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Open House 2012 highlights revealed

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More than 750 buildings – from the Gherkin to architects’ own homes – will feature in the London Open House weekend next month

Open City is hosting the festival to mark 20 years of Open House London, with buildings to open their doors on 22 and 23 September.

There will also be a programme of neighbourhood walks, engineering and landscape tours, night-time openings, urban jogs and experts’ talks.

This year’s theme, The Changing Face of London, explores issues that are relevant to local communities and the evolution of the built environment.

Landmarks including 30 St Mary Axe (aka the Gherkin), Heron Tower and Tower 42 will be part of the festival.

The Institution of Civil Engineers will host rides on the Emirates Airline cable car; boat tours to the Thames Barrier and the Hoo Peninsula; and a visit to major construction sites.

There will also be information on the transformation of East London and the Lea Valley with expert-led events showcasing the regeneration of areas surrounding the Olympic Park.

Some 100 private homes, including those belonging to architects, will also feature.

Victoria Thornton, director of Open-City, said: ‘Open House is a unique annual event, offering people across London the chance to explore and learn about the changing face of the capital’s architecture.

‘Last year 89 per cent of participants said the Open House event was the best way to get under the skin, become more knowledgeable and engage in the dialogue about the capital’s architecture. 

‘This year we’re excited to be celebrating 20 years of Open House London with a special 48-hour programme of buildings, walks, tours and talks taking in some of the London’s most spectacular architecture.’

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