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Open House London: The AJ's selection

Open House London, the capital’s largest architectural showcase, will take place on 19 & 20 September with more than 700 buildings providing free access

The Architect’s Journal, media partner of Open House London 2009, selects highlights of the weekend:


BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Where globalisation and religion converge: carved from Italian marble; held together with Bulgarian Limestone, this Hindu temple in north London is Europe’s largest.

The Berresford House
Designed by Ivor Berresford in 1958, this house takes its cues from the North American modernism of the same era. As a testament to its minimalist credentials, in an Independent interview, Berresford recalled the occasion when a policeman turned up after a burglary and said, ‘My God, they’ve taken everything!’

Lumen United Reform Church and Community Centre
Want to see a 21st century take on modernism that doesn’t feel like pastiche? Want to see the work of a talented young firm who are happy to eschew blundering bling for careful craftsmanship? Then visit this building by Thies & Khan Architects.

Pipers’ City of London Model at The City Marketing Suite
The future of London’s skyline revealed in this real, non-virtual 3D model that incorporates all scheduled developments - including the duff ones.

Rivington Place
This RIBA award winning building by financially troubled practice Adjaye Associates presents a puzzle. Does the disconnect between elevation and internal space detract from the building’s qualities? Only one way to find out…

The Princes Foundation
If Prince Charles was allowed to design the whole of Britain - instead of a just a backwater village in Dorset - this is where it would get done: a converted warehouse in Shoreditch housing drawing studios, workshops and a library. Architecture by Matthew Lloyd Architecture.

Maggie’s Centre
This cancer care hospice (pictured) is England’s first, and the sixth completed in the UK so far (the rest are in Scotland). It’s been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize too - judge for yourself if Rogers Stirk & Harbour’s design is worthy of being named Britain’s best building.

Priory Yurt
The original yurt-builders were Central Asian nomads who took their homes travelling. Yurt, in fact, is a Turkic word which describes the imprint the structure leaves on ground. Moveable cities, centuries before Archigram.

The Yellow Building
AHMM’s loose fit office block suggests a new kind of workspace. Part office, part workshop, part place to just hang out. The superscaled atrium, and the fair faced concrete lattice wrapped around it, will eat up disk space on your digital camera. Guaranteed.

Walter Segal Self-build house with Eco-refurb
Super-insulated, triple-glazed, with solar-powered hot water and heating, these unique self-built homes - all 13 of them - were built in 1987. Ask yourself: Have we learned anything in the past twenty years?

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