Do you ever watch Come Dine with Me just for the bits where they snoop around each other’s bedrooms? is your dream job being the cameraman on Through the Keyhole? Then this coming weekend is for you, your nosy parker tendencies will be thoroughly indulged as a plethora of fabulous buildings will be opening their doors so you can get in and out without risking arrest!
All four boroughs along the East London Line are sponsoring Open House London, the capital’s greatest architectural showcase.
On 18 and 19 September, some of the most intriguing, beautiful or downright bizarre buildings along the line will be opening their doors and revealing their treasures – and it’s all free!
Here are some of our favourites in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Lewisham and Croydon.
To search in your area go to: http://www.londonopenhouse.org/public/london/find
- Four Corners building Photo: Open House London
121 Roman Road, Bethnal Green E2 0QN
Regular tours every half hour and presentations on the history of the project.
Powis Road, off Bruce Road E3 3HJ
Hourly tours from 11.30am. Last entry 4.30pm
- 99 Free Trade Wharf has a bright modern design, with superb views over the Thames Photo: Open House London
340 The Highway E1W 3ET
Sat 10am-5pm/Sun 10am-5pm.
First come basis, queuing outside if necessary.
Limehouse Basin, Mill Place E14 7HZ
A Grade II listed building, the Tower was one of the first hydraulic towers in the UK.
Sat 1pm-5pm/Sun 1pm-5pm.
Regular tours by Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society.
The former Town Hall is now a space for a diverse group of social enterprises, artists, and voluntary organisations Photo: Open House London
Commercial Road E14 7HA
Sat 11am-5pm/Sun 11am-5pm.
Tours Sat/Sun 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm, 4.30pm. Exhibition showing repairs carried out and future refurbishment plans. Sat/Sun 2pm-4pm architecture-related art/drawing activities and workshops. Last entry 4.30pm.
The Graeae building won a British Council for Offices award this year for its innovative design Photo: BCO
138 Kingsland Road, E2
Amnesty International UK HQ
17-25 New Inn Yard EC2A 3EA
First come basis. Hourly tours of workspaces, max 15 on tours. Last entry 3.30pm.
- Christ Church Spitalfields Grade I listed baroque building by Nicholas Hawksmoor
Commercial Street/Fournier Street E1 6LY
Sat 10am-3pm/Sun 1pm-4pm.
Regular tours, first come basis.
41 Commercial Road (Weyhill Road entrance) E1 1LA
Hourly tours, pre-book ONLY through Open House website. Duration 30 mins. Last tour 4pm.
- Mulberry School for Girls is a PFI development; it has a climbing wall
Richard Street, Commercial Road E1 2JP
Tours every half hour, first come basis. Last entry 4.30pm.
From the old and venerable to the modern and avant-garde… here is just a selection of what Lewisham has on offer this weekend.
Manor House Gardens (Old Road) SE3
Grade II listed ice well and underground chambers. Sat/Sun 2-5pm. Last entry 4.50.
140 Lewisham Way, SE14.
This Grade II listed building, in a classic Renaissance style with a vaulted glass roof is offering a small historical display and video screening, with tours every 15-20 minutes.
Sunday 1-5pm, last tour 4.45pm.
145 Manwood Road, SE4.
New contemporary house and three flats. Its name relates to nearby Crofton Park’s famous Rivoli ballroom. White painted brick, rakishly pitched blue-grey zinc roof, Aalto-esque brickwork.
Saturday 1pm-5pm Sunday 10am-5pm, first come basis.
“Defying conventional definition, Croydon is like nowhere else” (The Independent)
12-16 Addiscombe Road, Croydon CR0
23-storey local landmark tower, designed by Richard Seifert and sometimes known as the Threepenny Bit Building.Regular tours and a chance to view and comment on Croydon’s emerging planning framework.
Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm, first come basis.
Old Palace Road, Croydon CR0
Grade I listed manor house with original great hall roof from the 1440s, the former summer residence of Archbishops of Canterbury from the 13th to the 18th century, and visited by Elizabeth I.
Tours Saturday 2.30pm and 3.30pm, pre-book only here.
Postmill Close, Upper Shirley Road, Croydon CR0
Built in the 1850s to replace a post mill destroyed by fire and recently renovated, this is the only surviving windmill in Croydon.
Tours Sunday 12pm-5pm, on first come basis. Tours last one hour. Last tour 4pm.
Maggie’s cancer charity are holding their annual Night Hike on Friday 17 September, and both the 10 and 20 mile walks available to choose from take in some of the most stunning buildings in London. The following day, there will also be a special bach recital by violist Ruth Palmer, which aims to reveal the dramatic acoustics of the Art Deco entrance hall to Brook House on Fleet Street.