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Open House 2015: Leading architects' must-see buildings

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Architects choose their not-to-be-missed picks for this year’s Open House

BT Tower by Ministry of Public Buildings and Works Architects

BT Tower by Ministry of Public Buildings and Works Architects

45 Maple Street, W1T 4BG

‘The BT tower would be my choice. It was the first tall building to be built in London after St Paul’s. For the last 40 years I have been walking past it and using it as a marker, to find my way to the studio. I managed, for the first time, to get to the top earlier this year and the views from the 34 th floor top are just fabulous.’
Ken Shuttleworth, founder, Make

Waddington Studios by Featherstone Young


127 Church Walk, N16 8QW

‘It is rich and complex in use and form. A classic edge of centre building of a kind you only find in London.’ 
Ben Adams, founder, Ben Adams Architects

Sir John Soane’s Museum by John Soane/Julian Harrap Architects


No.13 & 14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP

‘This is one of the most influential buildings in London, if not in the world. It has inspired every generation of architects since its completion in 1812 and is the perfect antidote to the those who think that the worth of a building is to be measured by its size, expense or flamboyancy. It is a master work of spacial complexity and innovative creativity that has a power far greater than its modest domestic scale would lead one to expect… in short a five star London gem.’
Bryan Avery, founder, Avery Associates

Royal Festival Hall by LCC Architects’ Department

Royal Festival Hall

Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX

‘The Royal Festival Hall is one of my favourite buildings. Architecturally simple, it offers a great music venue buffered from railway noise by generous pleasant spaces for meeting friends for a meal, attending a learning seminar, or just sitting alone and watching the world go by, free of charge. But take advantage of rare access to Lloyd’s of London headquarters, one of the best City office buildings.  When built its object-like qualities caused a stir, following the Pompidou Centre it externalises its guts. Lesser known are its exemplary internal spaces, designed as a modern marketplace where surrounding insurers gather to do business. Skilfully detailed and crafted.’
Karen Cook, founding partner, PLP Architecture

Alexandra Road by Neave Brown

Alexandra Estate

13b Rowley Way, Abbey Road NW8 0SF

‘It is such a brilliant piece of residential design, re-thinking the terraced house in a multi-level way to create a dense development that nevertheless gives everyone a decent private living area and outdoor garden space.’
Jerry Tate, partner, Tate Harmer

Regent High School by Walters & Cohen

Regents Park School Walters and Cohen

Chalton Street, entrance opposite Cranleigh Street, NW1 1RX

‘One of my favourite Walters & Cohen projects is participating: Regent High School, near St Pancras Station. It’s a peach of a project, one of the very last funded through BSF, and it looks knockout.

‘I think you will really like the central ‘Arcade’ space. It looks great, but more than that, it functions exactly as the school always wanted it to, making navigation much much easier and providing the passive supervision they wanted to support their ethos of personal responsibility. There are some great teaching spaces, mostly new build but also some refurb, and the school absolutely love it.’
Cindy Walters, co-founder, Walters & Cohen Architects

From east to west

Darbishire Place by Niall McLaughlin Architects

  • Darbishire Place by Niall McLaughlin Architects
    John Fisher Street, E1 8HA
  • Worlds End by Eric Lyons
    Blantyre Street, SW10 0DS

‘My tip for the weekend is housing heading East to West, from the latest new hit in Darbyshire Place by Niall McLaughlin to an old flame at Worlds End by Eric Lyons. Two exercises in brick domestic urban scale to big city scale. Both human and for people in need of good homes in London. Sorry I didn’t chose one, but it is Open House.’
Tony McGuirk, partner, McGuirk Watson Architecture + Urban Design

Highpoint by Tecton Group


Highpoint, North Hill, N6 4BA

‘A great modernist classic with the witty caryatid porch, and Lubetkin’s superb penthouse overlooking London.’
Seth Stein, founder, Seth Stein Architects

Greenwich School of Architecture by Heneghan Peng Architects

University of Greenwich by Heneghan Peng Architects

Stockwell Street, Greenwich, SE10 9BD

‘A dynamic scheme, finely sculpted and sensitively slotted into this historic conservation area.’
John McAslan, founder, John McAslan + Partners

Kew House by Piercy & Company

Kew House by Piercy and Company

10 Cambridge Road, Kew, TW9 3JB

‘I enjoy visiting the private houses that are always on show for this weekend only and this year I see Piercy and Company’s beautiful Kew House is open over the whole weekend.

‘Our Stirling shortlisted Burntwood School is also welcoming visitors so I intend to show my family the building for the first time.’
Paul Monaghan, partner, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

Harrow Civic Centre by Eric Broughton

Harrow civic centre by Eric G Broughton

Station Road, Harrow, HA1 2XF

‘Harrow Council is about to embark on a £1.75billion Regeneration Programme, the largest in a generation, in line with a series of Outer London boroughs that use its land assets to generate much needed revenue and homes. Our key site is the Council’s modernist civic centre, a concrete clad castle set back from the High Street surrounded by a sea of car parking spaces. It was opened in 1973 following a competition judged by Basil Spence published in the AJ in 1964. The original design by Eric G Broughton included an enclosed car park but decked with a public piazza and ancillary buildings that were sadly never delivered despite warnings from the jury not to create a ‘windswept concrete desert’.

‘Today’s civic buildings are not fit for purpose and too costly to refurbish so the decision has been taken to move out. The Council will use this opportunity to lever investment and change into nearby deprived Wealdstone town centre, and build smaller and more efficient offices, whilst intensifying the civic site with a new school, retail, employment and many hundred new homes. The shape of all this including the future of Broughton’s civic castle, will be determined through a competitive design process, soon to get underway.

‘For Open House 2015 we will showcase the civic centre, with its impressive courtyard, chambers and committee rooms including old archive material as well as lead tours of the current and future sites part of our commitment to open and honest dialogue with the community about how to shape the future regeneration.’

Tobias Goevert, head of regeneration and design at Harrow Council




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