Open House 2014

Better late than never as always… here are the photos from Open House London 2014:



Trinity Buoy Wharf, 64 Orchard Place, E14 0JY
We spent hours here, such an amazing artistic and historic place to visit, plus there is a café and an American diner! See London, the Leamouth and the river from a different and fantastic angle.

Limehouse Town Hall, 646 Commercial Road, E14 7HA
Victorian built former town hall, fairly drab and a bit dirty when we visited two years ago, but full of potential – it could be an amazing events space and wedding venue if the trust running the building were given a wodge of cash. Sits next to a pretty churchyard.

Half Moon Theatre, 43 White Horse Road, E1 0ND
Formerly the Limehouse Board of Works, the building’s exterior has been beautifully restored and the building itself is the current home of youth theatre group Half Moon.

20 Winkley Street, E2 6PT
Three storey home in Bethnal Green, always good to nosy round someone’s architectural dream.

Argentine Ambassador’s Residence, 65 Brook Street, W1K 4AH
No interior photos allowed, but plenty of ‘Islas Malvinas’ information on display. The elegant building itself was completed by Thomas Cubitt in 1851 with additions by Mayhew & Knight in 1859, and it sits on the corner of Belgravia Square near many other embassies.

Chandos House, 2 Queen Anne Street, W1G 9LQ
Royal Society of Medicine owned building built in the 18th century by Robert Adam, situated in Marylebone, the house is available for hire for weddings and events.

Regent Street Block W4, 10 New Burlington Street, W1S 3BF
We missed the last tour of this new building on Regent Street (near the Oxford Circus end), but we were able to walk around the beautifully designed lobby which featured a mirrored art piece that seemed to fade in and out of its surroundings – gorgeous.

The College of Optometrists, 42 Craven Street, WC2N 5NG
Just up the road from the huge queue for Benjamin Franklin House… the equally splendid but pokey Georgian home of Optometrists was an enjoyable find. The museum inside was also great fun with lots of weird and wonderful spectacles and visual aids to cast your eye over (ha).

Cabbies Shelter, Embankment Place
Sixty or so of these tiny green shelters were built between 1875 and 1914 for Hansom cab drivers, they are still in use today but only thirteen remain – we squeezed into one for a look-see.

HM Treasury, Horse Guards Road, SW1A 2HQ
Our last stop for 2014 was the stunning HM Treasury building, first constructed in 1898 to 1917 with a 2002 refurbishment. We started the tour in the new part of the building and finished the tour in the stunning 20th century circular courtyard.

Open House 2013

Hello all, the dark days are here again, and we’ve not even put the clocks back!

So, after a couple of sad posts it is time to brighten up my home page again. I bring you, after a long delay, photos from Open House 2013!



Trinity Hospital, Highbridge, SE10 9PS
This is a very beautiful 17th century building on the riverside in Greenwich, it has self contained apartments for retired men and women, and is built round a square courtyard with water fountain. You can access the front entrance using the Thames Path.

The Master Shipwright’s House, Watergate Street, SE8 3JF
Hiding from the world in Deptford is the only building left from Henry VIII’s Royal Dockyard. This private dwelling dates from 1708 and is well worth a nosy about, the river views are excellent as well.

Lloyds’s Register Group, 71 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 4BS
Enter on the modern side of the building, exit on the old side! This building is an excellent joining of old and new, a very dramatic modern entrance greets you, and an elegant and sumptuous interior takes you out of the building.

Unilever House, 100 Victoria Embankment, EC4Y ODY
Access to this grand riverside building was sadly limited to the entrance lobby, but the height and space in the atrium made the short visit worthwhile. An interesting art installation is hung in the space as well.

City Of London School, Queen Victoria Street, EC4V 3AL
This fantastic 1987 concrete and glass school sits on the river in The City and has glorious views of the surrounding area. Visitors are given access to much of the school and it is well worth a visit to see some excellent modern architecture.

Tower Bridge Exhibition, Tower Bridge Road, SE1 2UP
An outstanding feat of Victorian engineering and an excellent attraction – we were able to cross the gantries for superb views and visit the museum showcasing the engines that used to open and close the bridge. Good timing was also had as the bridge opened and closed as we were leaving.

