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Revealed: Open House's most popular buildings


The AJ takes a look at Open House London’s most visited buildings in the last five years

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station

It isn’t open this year but when Battersea Power Station opened to the public in 2013 it saw the most visitors of any building ever – a whopping 40,000. The queues went around the block with people queueing for more than five hours for the last chance to get inside the grade II*-listed building before work started on the £8 billion development.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

King Charles Street, SW1A 2AH


George Gilbert Scott’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office is Open House’s second most popular building receiving a hit 14,923 visitors. The grade I-listed government office building features a richly decorated Durbar Court, a grand staircase and the India Office council chamber.

Visitors who want to avoid the crowds can register for fast-track ticket entry, here.

City Hall

The Queen’s Walk, More London, SE1 2AA

City Hall

Foster + Partners’ City Hall received more than 11,250 visitors back in 2010 making it Open House’s third most popular building. The £50 million scheme which completed in 2002 features a gentle ramp which winds its way up to the top of the building.

HM Treasury

1 Horse Guards Road, SW1A 2HQ


These grade II*-listed government offices can see up to 8,500 visitors in an Open House weekend. Refurbished by Foster + Partners in 2002 the buildings were originally built in two phases between 1900 and 1917.

30 St Mary Axe

30 St Mary Axe, EC3A 8EP

Cold fusion

Foster + Partners’ Stirling Prize-winning is always popular with Open House visitors and at its busiest saw 7,360 pass through its doors.

Leadenhall Building


More than 7,550 visited Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ latest addition to the London skyline when it opened to visitors for the first time last year. Unfortunately if you didn’t join last year’s crowds you missed out as the building is not opening again for 2015.

Lloyds of London

71 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 4BS

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' 1986 Lloyd's Building in London. Image by Martin Charles

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ futuristic office building is always popular on Open House weekend and queues can often be seen looping around the building’s footprint. The glass and steel structure has been known to receive more than 6,000 visitors in a weekend.


Readers' comments (3)

  • The most popular ? yes and no, because they might be what is 'on the radar' that year, but actually seeing the small contemporary gems in the flesh, particularly with emerging/young architectural practices are where there is the most discussion and debate and that is what really Open House London is all about !

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  • Surprisingly they're all in London! Increased footfall does not necessarily imply best.

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  • Chris Rogers

    Er, I think the clue is the fact that this w/e is LONDON Open House, which is run separately from the national event and always on an adjacent w/e.

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