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Open House weekend draws crowds despite march clash

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This year's London Open House weekend attracted the usual crowds, despite the event clashing with the Countryside Alliance march.

Crowd-puller Portcullis House, which stayed open last year despite 11 September, pulled out of Sunday's event to avoid protestors. Nonetheless, 7,000 managed to see inside Michael Hopkins and Partners' controversial building throughout the Saturday.

Director of Open House Victoria Thornton said she had appealed to the Countryside Alliance to pick an alternative weekend, but the group 'was not amenable'. And although the march deterred some from braving it into the centre of town, the other buildings around the city took the overflow.

Some 10,000 visitors took the chance to visit Foster and Partners'City Hall, with queues holding fast until the doors shut on Sunday evening. And Richard Rogers Partnership's Lloyd's Register of Shipping was also popular. Knott Architects' Lambton Mews received more than 500 visitors and Richard Burton's house in Kentish Town more than 400.

Organisers are now turning their attention to fundraising to ensure the event continues - London's Evening Standard and BBC London have already pledged funding for next year.

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