Tower Bridge House, St Katherine’s Way, E1W 1AA
From outside, this glass covered building looks fairly generic, but inside, the open lobby space has a ‘window’ towards The Tower of London and this creates a light and airy space. Once up high on the top floor you can see the effect even better – and you can spot the wildlife!

Apothecaries’ Hall, Black Friars Lane, EC4V 6EJ
Another of London’s livery companies, steeped in history etc etcetera. Nice panes of stained glass, full of dark wooden panelled rooms.

Banqueting House, Whitehall, SW1A 2ER
This is a visually brilliant space with bean bags dotted about for comfortable views of the painted ceiling and extravagant chandeliers. Here, Charles I walked his last steps before his execution, visit his throne and be overwhelmed.

Admiralty House, Ripley Courtyard, 26 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY
Sadly for me, photos aren’t allowed at this excellent building. The inside is beautifully restored with a beautiful double curved staircase and lovely flagstoned floors. Worth a visit but watch the queues, don’t get there too late.

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Open House 2012

After a very long wait here are some photos from Open House 2012, oops!

I didn’t take many photos that weekend as my old camera was on its last legs, only a couple of half decent shots and all my exterior photos of Strawberry Hill House were awful – not a happy photo week!

We visited the following places:

Strawberry Hill House
Stunning Georgian Gothic revival home built by Horace Walpole

Seager Distillery Tower
New development, enclosed viewing deck on the 27th floor, views to Greenwich, Deptford and the surrounding area

The Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret
Go up some winding stairs for a fascinating looking into surgery and medicine back in the olden days

Jerwood Space
Arts rehearsal space in a former school, fabulous, enthusiastic tour with Jerwood Space director Richard Lee and child historian Imogen Lee


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Open House 2011

Here are some (read many) photos from this year’s Open House London event. We had a lovely tiring time as always and really enjoyed visiting houses and lesser known gems in our borough.








40a Ashburnham Grove, SE10 8UL

This four-storey house in west Greenwich has been restored by Zac Monro Architects into a lovely and spacious family home with an extension into the garden and a “double-height space” in the kitchen area. The interior is modern and light but is also cozy and feels very homey. A delight to walk around, the exteriors have been beautifully preserved and I would love to live here.


To my great disappointment this is all you see when you visit the mausoleum. Ho hum. Here I was hoping for coffins and creepy dark corners! We saw some photos of coffins though! Such a shame that going into the mausoleum would destroy all inside! Flipping micro-climates!


Bees! They keep bees!

Devonport Mausoleum, National Maritime Museum, Romney Road, SE10 9NF


These wall panels could be moved around to close and open out the first floor




The outfit I tried on was completely awful, Sam fared a little better. 🙂




Lazy people spoiling my shot

Dr Johnson’s House, 17 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE

If you are cool and hip like I you will know that Dr Samuel Johnson put together the first English dictionary in 1755. He was also a essayist, biographer and poet and he lived in this five-storey town house in the City for eleven years. 17 Gough Square was where the dictionary was compiled and today it is a museum all about the man.

The house itself is notable for being kinda old, built in 1700, but I was disappointed to not learn much about the architecture of the house when inside, all the information focused on Johnson.


This gorgeous and random building is the remains of the church of St Alban, destroyed during the Blitz in 1940. Wikipedia tells us it is now a private dwelling – awesome.








Museum of London, Roman Fort Gate, London Wall, EC2Y 5HN

The Roman Fort Gate is actually underneath the museum but I didn’t take any good shots so the four photos above are from Noble Street across the road. The wall remains on Noble Street have been built on numerous times over the centuries and even now new buildings have been built into the old walls. This interesting video shows the area we visited under the museum.

We were also allowed to stand inside the fort remains so we can now say we have stood inside a Roman Fort, very cool.


Saved from the pouring rain by a church with beautiful stained glass windows

St Vedast-Alias-Foster Church‎, 4 Foster Lane, EC2V 6HH


I took this whilst at Shadwell DLR station


Lovely old station with some gorgeous Victorian brickwork. We came here through Brunel’s Thames Tunnel to go to the Brunel Museum about the Thames Tunnel! 😀


How we had to enter the Thames Tunnel shaft, AMAZING. The COOLEST thing EVER


The lovely Tim Thomas regailed us with excellent stories about the building of the tunnel and the shaft we were sitting in. This was the best thing ever, a wonderful adventure down underground


The view from the top of the scaffolding


The entrance to the shaft! 😀

Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, SE16 4LF


We popped into this place after the Brunel Museum, it is a restored old granary building that houses a picture library and a film studios renowned for making costumes that have won Oscars.

