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Opened house

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astragal

Off to London's City Hall, for the celebration party to mark last weekend's successful Open House event.

Guests - mainly local authority people, owners of houses opening up for the weekend, plus eminent architects, were first ushered all the way up Foster and Partners' tight ramp inside the building to the drinks do on the top floor.

Balcony-goers noted that only the very tip of St Paul's is visible from the top, behind Foster's massive commercial offices next to City Hall at More London Bridge. One drink later, guests were ushered back down again, getting hotter all the time, to take a seat in the viewing gallery which looks onto where the mayor usually does his business.

But before the speeches could start, Max Hutchinson delivered a gushing piece to camera, which received a round of applause. Ken Livingstone heaped praise on the building in front of job architect Sean Affleck, noting how brave of Nick Raynsford it was to have gone with the project. He also pointed to other successful riverside schemes like Hungerford Bridge ('there's nothing wrong with it, so you've heard nothing about it!') and urged guests to take a walk over the car-free Tower Bridge at the weekend and peer over at new 'beaches' created on the Thames.

Jane Priestman heaped praise on Open House, and finally Open House director Victoria Thornton thanked all those who had made it possible. Then it was back up that ramp again, with some observers noting that there was just a slight, but definitely perceptible, wobble.

Must have been all those people walking in step.

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