With perfect timing for students arriving for the start of term, welcoming them to the full drama of the city forming the backdrop to their studies, Open House London swings its doors open. During the weekend of 22-23 September 2018 the 26th incarnation of this increasingly popular festival allows the public to view and experience buildings across every one of the city’s boroughs. Over 800 sites are included this year, and with our wealth of heritage architectural jewels and contemporary design solutions, the University of Roehampton is eager to showcase some of the highlights found on its campus.
What is Open House London?
The festival celebrates the extraordinary diversity of architecture and design influences, along with a huge swathe of narratives that emerge from every corner of London’s ever-changing cityscape. Drawing in more than ¼ million visitors a year, every London borough is now involved, and it has become the biggest festival of its kind in the world.
It’s not just about iconic masterpieces, although these are covered. Instead every taste and preference is considered. Bringing rare opportunities for you to look around hidden interior spaces, access roof terraces and viewing levels to gaze over dramatic vistas, walk around neighbourhoods to find surprising histories or innovative solutions to engineering and other spatial challenges.
Amazingly, access to each and every site no matter how grand or quotidian, is completely free!
For most buildings, you can turn up and queue to get in. With other listings, you can join organised scheduled walks and talks, for the most part led by local historians or architects familiar with each specific building. If you want to attend these tours you can book ahead through Eventbrite – but make sure to consult the brilliant Open House London website, and brush up on the options offered this year.
The Roehampton Three!
You don’t even have to walk off campus to experience Open House London 2018 (#OHL2018). Reflecting the mix of historical and contemporary, we’re opening up three buildings for the festival;
This Grade I listed building overlooks Richmond Park, and forms the centrepiece of Whitelands College. It will be opening to the general public on Saturday, 22 September, with turn-up-and-go guided historical tours of the house taking place at 10:30am and 12:30pm.
Roehampton University Library
The first of two contemporary contributions to OHL2018 is the recently completed and award winning new library, located in Digby Stuart College campus. The library will be open to the wider public from 10am to 5pm on both Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 September. Visitors can self-guide with the aid of an information leaflet provided at the library reception. Our students of course will spend considerably more time using the library facilities! Freshers can also book induction tours anytime online.
The last in our trinity of highlighted buildings are these Froebel College student accommodation blocks, shortlisted this year for the UK’s most prestigious architectural award the RIBA Stirling Prize. There will be tours around the exterior of the blocks conducted by the architectural design team from Henley Halebrown. These will take place every 30 minutes from 10am to 1pm on Saturday, 22 September.
Where else is Open House London?
There are over 800 open buildings citywide during the festival. As well as our fantastic trio of buildings, to help you plan your weekend here are some highlights from our neighbouring London boroughs.
Hammersmith & Fulham
Kensington & Chelsea