11 doors worth going behind at Open House Weekend

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  • This weekend you can go behind the closed doors of some of the capital’s most famous buildings

    Taking place on Saturday September 19 and Sunday September 20, the annual Open House Weekendreturns to London, giving people the chance to go behind the doors of some of the capital’s most renowned buildings and celebrating their design.

    With private homes, government buildings and historic sites across 30 London boroughs throwing open their doors, it’s time for some serious snooping.

    Here’s where to go …


    Completed in 2002, BedZED is the UK’s first large-scale mixed use eco-village and sustainable community. Developed in partnership with Peabody Trust and Bioregional, this South London spot promotes One Planet Living across the world.

    Where: 24 Helios Road, SM6 7BZ
    When: Saturday 10am-1pm. Guided tours on the hour

    Temple Inns of Court and Temple Church

    Get an insight into the workings and architecture of the Temple over the last 800 years through interactive tours, family events, and on-site activities, including a mock trial. Explore the neo-Georgian Inner Temple, which was built after the bombings in 1941, the beautiful Elizabeth Middle Temple, built in 1562 and featuring noteworthy paintings and a library, and the Temple Church, refurbished by Sir Christopher Wren in the seventeenth century, where a Magna Carta exhibition will be held to mark the anniversary of its sealing.

    Where: Middle Temple Lane EC4Y 9BT
    When: Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm

    10 Downing Street

    Residence of British Prime Ministers since 1735, take a look behind the black door to see the rooms that have witnessed events that have shaped our nation.

    Where: 10 Downing Street SW1A 2AA
    When: Saturday 11am – 3pm, by ballot at open-city-engage.org.uk

    15 and a half Consort Road

    As seen on Grand Designs, this innovative house uses sustainable features and clever design to solve the constraints of building on an “unusable” brownfield site and working to a tight budget.

    Where: 15 and a half Consort Road, SE15 2PH
    When: Saturday 10am-5pm

    155 Holland Park Avenue

    Each room in this Victorian flat is a play on a different style – Gothic, Renaissance Baroque, Roccoco, Victorian, Regency and Modern. To be enjoyed as a dreamlike escape from the outside world.

    Where: 155 Holland Park Avenue, W11 4UX
    When: Saturday and Sunday10am – 5pm. Tours every 30 minutes, pre-book only on 020 7602 2489

    Tin House

    Maximising the irregular urban space, this house and its calm private courtyard is made up of interconnecting top-lit pavilions.

    Where: 2 Smugglers Yard, Devonport Road, W12 8PB
    When: Saturday 10am-1pm

    The Darke House

    Designed by celebrated architect Geoffrey Darke, its Grade II listing describes the house as “the country’s finest example of a modernist house in a Georgian setting.” Most of the original features and fittings remain.

    Where: 25 Montpellier Row, TW1 2NQ
    When: Sunday 10am – 5pm

    The Pavilion

    This modern house, which neighbours a Grade II listed pagoda in the Blackheath Conservation Area, has won numerous awards. Fully automated, expect to see open plan living with plenty of natural light and verdant gardens.

    Where: Pagoda Gardens, Blackheat, SE3 0UZ
    When: Saturday 10am – 5pm

    Spiral House

    A single storey house conceived as one wall, which wraps the boundary and then spirals into the site’s centre to create a habitable space.

    Where: 19b Culberden Road, SW12 9LT
    When: Sunday 10am – 1pm

    Courtyard House

    This RIBA London award-winning house was designed by Dallas Pierce Quintero and based around four courtyards. The black timber-frame exterior gives way to a light open-plan interior with exposed ceiling joists.

    Where: 2a Macdonald Road, E7 0HE
    When: Saturday 10am – 5pm. Pre-book only on dpq.eventbrite.co.uk

    18 Stafford Terrace

    From 1875, this was the home of the Punch cartoonish Edward Linley Sambourned and his family. The house is now recognised as the best surviving example of a late Victoria middle-class home in the UK, complete with its original interior decoration and contents.

    Where: 18 Stafford Terrace W8 7BH
    When: Saturday 10am-5pm

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