Open House London

For one weekend only, some of the most exciting buildings in London open their doors to the public.

HM Treasury is one of 700 buildings open to the public this weekend

Ever wanted to see behind the famous door of number 10 Downing Street or inside Battersea Power Station?

This weekend you will have the chance, thanks to Open House London 2013, the capital’s greatest architectural showcase.

Entry to over 700 of London’s buildings and neighbourhoods – from office blocks to sculpture gardens, churches to private houses – is absolutely free (although it is advisable to check details here as some places are operating on a pre-book or first-come-first-served basis).

As well as some of the best-known buildings in the capital, there are also some quaint treasures that are not to be missed. Why not visit Ed’s Shed, also known as the Sunken House in Hackney, or take a stroll around the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art? The award-winning Gap House in Bayswater is also worth a look: this tall, ultra-slim building fits into an eight-foot space between two town houses. Despite the small facade, inside, space is more abundant.

Museums are open, which might not seem like much of a draw, however in the case of the Royal Academy of Arts visitors can access the usually private areas of the Schools, where some of the country’s finest artists have honed their craft. This also gives people an insight into the structure of the building, which was originally built as a private residence around 1664.

We most want to see inside the Herbarium at Kew Gardens, which houses over 7,000,000 plant specimens making it one of the world’s largest collections.

Open House London has been running for over 20 years and its core aim is still to allow people who would not ordinarily have the chance, to see inside some of London’s most fabulous buildings.

Open House London 2013 runs on 21 and 22 September 2013.

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