Ever secretly fancied taking a peek inside a stranger’s home? Well now is your chance. Open House London, the free annual architecture festival that lets you explore inside some of the capital’s most unusual and extravagant properties, is back.
Some of 2011’s quirkier examples are an ‘upside down house’ in Portobello and an eco-friendly hanging bathroom in Balham. But we’re not just talking luxury pads here. More than 700 buildings, of all varieties, will be open to visitors over the weekend of September 17-18, including the BT Tower, the Royal Albert Hall and Beefeater House, London’s last remaining premium-brand gin distillery. Plus at many of the sites, architects and engineers will be on hand to give you the expert lowdown on the design process.
And with a lively programme of talks, walks, boat and bike tours around this year’s theme of ‘the liveable city’, there’ll be plenty to satisfy curious minds – whether you’re a design devotee or just downright nosy. (Words: Rachel Segal Hamilton)
Open House London takes place on September 17 and 18 at various venues around London. Some viewings must be booked in advance. For more info, visit openhouselondon.org