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Open House London annual event: 17 – 18 September 2005

The Capital's biggest architectural event where London is turned into a living exhibition, gives thousands of Londoners the chance to experience buildings, and explore, debate and better understand architecture, engineering and design.

In celebration of the Capital’s design excellence, over 600 architectural activities are planned which also gives direct access to the teams that design, construct and regenerate Londoners’ environments. All access is free of charge.

Open House presents the first public opportunities to explore the award-winning Gibbs Building, new HQ of the Wellcome Trust designed by Hopkins Architects; the new glass-walled landmark building Queen Mary College, Institute of Cell & Molecular Science with its dramatic interior designed by Alsop Architects / Amec as well as private residences, government buildings, contemporary offices, historical houses, arts spaces and Institutions, medical centres and school exemplars. In addition, the Open House OpenSite programme (in association with the Association for Consultancy and Engineering) enables the public to view future London by visiting some of the major projects still under construction such as Terminal 5, Heathrow. These access opportunities provide material to continue the conversation about London's regeneration and rehabilitation projects as well as sustainable building projects.

In Learning by Design, architect’s responses to the challenge of designing welcoming, open and stimulating places for teaching and learning are revealed over the Open House London weekend. An accompanying booklet (funded by the DfES) features these exemplar buildings and records insights from Head Teachers, students and governers as to how the building works for them. Also this year, an ‘Archikids’ Explorers Pack (sponsored by the Grainger Trust and Arts & Business) will be available free to children aged 7-11 years. This special resource will allow Archikids to discover everything from rooftops to foundations of buildings in a fun exploration of their environment.

Victoria Thornton, Founding Director of Open House, comments: “experiencing a building in the flesh – inside and out, can help you understand it, assess it, in a way you never could from a picture. If Open House can get Londoners to care passionately about their city and its future buildings, we will really have achieved something”.


Friday 16 September overnight – BUILDINGS BY NIGHT

Open House has joined forces with Maggie’s who have launched a London campaign to raise £3.5 million to build the capital’s first Cancer Caring Centre, designed by Richard Rogers and opening 2006 in Hammersmith. To celebrate and support this campaign, Maggie’s and Open House are calling Londoners to team-up with friends, colleagues and family to take a sponsored walk over ground, over night to help others overcome cancer. To salute the remarkable difference that thoughtful building design make to the lives of people across London, Open House will offer hikers, supporters and Londoners an opportunity to preview some of London’s building treasures by night as part of this walk following the course of the Circle Line for approximately 25kms. Thursday 15 September, 7pm


As a preview to the weekend, Fashion Designer Margaret Howell hosts an exhibition and talk about Span housing, reflecting her interest in post-war British Design. A Span house will also be open during the Open House London event.


For all those whose appetite has been whetted by Open House London, the Open House Contemporary: Show & Tell programme will offer food for thought from architects and home owners who have opened their doors for the 2005 event. Book via 20 September, 6.30pm: Geraldine Bedell – the client side revelations uncut! 21 September, 6.30pm: Abigail Hopkins – Collaborations 22 September, 6.30pm: The Architect’s Story. Silvia Ullmayer & Alan Sylvester

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