It's the moooost wonderful time of the yeeearrr...
London's Open House programme has arrived, sending lovers of the capital into a frenzy, as they plot out how many amazing places/experience they can pack in this September.
In case you're not au fait with Open House, it's the yearly event in which buildings and spaces across Greater London — from Uxbridge to Havering, and from Enfield to Croydon — fling open their doors to the public. There are also walks, tours and workshops It's basically Glastonbury for London lovers. Except it's free.
While it used to be for one weekend only, these days Open House has been extended, and this year, events take place from 8-21 September.
We're happy to report that a revamped website makes it super easy to sift through Open House happenings by borough, date, activity type — even the period of buildings. Some events you'll need to book (though booking hasn't opened for most events yet). Others, you can just drop in on.
So what's got our architectural antennae twitching this year? Well ALL of it, to be honest. But at first glance of the programme, here are some right tasty morsels:
- Beckenham's "Chinese" Garage was once an elaborate petrol station, and is now home to one of the world's most OTT Tescos (8-21 Sept)
- Go inside Temple Bar — the old gateway to the City (10, 11, 17, 18 Sept)
- Discover the art deco wonders of Surbiton (11, 18 sept)
- Call in at the brand new home of the Africa Centre (15, 17 Sept)
- Cram into an original Anderson shelter in Vauxhall (16, 17 Sept)
- Peek into the mysterious UCL PEARL building, where real-life scenarios are tested out (16, 17 Sept)
- Discover the cruising grounds of 18th century London on the Queer London, 2000 years of LGBTQ+ History in the City walk (17 Sept)
- Visit the premises of Kingston's oldest firm of funeral directors (17, 18 Sept)
- Be awed by Neasden's 3D marble jigsaw puzzle of a Hindu temple (17, 18 Sept)
- Glimpse the gorgeous wooden interiors of Oxford House in Bethnal Green (20 Sept)
I mean, the list goes on and on and on (621 events in all!). Check out the Open House Festival programme now.