54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch
Not only has a beautiful beginning to the new season rolled in to greet us with some pleasant weather (though I fear, having said that, the monsoon might return), London’s annual Open House weekend commences today. With a fantastic opportunity to have a close look around some of the most enticing structures, much change is underway on this city’s vibrant architectural front, and this year’s showing promises to be the best yet. Whether old or newly-built, grade-listed or renovated, these two days also provide a great chance to engage in an open dialogue concerning London’s regeneration and what’s in store both in the near and distant future. Surely with the Olympic games coming up in 2012 and extensive development over in the Stratford area, there will be a great deal to talk about. And albeit the famed Gherkin will unfortunately not be on its usual display, the city-wide list is without a doubt plentiful and dynamic…
My focus this year is firmly set on the East End: If exploring the Borough of Hackney, be sure to check out the Dalston Culture House, Hoxton Hall, the walk-through of the redevelopment of St. Mary of Eton Church, as well as the restored Almshouse at the Geffrye Museum. A sign of the changing times in the materials of design, the Light Tube in Hoxton is a fascinating one to add to the selection, designed by MÆ LLP Architects and composed of timber, Reglit glass screening and an illuminated fibreglass roof. Additionally, the Shoreditch Prototype House demonstrates what future living may imply in terms of sustainability and environmental awareness in the urban built environment. A personal favourite of mine is the Village Underground (shown above), a series of art studios comprised of old underground train carriages located above an abandoned railway viaduct. And for lots more, refer to the Open House 2008 site with additional details and directions. Happy viewing!
Sarah Badr © MMVIII
See also: Open House Contemporary