September 02, 2013, 3:50 pm -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Londoners are given the key to their own city over the weekend of Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September as over 800 buildings, as well as construction and engineering sites, open their doors free of charge to curious onlookers and architectural buffs. Now in its 21st year, the annual London Open House Weekend has fast established itself as the best way to see, explore and learn about the capital's architecture.
Whether it's taking a fresh look at your own neighbourhood, exploring somewhere new, seeing projects in development, quizzing the experts or simply entering some of the grandest private homes of most iconic landmark structures in the capital, London Open House Weekend this year takes as its theme 'Celebrating architecture, people and place', exploring issues that are relevant to local communities and how the built environment is evolving.
Some of the iconic landmarks and towers featured in this year's biggest ever Open House programme are Battersea Power Station, The View from the Shard, 30 St Mary Axe (aka the Gherkin) and Tower 42. The extensive programme also includes landscape and public realm walks, architects' talks, boat tours and much more. Visitors from outside the capital looking to get their architectural fix in London during Open House can book their accommodation on LondonTown.com, where there's a comprehensive range of Hotels in London to suit all budgets and locations.
Battersea Power Station, with its familiar yet glorious four white towers, hosts site visits for the very first time in Open House, offering guests a last opportunity to wander around before the full 38-acre site undergoes redevelopment. Other locations that fall in the Open Site category include Crossrail construction sites at Liverpool Street and Canary Wharf, the redevelopment at Convoys Wharf in Deptford, and projects at both Tate Modern and the British Museum.
The sweeping transformation of King's Cross takes centre-stage in the 21st anniversary celebrations of Open House, while onlookers will also get the chance to explore East Village E20, one of London's newest neighbourhoods, which has cropped up on the site of the redeveloped London 2012 Athletes' Village on the doorstep of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In the same year as Richard Rogers' 80th birthday, more of the celebrated British architect's buildings are taking part than ever before, including Lloyd's of London in the City, Channel 4 HQ in Pimlico, and Thames Wharf Studios and Maggie's Centre, both in Hammersmith and Fulham.
On Friday 20th September, Maggie's Cultural Crawl takes place - a 15-mile night-time hike around London from Hammersmith to the City, including access to buildings such as the EDF Energy LondonEye, the Gherkin and the Foreign Office, as well as live performances from musicians, dancers and artists. Also new this year is the first ever Open Debate, extending the opportunity for the public to express their views on what kind of city we are creating. Entitled 'Is London Building a Sterile City?' , the inaugural Open Debate takes place on Tuesday 17th September in advance of the Open House Weekend and is chaired by BBC correspondent RaziaIqbal.
The majority of buildings taking part in Open House Weekend are accessible on a first come basis - although some require advance booking. For more information on the full programme and timetable of events please visit www.londonopenhouse.org or download the chart-topping Open House app for iPhone.
LondonTown.com is the number one Internet site for London. With over 18 years of experience assisting visitors to the capital, they pride themselves on their customer service and editorial independence Ė no banner advertising or paid for content is allowed. The LondonTown.com team assist in finding cheap London hotels, sightseeing tours, ticket information and events. Trusted and with a loyal following, LondonTown.com is a very reliable source of recommendations and advice on what to do in London. http://www.LondonTown.com