Open House London: 25 Cool Buildings to Explore in 2018

Open House London returns from 22-23 September 2018 with more than 800 buildings across the capital flinging open the doors to curious visitors, from homes to offices and breweries. The Resident picks out the most intriguing buildings to see in north, south, east and west London…

Lead image: University of Roehampton Library by Hufton + Crow Photography

West London

1 Holland Park House
Holland Park House by Architecture for London sits on a mid-century modern estate in Holland Park. The property has been completely refurbished with a new rear extension, flexible open-plan living spaces and new landscaping.
73 Woodsford Square, Holland Park W14 8DS

2 The ‘Welcome Guest’ flat, Bayswater
The ‘Welcome Guest’ flat by Andrew Pilkington Architects & Designers is a top floor flat positioned above St Matthew’s Church vicarage. The contemporary, sustainable conversion of this found space at the top of an early Victorian vicarage was achieved by creating a tall private stairway leading up to the opened up attic space.
27a, St Petersburgh Place, Bayswater W2 4LA

3 Valetta House, Ealing
Valetta House in Ealing is a quirky, remodelled Victorian terraced house that you just have to see. The interior has been entirely refurbished and two rear extensions added by Office S&M, meaning that each of the family’s three children has their own space.
71 Valetta Road, Ealing W3 7TG

4 4 Kingdom Street, Paddington
The new Kingdom Street office building by Allies and Morrison at Paddington Central has been designed with the wellbeing of its occupants in mind. Going way beyond the norm for an office, there are glass pod meeting rooms, private corner terraces, a large roof terrace and London’s highest basketball court.
4 Kingdom Street, Paddington W2 6BD

5 Goldfinger Factory, Trellick Tower
The Grade II* listed Brutalist Trellick Tower has long been a source of fascination for west Londoners. Take a peek inside it at the Goldfinger Factory, Ernö Goldfinger’s design, build and teaching social enterprise based on the ground floor. The factory combines a furniture showroom and a café on one floor and a woodworking workshop and teaching academy underneath.
13-15 Golborne Road, Kensall Town W10 5NY


6 The US Embassy, Battersea
Donald Trump may have called Battersea an ‘off location’ and the new US Embassy a ‘bad deal’, but we know otherwise. One of the most exciting projects to be added to the Open House roster this year, it was completed by design firm Kieran Timberlake in late 2017, and now, finally, visitors can explore inside the unique cube-shaped building in Nine Elms.
33 Nine Elms Lane, Battersea SW11 7US

7 Donhead Preparatory School, Wimbledon
Donhead Preparatory School in Edge Hill, Wimbledon, is a Jesuit school that was originally a house. Originally built in the late 1800s, Richmond-based firm Phillips Tracey Architects helped to double in size, with a new auditorium, more classrooms, an art room and a chapel. The project won commendations from the London Construction Awards 2018, Civic Trust Awards 2018 and National Churches Trust Awards 2017.
33 Edge Hill, Wimbledon SW19 4NP

8 University of Roehampton Library
The award-winning University of Roehampton Library was completed in August last year and cleverly conceived to encourage good behaviour and academic attitude. The massive project from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios created 1,200 group and individual study spaces over five floors and was awarded a RIBA London award.
Roehampton Lane SW15 5SZ

9 Buddhapadipa Temple, Wimbledon
An eternal favourite, this Thai-style Buddhist temple is one of only two found outside Asia, so if you haven’t visited yet, make this the year you do. The striking exterior of Buddhapadipa Temple was designed in accordance with Thai architecture and is finished with an ornate gold and red roof, filled with remarkable painted murals and surrounding by tranquil gardens. You can even sign up to a Buddhism course for beginners too.
14 Calonne Road SW19 5HJ

10 Baitul Futuh Mosque
The Baitul Futuh Mosque by Sutton Griffin Architects is the largest purpose-built mosque in Western Europe accommodating 13,000 worshipers. The building is a blend of Islamic and modern British architecture and incorporates much of the structure of an old dairy site.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, 181 London Road, Morden SM4 5PT


11 Thamesmead Tours
Thamesmead made its mark on the cultural map this summer with the remarkable Fly By Night show as part of GDIF. Now you can really get to know the area with two special Open House London Tours: Thamesmead’s Landscape and Hidden Spaces with Peabody’s Director of Landscape, Dr Phil Askew and the Lesnes and Thamesmead Architectural Tour Bexley archivist, Simon McKeon, where you’ll discover how and why this ‘New Town for London’, was built 50 years ago.
Landscape Tour: Hartslock Drive, Thamesmead SE2 9UR
Architecture Tour: Lesnes Abbey Lodge, Abbey Road SE2 0QJ

12 Ruins of Garrison Church, Woolwich
The Garrison Church was built by Thomas Wyatt to serve Royal Artillery at Woolwich. The church was bombed in 1944 but was restored in 2015 with new arched roof and memorial garden. The Garrison Church’s newly commissioned gates were unveiled in April 2018 and it is now a consecrated ruin featuring a Victoria Cross memorial for the Royal Artillery and very fine mosaics.
Grand Depot Road, Woolwich SE18 6XJ

