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Sep. 3rd, 2007 | 04:00 pm
posted by: ross in hidden_london

Less than two weeks away now is the 2007 OPEN HOUSE LONDON free-entry architecture event. Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September. If you're unaware of this annual standard and have never taken part before it may be worth having a look at what's available for viewing that weekend.

I hope to be visiting a few places I haven't the past two years. Certain alleged prime premises (Lloyds, London Eye etc etc) have very limited access/book in advance tours and will most likely be oversubscribed already. Such is my experience from past years. However these vast pubic spectacles aren't really what this community was founded for. More in keeping with the aims and ideals - such as they are - of this group, I find that seeking out the more obscure and quite disparate venues gives a deeper resonance. I've visited national monuments, cult headquarters, small specialist museums and people's private houses ("please take off your shoes..") before now. I still haven't decided what to do this year. I find one sees much more if one avoids the places likely to have big queues. And you would be surprised at the places that do.

I think I'll just wing it; that's certainly doable if the tubes aren't up the spout (last year was marred by the clashing of maintenance shutdowns on several major lines including the Circle if I remember. London, sometimes TPTB don't talk to one another...)

Please note: The guidebook (price £4.00 or £3.00 to download) is also available FREE from most libraries in the London Boroughs, though you may have to ask if they have it. It's how I get mine. Makes a nice souvenir after you've marked up all the things in it you want to see and then crossed off the far fewer that you actually manage to... I have a personal bias for visiting places where one has to walk past lots of pubs on the various routes to get there. Can't imagine why..


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Comments {2}

John Slater

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from: John Slater
date: Jan. 24th, 2014 12:30 am (UTC)

Does this still occur? I'm interested, although mostly in your comments about "more obscure and quite disparate venues".

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The Unusual Suspect

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from: ross
date: Jan. 24th, 2014 02:19 pm (UTC)


Open House London this year is 20th/21st September.

Definitely worth getting a guide book and pre-vetting anything you find interesting so you can plan a vague route. Though be prepared on the day(s) to deviate from that plan. Transport and unexpected large queues can steal time/alter intentions. Have relatively-near alternative destinations noted for your primary choices. Also bear in mind that, especially on the Sunday, some of these places will close their public access early. It's all voluntary and the people on site will tend to be arbitrary about when they finish.

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