The festival has added a film series to its public tour schedule in the face of the ongoing pandemic
Usually, during London’s annual Open House festival, a number of buildings of architectural interest, normally closed to the public, open their doors for free tours. For 2020, in the midst of COVID-19, while some carefully managed tours are still taking place, Open House has created a series of 31 original films, allowing the public to take a tour of some of these significant projects from the safety of home.
The series, filmed over summer this year, covers a range of buildings and spaces, some iconic, yet inaccessible to the public, some little known. Walters Way – a cul-de-sac of self build houses created by Walter Segal for Lewisham Council – is an interesting addition to the video format, while Salters Hall – a grand modernist building, and Neasden Temple – one of the largest Hindu temples outside of India, are both part of the series for 2020.
The tour also includes gardens, embassies, schools and office buildings, including the Aga Khan Centre located at Coal Drops Yard near Kings Cross.
“In this difficult year we wanted to create an online but intimate version of Open House that everyone could enjoy – even if those who can’t get out and about for the festival this weekend,” says Ella McCarron, deputy head of Open House and producer for a number of the films. “Since July, we’ve been shooting these short films in a spectacular range of locations including embassies, public lidos and tower blocks, capturing the personal anecdotes and warmth that make Open House festival tours so memorable.”
Open House festival has also launched a collection of model buildings that Londoners can order online to make at home, a new book The Alternative Guide to the London Boroughs, and a new podcast.
Watch the full series now on the Open City website.
Header image: The Stanley Picker House by Keneth Wood. Copyright Jim Stephenson 2020
Second image: Dalston Curve Garden for Open House. Copyright Jim Stephenson 2020