6 Buildings That'll Blow You Away At Open House 2018

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6 Buildings That'll Blow You Away At Open House 2018
U.S. Embassy. Photo: Massimo Usai

There's a very special weekend for all London aficionados towards the end of every September. Open House. A rare chance for the city's inhabitants to get inside and snoop around the city's best buildings for free. Londoners get an inside look at the role architecture, planning and infrastructure play in the city. Here are some of the highlights from this year's Open House, taking place 22-23 September.

U.S. Embassy, Nine Elms

Take a look around the place that Donald Trump claimed is in an 'off location'. Architect James Timberlake gives a talk on the mesmerising design of the new U.S. Embassy, followed by your chance to wander. Ticket registration goes live on 1 September — be quick on this, we predict it to be as hotly contested as the scramble for Harry Potter tickets in the West End. Expect heavy security and queues on the day. Saturday 22 September, 9.45am-noon

Photo: Paul Riddle

Schizophrenic Gesamtkunstwerk, Aldersbrook

Well isn't that a mouthful. Schizophrenic Gesamtkunstwerk, in east London, continues a fine Open House tradition. Giving Londoners the chance to snoop around their architecturally-edgy neighbour's house. This home has a split personality; half original Edwardian, half incredibly contemporary. The architect leads tours around the home every 30 minutes, max eight people per tour, not ticketed. Saturday 22 September, 10am-4.30pm

Photo: Jan Kattein Architects

Blue House Yard, Wood Green

The eye-catching Blue House Yard is from the women designing the New London collection, showcasing the female architects at the forefront of London's architecture. This vibrant yard from Jan Kattein Architects, is a collection of creative workspaces, with a double-decker bus café thrown in too. Only 25 visitors at any one time, not ticketed, 22-23 September, 10am-5pm

The Old Mortuary. Photo: Mike Gibbs

Kingston Walking Tour

Sprinkled in among Open House's goodies are a few walking tours. Like this one around Kingston Upon Thames, a part of London that's frequently forgotten about, but is actually steeped in kingly history and half-timbered gems. Travel from Saxon times, to present day on this hour and a half walk — and find out who the 'Golden Lady' is. Booking required, max 20 per tour, 22-23 September, 11am

Kaymet Factory. Photo: Mark Brearley

Kaymet Factory, Southwark

Since 1947, Kaymet in south London has been making trays and trolleys. There's a fight for the future of industry in Southwark and this business is a part of it, though the owners hope that the recent granting of a Royal Warrant might scare off planners and developers. The building is also home to London Stone Carving whose magical workshop is also on show. Proprietor led tours every 20 minutes, max 12 per tour, not ticketed, 22-23 September, 11am-6pm

Photo: Mark Petersen

Bridge Theatre, Tower Bridge

London's first new commercial theatre of scale to be built in 80 years opened in 2017, in an incredible location, right next to Tower Bridge. Get there early for the 11am tour of the 900 seat auditorium, restricted to 20 people per tour, or turn up later and bathe in the glow from the canopy of pendant lamps hanging from the foyer ceiling. Not ticketed, 22-23 September, 10am-5pm

There's so much more on offer at Open House, take a look at the full programme here. Or if you find the website a little overwhelming, you can order a print guide here.

Last Updated 23 August 2018