Open House London is here again this weekend, opening the doors of hundreds of buildings across London’s boroughs. Here is our annual guide to the best art deco, modernist and brutalist buildings on the programme.
You can visit four estates from the Camden Architects Department under Sydney Cook. Alexandra Road (Neave Brown), Dunboyne Road (Neave Brown again), Stoneleigh Terrace (Peter Tabori) and Mansfield Road (Benson & Forsyth) are all available for visitors. There are plenty other post war estates if that's your thing. Robin Hood Gardens, Worlds End Estate, Dawson's Heights, Cressingham Gardens and Central Hill are open for viewing. Another set of post war estates on show are Berthold Lubetkin and Tectons work for Finsbury at Priory Green and Bevin Court, and their Cranbrook estate in Tower Hamlets.
Erno Goldfinger only designed three schools in his career and they can all be seen this weekend, Haggerston Girls School in Hackney, Brandlehow in Wandsworth, and Greenside in Hammersmith. You can also visit Goldfinger's own house, 2 Willow Road in Hampstead, as well as his Trellick Tower in North Kensington. Two more post war schools can be seen, Acland Burghley in Tufnell Park by HKPA, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and Hugh Myddleton School in Finsbury designed by Julian Sofaer.
There are also a few interesting post war churches to see. St Paul's, Bow Common by Maguire and Murray, voted Britain's best post war church, St Paul's in Lorrimore Square by Woodroofe Buchanan & Coulter and St Boniface’s in Whitechapel by Donald Plaskett Marshall & Partners.
If the interwar period is more your era, then there is plenty of art deco and international style modernism to see. Pullman Court in Streatham by Frederick Gibberd, the Isokon flats by Wells Coates, the Daimler Hire Garage by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners, Senate House and 55 Broadway by Charles Holden, the Peter Jones store in Sloane Square should keep you busy all weekend. There are also two tube station tours this year. The modernist Piccadilly Line stations of Charles Holden can be visited starting at Cockfosters. As can the earlier more Arts and Crafts influenced station on Northern Line Edgware extension by Stanley Heaps.
Of course we think that the more interesting buildings can be found beyond Zones 1 & 2, out in the suburbs. Three great examples of post war housing are open, Langham House Close flats by Stirling & Gowan in Richmond, and the St Bernard's houses in Croydon by Swiss firm Atelier 5. As last year there are two Walter Segal streets to see, Walters Way and Segal Close will showcase his influential self build house philosophy in Lewisham.
In Enfield there is the moderne QEII Stadium designed in 1939 by Frank Lee, with its distinctive drum staircase. Also designed in 1939 is the Church of the Holy Cross in Greenford by Albert Richardson. The new church is situated alongside its 15th century namesake and celebrates the 75th anniversary of its consecration this year.
Another building celebrating an anniversary this year is the Rayners Lane Grosvenor Cinema (now a Zoroastrian Centre) Designed by FE Bromige and opened in 1936, this art deco wonder is worth a trip out to Harrow. Other cinemas open include Bromige’s Rio cinema in Dalston, the Phoenix in East Finchley and the former Granada Cinema in Tooting with its wondrous Theodore Komisarjevsky interior. Two suburban libraries offer an interesting contrast The post war Fullwell Cross Library by Frederick Gibberd in Barkingside and Kenton Library in Harrow, designed by the Middlesex County Council architects Curtis and Burchett.
And to finish off, once again this year we will be hosting out Modernism in Metroland walking tour of Stanmore’s Art Deco and Modernist houses on Saturday. The tours take place at 10am and 2pm and we will be exploring houses by architects like Douglas Wood, Gerald Lacoste, Owen WillIams, Reginald Uren, Gerd Kaufmann and more. For more details see HERE.