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Open House weekend – 18 & 19 September

September 11, 2010
Open House London is coming of age this year as it celebrates its 18th Birthday.  The annual event sees buildings, places and neighbourhoods across the capital opening their doors for one weekend to allow everyone access to places not normally seen.  The weekend is a truly a city-wide festival with hundreds of buildings of all kinds available to visit, and a programme of talks and debates – and it is all free!
The theme this year is ‘Our buildings, our neighbours, our city’ and the aim is to tell the story of amazing architecture in every neighbourhood across London.  Over 40 walks are available across the capital giving you a guided insight into different areas of the city – the Barbican, Paddington Basin and Victoria are all included in the programme. 
One of the highlights this year will be the inclusion of the BT Tower in Open House for the first time.  The famous revolving 34th floor will be open to visit if you are successful in the application ballot.  The famous revolving restaurant closed in 1980 and public access has been restricted to the building since 1981 so this is a great opportunity to visit.  The ballot closes on Monday 13 September at 5pm.
On the evening of 17 September a night hike is taking place in support of Maggie’s Centres to raise funds for their newest cancer caring centre in London and further expansion.  Last year over £500,000 was raised and this year the hike will be started by the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, recently seen in Sherlock.  The hike gives unique night time access to some of London’s best buildings and there is still time to sign up.
Due to restricted space in a number of the buildings you must book a visit to these in advance – this list includes Tower 42, Kensington Palace, Trellick Tower and Centre Point – and with just one week to go most of these are already full.  The vast majority of buildings are however open for you to turn up and visit without booking, click on the images below to find more details on these selected highlights.  An iPhone app is available from Flook this year so download it and start planning your trip now!

St Pancras


W Plumb Family Butchers


Lowther Childrens Centre


The Berresford House


The Young Vic


Buddhapadipa Temple



Bank of England



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