They are currently trying to buy the building as the rental cost of the granary has become too high, if you would like to help please visit the ‘Sands Enterprise Investment Scheme’ page on their site at the link below. Locals fear that a Starbucks or a Tesco Express will replace the library and studios, and as this is a beautiful and well-used old building I think that would be a horrible thing to happen.


Sands Film Studios and Rotherhithe Picture Research Library, 82 St Marychurch Street, SE16 4HZ

Sunday rose bright and shiny and beautiful…


My local station is so beautiful on a sunny day


Plaque at Aldgate station to commemorate lives lost during the 7/7 bombings






Built by George Dance in 1744. The church has some lovely stained glass windows but I didn’t get a good shot of them so please head to the Church’s site to see them. I love the exterior shot of the church on the homepage, the contrast of the old church and the new buildings and all the different colours in the shot is beautiful. Disappointed to see no credits for any of these photos.

St Botolph without Aldgate, Aldgate High Street, EC3N 1AB


Taken whilst walking down Bevis Marks. The tall building is so new I can’t find out what it is on Google Street View!


Sneaky interior shot. It was very interesting to find out that synagogues have seven candelabras to represent the seven days of the week, the biggest one is for Shabbat every Friday. I remember absolutely nothing about Judaism from my Keystage 3 RE lessons so it was excellent to hear Maurice Bitton the Shamash/Curator speak about the building and Judaism. He is featured in June Brown’s Who Do You Think You Are? too. 🙂


Absolutely beautiful building, wonderfully preserved. It is also hidden in a courtyard so you would never spot it if you didn’t know it was there, lovely


Quite proud of this one, light isn’t amazing but I do like a well framed photo <<< as well as you can with my crappy camera Bevis Marks Synagogue, Bevis Marks, EC3A 5DQ

We left London after this and came back to our borough for more local delights.


Spotted this lovely building whilst walking up Charlton Church Lane (for the first time)


St Luke’s in Charlton village, the local church for Charlton House




A lovely friendly squirrel to me, a “tree rat” to my boyfriend’s Dad. 😀














Back in the day the land owned by the house stretched as far as Woolwich Common all around the house. The views down to the river were fabulous apparently, stupid flats block the view now. 😉






I feel quite proud that I can shout about Charlton House to my friends and family now. The fabulous architecture isn’t all in Greenwich!


I officially love Charlton House, built in 1607 for Sir Adam Newton, tutor to Henry, Prince of Wales, James I’s son, who died as a young man. I think I am safe to say that it is considered to be one of the best examples of Jacobean architecture.

It is now owned by Greenwich Council rather than English Heritage and it is used as a community centre for the local area. I think the council do a decent job of keeping the historical importance of the building alive as I thought it was a stunning building. You can get married here too! Eee!

Charlton House, Charlton Road, SE7 8RE




Coffin window


Office window view, nice work if you can get it!


Gorgeous painting of the ORNC at night. I can’t remember the name of the artist, can anyone help?


I walk through here a least once a week and it is just stunning every time. I am so proud of my area!

We didn’t make it back to Greenwich from Charlton in time to go on any of the ORNC tours except the Queen Anne Court one. This court is leased to the University of Greenwich and they have been using it since the 1990s.

Our guide Lizzie told us how the Navy had built a lot of small rooms within the grand spaces so the university has just pared back the rooms to how they were before the Navy used the site as a teaching facility. Whilst this is a good thing, it was not the most stunning of tours as it was quite odd to see these wide and grand open spaces painted white, carpeted and turned into boring offices with vending machines dotted around the place. I don’t think it works aesthetically but I do think it is ideal that these lovely old buildings are being using for education, what a wonderful place to study.

Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College, SE10 9LW

 
So that is it for 2011, roll on 2012! 😀

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Its nearly Open House weekend! Yippee!!!

This Saturday and Sunday London hosts Open House weekend, the wonderful and free architecture event. My boyfriend and I will be attending for the third year in a row, we are planning to focus on Greenwich this year as we have done a number of the big attractions already. Photos and a blog will follow next week but for now, come too! It is ace!


As you can see he had a great time last year. ;).

Click the link above for more info, and here are some photos from 2009 and 2010.

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