People visiting Open House Festival

Open House Festival begins 30th anniversary celebrations today

Open House Festival launches its 30th anniversary celebrations today, which will include a fortnight of events such as tours and building-openings across London.

London Open House Festival is the world’s largest festival dedicated to architecture and local neighbourhoods with 250,000 visitors last year.

Founded in 1992, the festival has grown from a few tours of buildings in London to a global network of 50 cities worldwide, including New York City and Lagos, in total attracting around 750,000 visitors.

Zoë Cave, chief curator of the Open House Festival said: “To mark the 30th anniversary of the Open House Festival we’ve curated our most dynamic and diverse programme to date.

“What other festival includes everything from free tours of the Bank of England to DJ sets in Bexley’s Old Library?

“I’m especially excited about the many private homes that will be part of the 30th anniversary festival from multi-million pound houses designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects to some of Britain’s best council estates.”

A book ‘London Feeds Itself’ edited by Jonathan Nunn has been published as part of the festival and features contributors including Ruby Tandoh and Jeremy Corbyn discussing the city’s varied food cultures.

Sue White, 46, mother of two, said: “I love taking the kids out to see the history around them. 

“We’ve been coming to Open House for years and it’s such a great way to see places we’d never usually get to see. 

“It really opens our eyes to what’s around us.”

This year sees the introduction of nine headline neighbourhoods which will host programmes of special events: Aldgate, East Ham, Greenwich Peninsula, South Tottenham, Somers Town, Battersea, Walworth, Shepherd’s Bush, and Cambridge Heath.

There will be demonstrations of infrastructure including the new Rolling Bridge designed by Tom Randall-Page at Cody Dock in Canning Town, the 1888 Beam Engine in South Tottenham, and the ‘palace of poo’, Abbey Mills Pumping Station.

Other building openings in London include Fog House in Clerkenwell, designed for Janet Street-Porter, the Bank of England, Stockwell Bus Depot, and the Leathersellers’ Hall livery company building.

The two week festival will run from 8 to 21 September.

Featured image: Open House Festival

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