Open House London returns on the weekend of 22nd and 23rd September, allowing you access to hundreds of building normally closed or difficult to access for the public. Again this year there seems to be a heavy skew towards the contemporary, but there are still plenty of art deco, modernist and brutalist buildings for you to enjoy. Here are our picks of the weekend with links to each building.
The icons of modernist design are all accounted for. Erno Goldfinger has 5 buildings in this years programme; Greenside School, Haggerston School, Metro Central Heights, Trellick Tower and 2 Willow Road. Other brutalist behemoths by Denys Lasdun (Royal College of Physicians, National Theatre) and Basil Spence (Salters Hall, Swiss Cottage) can be visited. Buildings by slightly earlier modernist architects are also open, such as Charles Holden (55 Broadway, Senate House)
Berthold Lubetkin (Bevin Court, Priory Green) and Frederick Gibberd (Fullwell Cross Library, Pullman Court)
The post war estate is also well catered for with great examples in Camden (Stoneleigh Terrace, Alexandra Road), the City of London (Golden Lane, Barbican) Haringey (Page High, Ferry Lane), Chelsea (World's End) and Lambeth (Cressingham Gardens).
There are a bunch of interwar cinemas included in the programme; The Phoenix in East Finchley, the Rio Cinema in Dalston, The former Rayners Lane Grosvenor, the Troxy in Stepney, and the spectacular former Tooting Granada.
Churches and Religious Buildings are also well served. There are interesting interwar churches in Barking (St Patricks), Edmonton (St Alphege) and North Harrow (St Alban). There are also some excellent and varied post war religious buildings open St Pauls Newington, St Bonifatus in Whitechapel and the award winning St Pauls Bow Common. You can also see a number of Quaker Meeting houses; in Blackheath Quaker by Trevor Dannatt and Wanstead by Norman Frith.
Of course what are really about is the suburbs and its wealth of modernist buildings, and there are plenty of interesting finds in the outer boroughs. In Croydon you can find the St Bernards houses by the Swiss architects Atelier 5, as well as Croydon's answer to the Royal Festival Hall, Fairfeld Halls. In Greenwich you can visit 129 Maze Hill, an architects studio and house from 1968 by Myles and Deirdre Dove Architects. In Merton you can visit another post war house, designed in the Case Study House style, 31b St Mary’s Road by Peter Foggo. Lewisham has the Segal Method self build houses in Honor Oak Park open for visiting on Sunday.
Earlier houses open include CFA Voysey’s 14 South Parade in Ealing, the Dorich House Museum by Dora Gordine and Richard Hare in Kingston and Bruno Court in Hackney, a 1935 art deco former hospital extension by Burnet, Tait & Lorne. If you feel like seeing something a little different there is Mortlake Crematorium in Richmond, designed in 1939 by F. Douglas Barton in an restrained art deco style.
There are also a few tours worth taking. 50 years of the Victoria Line is celebrated with visit to the first 6 stations that opened on the line (something we blogged about a couple of weeks back). You can also take a tour around the Thamesmead estate in Bexley, which also opened 50 years ago. An earlier estate, Becontree in Barking & Dagenham, is available to tour by bus on Sunday.
And finally, our own Modernism in Metroland walking tour of the art deco and Modernist houses of Stanmore returns for a fourth year. Tours will take place on the Saturday at 10am and 2pm, meeting outside Stanmore station. Wherever you go, we hope you have a great time!
A Guide to Modernism in Metro-Land, our guidebook to help you discover the suburbs best art deco, modernist & brutalist buildings is crowdfunding now. Go HERE to get your copy.