13 Red House, East Dulwich
The award-winning Red House in East Dulwich was remodelled from a garage into a three-bedroom end-terrace home by 31/44 Architects. The unique design was inspired by the needs of contemporary living, while also playing homage to the neighbouring Victorian designs. One of the biggest achievements of the project was the creation of maximum space in a fairly compact area, achieved by sinking the ground floor by a metre to create a three-storey building.
37 St Aidans Road, East Dulwich SE22 0RN

14 Old Waiting Room, Peckham
The Old Waiting Room is a popular one for Open House, and now that it’s fully reopened, you’ll be able to see it in all its glory. The Grade II listed room was designed by architect Charles Henry Driver and in its time was used by up to 100 people awaiting their trains. It was blocked up in 1961 but local firm Benedict O’Looney Architects worked on the project for about 10 years to restore the building, with a restored cast iron staircase among the main additions.
Station Arcade, Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 5DQ

15 Blackheath Quaker Meeting House
Blackheath Quaker Meeting House is a calm space for Quakers and others in octagonal meeting room lit naturally from high central roof lantern and side ‘turrets’. The unusual building won a Civic Trust Award in 1973 and Concrete Society Commendation in 1974. The Meeting Room is kept simple, as Quakers have no cross, altar or pulpit. The stairs to the lower floor are built at a rather unnerving angle, parallel to the end wall, instead of at right angles to the side wall.
Lawn Terrace, Blackheath SE3 9LL

East London

16 Sunken Bath Project, Clapton
With the Sunken Bath Project, Gary Tynan of Studio 304 architects refurbished a ground floor flat in a period house to incorporate a cool sunken bath that extends into the garden. The use of space is quite something, so much so that the project won the 2017 New London Architecture’s Don’t Move, Improve! Award.
Ground Floor Flat, 33 Dunlace Road, Lower Clapton E5 0NF

17 White Collar Factory, Shoreditch
The White Collar Factory by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris is a new office space that combines the wisdom of well-built industrial spaces with innovative design, sustainable principles, future-proof flexibility and panoramic views. It’s so good that it was classified Outstanding by BREEAM – the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings.
1 Old Street Yard, Shoreditch EC1Y 8AF

18 Barking Riverside London, Barking
The Barking Riverside London project by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands is putting this much overlooked east London urban centre on the map. A whole new sustainable neighbourhood is being created alongside 2km of south-facing Thames river frontage in partnership with The Mayor of London and L&Q, creating some 10,800 new homes.
Barking Riverside, Renwick Road, Barking IG11 0DS

19 Kingsland Basin Moorings, Haggerston
Six foot narrowboats provide individual design solutions for living and working in confined conditions at Kingsland Basin Moorings – governed by Canals in Hackney Users Group. The self-managed moorings are a unique community with shared open spaces, offering a glimpse of alternative urban living.
Kingsland Basin Moorings, Haggerston N1 5BB

20 Round Chapel, Clapton
The Round Chapel is Grade II* listed nonconformist chapel, created by Henry Fuller & James Cubitt and built in 1875. It was described by Pevsner as ‘one of the finest nonconfirmist buildings in London’. The horseshoe plan building has innovative cast-iron columns and has been restored as a centre for the performing arts.
Lower Clapton Road/Glenarm Road, Clapton E5 0NP


21 The Longhouse, Crouch End
The Longhouse by interior design studio House of Sylphina is a labour of love for its owner-architects. Located on the ground floor of a Victorian conversion, this fantastic flat has a unique tropical vibe, full of blue and green hues, a multitude of indoor plants, skylights and contemporary yet cosy interior design.
Ground Floor Flat, 35 Crouch Hall Road N8 8HH

22 Aria at 168 Upper Street, Islington 
Aria at 168 Upper Street was bombed during WWII and eventually demolished. Local design and furniture retailer Aria bought the building in 2012 and hosted a design to recreate the building, which was completed in late 2016, hollow cast to serve as a monument to the past by Amin Taha Architects. All external mouldings, window surrounds and features, as well internal skirting, dado rails, cornices and wallpaper were modelled.
168 Upper Street, Islington N1 1US

23 Cullinan Studio Office, Islington
The Cullinan Studio Office was converted by Cullinan Studio themselves. The Victorian warehouse, located on along Regent’s Canal, was converted in 2012, with steel frames working within the existing structure to provide a double-height mezzanine space with views onto the canal. The project was classified Excellent by the BREEAM sustainability assessment method.
5 Baldwin Terrace, Islington N1 7RU

24 Islington Micro Flat
With micro-living becoming a thing, Creative Ideas & Architecture Office created the Islington Micro Flat. Thissmall open-plan flat has bespoke furniture that adapts to the space and functions to accommodate the occupants’ needs. The 35 sq m of space amazingly comprise a kitchen, dining room, bathroom, two double beds, living room, office and storage.
Flat B, 23 Islington Park Street N1 1QB

25 Sun Rain Rooms, Clerkenwell
The Sun Rain Rooms is an extension of architectural practice Tonkin Liu’s own studio. Set in a Grade-II listed Georgian townhouse, the self-designed and built studio has an innovative timber roof wrapped around an alfresco reflecting pool which reflects the sun or gathers the bouncing rain. A grass roof means it all blends in to its surroundings.
5 Wilmington Square, Clerkenwell WC1X 0ES


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