephant & Castle roundabout. Commended in 1971 Good Design in Housing Awards. Detailed historical notes and images shown. One flat significantly remodelled in 2012.
First come basis
Last entry 4.45pm
Tube/Rail: Elephant & Castle
Architect: Sir Roger Walters
Year Built: 1970
Pimlico District Heating Undertaking (PDHU)
The Pumphouse, Churchill Gardens Road
Churchill Garden Estate used energy from waste heat from Battersea Power Station when it was functional. The Pumphouse still provides low carbon heating to Pimlico from combined heat and power engines and has the UK’s largest thermal store.
Saturday and Sunday: 10am–5pm
Regular tours, first come basis.
Last entry 4.30pm
Architect: Powell and Moya
Year Built: 1950
Streatham Hill, SW2 4SZ
Grade II* listed Modern Movement building, with balcony walkways and period internal features.
As part of London Open House weekend Pullman Court in Streatham will be taking a fresh look at Modernism. The show includes access to flats,a photographic exhibition of architecture from the mid-20th century and contemporary art. The show will feature images of modernist architecture in Caracas from the 1940s to the 1960s, and site-specific works by London-based artist Jaime Gili and Lothar Goetz, plus a new moving image work by Lisa Castagner – and Pullman Court itself.
Rail: Streatham Hill
Architect: Frederick Gibberd
Year Built: 1936
Quaker Meeting House,
Wanstead, Bush Road
Modernist building based on four hexagons within an Epping Forest setting. Contains a sunny meeting room for Quaker worship facing onto a wooded burial ground of simple headstones, including that of Elizabeth Fry.
Last entry 5.15pm
Entry: foyer, meeting room, social room, kitchen, grounds, wildflower meadow
Architect: Norman Frith
Year Built: 1968
Royal Festival Hall
Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
The major refurbishment of Royal Festival Hall has enhanced the acoustics and comfort to world class standards, increased audience facilities and accessibility, and created an entirely new education and learning centre. RIBA Award Winner 2008.
Saturday and Sunday 10am–11pm
Behind the scenes tours at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, first come basis, duration 1 hour. NB. Due to nature of areas covered, no children under 16 and unsuitable for those with vertigo or special access requirements. No high heels or big bags.
Tube/Rail: Charing Cross, Waterloo
Architect: LCC Architects Department/Allies and Morrison (refurb)
Year Built: 1951/2007
The Pioneer Health Centre
St Mary’s Road, SE15 2EE
Grade II* listed Modernist building, famously described by Walter Gropius as “an oasis of glass in a desert of brick”. Originally built to house ‘The Peckham Experiment’ an innovative health centre in the 30s. It was converted to private dwellings in 2000, retaining the original indoor pool.
Hourly tours, first come basis.
Photographic display of building’s former use.
Last tour 1pm
How to get there
Tube/Rail: New Cross Gate;
Rail: Queens Road, Peckham;
Architect: Sir E Owen Williams
Year Built: 1935
8 & 10 Walters Way
Honor Oak Park, SE23 3LH
A close of 13 self-built houses. Each house is unique, many extended and built using a method developed by Walter Segal, who led the project in the 1980s. Both houses have benefited from extensions and renovations. Sustainable features include solar electric, water and space heating.
Regular tours, first come basis. Videos of Segal buildings and self-build showing.
Last entry 5.45pm
Rail/Overground: Honor Oak Park
Architect: Walter Segal
Year Built: 1987
World’s End Estate walk
Meet: Sun 2.30pm, 4.30pm at 16 Blantyre Street
Designed by Eric Lyons and constructed in the mid-70s, the World’s End Estate is a deliberate architectural attempt to not only overcome many of the issues of previous high-rise developments, but also to eliminate monotonous and bland facades through the use of alternative designs and materials.
Duration 2 hours.
Tube: Sloane Square, Earls Court
Architect: Eric Lyons (Principal)
Year Built: 1969–76
Full listings on the Open House website.