Visit London’s Most Iconic Buildings for FREE during Open House London 2022 (8-21 September)
Updated: Sep 4, 2022
London Open House Festival is the annual celebration of London’s most fascinating buildings. During the past three decades, the organizers have always put together the most captivating programmes, inviting curious Londoners to explore impressive homes, best-known historic buildings, or astonishing pieces of architecture that grant limited to no access to the public throughout the year.
For two weeks only, our capital's most fabulous places open their doors to explorers FOR FREE, allowing everyone to uncover extraordinary treasures, often hidden in plain sight.
Get ready to discover London's best-kept secrets and find out more about the people behind the city’s most memorable architecture thanks to thousands of volunteers who make Open House London possible. Over the years, some of the most popular buildings were the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Gherkin, the City Hall, the New Scotland Yard, the Royal Opera House, or the Van Gogh House in Brixton.
So what's in store for 2022? Here are some must-visit buildings to have in mind for this year’s event from Ina/WithinLondon:
📍 Throgmorton Street, EC2N 2AN 📅 Drop in: Sat 17 Sep, from 10:00 to 16:00
Grand livery hall was built in the 1530s, twice destroyed by fire, yet rebuilt in 1666 and 1772. Late 19-century facade and opulent Victorian interior.
Royal Opera House
📍 Covent Garden, Bow Street, WC2E 9DD
📅 Drop in: 10th & 11th September (expect queues)
Home to The Royal Opera, The Royal Ballet and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the ROH was reconfigured in 2018 by Stanton Williams to offer world-class performance spaces, plus a welcoming and inclusive social and cultural hub.
The Banqueting House
📍 Whitehall, SW1A 2ER
📅 Drop in: Sun 11 & 18 Sep, from 10:00 to 17:00. There may be queues at busy times.
Spectacular regal building, the only surviving building from Whitehall Palace, one of the first examples of the principles of Palladianism being applied to an English building. Site of a set of magnificent ceiling paintings by Rubens.
Rudolf Steiner House
📍 35 Park Road, NW1 6XT
📅 Drop in: Sun 18 Sep, walking tours from 13:00 to 18:00.
Unique example of Expressionist architecture in London with sculptural staircase based on organic plant forms. Renovated in 2008 with a new cafe area. Refurbishment of foyer and theatre completed in 2020. (check out more about the building here)
Argentine Ambassador's Residence
📍 49 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8QZ
📅 Drop in: 17, 18 & 19 Sep, from 11:00 to 18:00; Tue 20 Sep, from 11:00 to 17:00; 21 Sep, from 11:00 to 15:00
During the Open House Festival Londoners will have the exclusive opportunity to visit the historic mansion host to the exhibition “Creative experience- From Argentina to the world,” part of the "Argentina At The London Design Festival 2022" initiative.
St Pancras Chambers and Clock Tower
📍 The Forecourt, St Pancras Station, Euston Road
📅 Guided Tours: 17 & 18 Sep, from 10:00 to 16:45. Note: you must book in advance here.
Formerly known as the Midland Grand Hotel, now St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and Chambers apartments. The tour includes the hotel lobby and the apartment underneath the clock at St Pancras Station.
And this is not even 0,01 % of it all, so make sure to check all the architectural delights available to visit as they are listed (and constantly updated) on the London Open House Festival Map (available here). Enjoy!
*photo source: Open House Website.