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Open House 2023 highlights: the top 10 must-see buildings in London

Open House 2023 highlights: the top 10 must-see buildings in London

Open House, the free two-week festival of London’s architectural heritage, has unveiled its line-up of buildings opening their doors to the public from 6 to 17 September

Highlights of the annual event, which allows rare access to new and old architecture in all of London’s 33 boroughs, include the BT Tower, 10 Downing Street, and the under-construction new London Museum.

Other landmarks opening for free to the public include Acland Burghley School by Howell, Killick, Partridge & Amis Architects; the Isokon Building (Lawn Road Flats) by Wells Coates and the RCKa-designed Nourish Hub.

This year Open City held an open call for architects – judged by AJ technical editor and deputy architecture editor Fran Williams – for architects to participate as ‘Design Partners’ in London’s Open House Festival 2023.

The five winners – Bikeworks by Foster Kirk Architects, Hackney School of Food by Surman Weston, Phoenix Garden by Office Sian, The Africa Centre by Freehaus and Nag’s Head Market by Office S&M – will feature in a special collection alongside the other open call finalists.

Founded in 1992, the Open House Festival typically sees around 250,000 people engage with London’s most compelling architecture, heritage and communities. This year’s festival will run for two weeks from 6 to 17 of September.

The 2023 Open House Festival comes a year after the 30th anniversary of its parent charity, Open City, which runs a year-round programme of educational activities, films, tours, and the weekly The Brief podcast, produced in association with the AJ.


Ten highlights from the 2023 Open House Festival

Winscombe Street

Source:Image by Jim Osley

Winscombe Street

Winscombe Street 1960s terrace, N19

Terrace of five three-storey houses and a studio incorporating a sequence of communal and private spaces. Designed by Neave Brown, it is an influential prototype for Camden social housing developments of the 1960s and 70s.

The Africa Centre

Source:Image by Taran Wilkhu


The Africa Centre, SE1

1960s former office block that has been transformed by Freehaus into a vibrant cultural hub showcasing the best of contemporary African culture and heritage. This project is supported by the Mayor of London.


Alton Estate

Source:Image by Merlin Fulcher

Alton Estate

Alton Estate, SW15

Alton Estate is renowned for its mix of high-rise Le Corbusian architecture in Alton West and its low-rise Scandinavian approach to modernism in Alton East. Designed by London County Council architects and completed in 1959.

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Source: Architect's Journal

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