Take a look inside these 15 Bexley landmarks for free during Open House weekend
PUBLISHED: 14:49 29 August 2017
Some visits have to be pre-booked
The chance to look behind the doors of some of Bexley’s most historic and significant buildings is available this weekend, as part of the Open House event.
The scheme has been running for a quarter of a century and for the first time, every London borough is taking part.
That means free entry to some 800 of the city’s most compelling buildings during September 16 and 17.
In Bexley the Crossness Beam Engine House, Danson House, Erith Lighthouse, Red House, Thames Innovation Centre, The Sandford Dental Implant Clinic, Townley Grammar School, Erith Playhouse, Erith Yacht Club, and Lakeside Centre at Thamesmead are all taking part.
Other highlights this year include the recently revamped New Scotland Yard; London’s latest iconic tower, nicknamed ‘the vase’; an urban farm in Waterloo; an exhibition by architect Norman Foster and the Francis Crick Institute at King’s Cross.
The organisers said just about every building type is represented, including those used by government, offices, places of worship, military, livery halls, industrial complexes, and even a yurt and a medieval barn.
Cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, said: “Open House London is a brilliant platform for us to showcase some of the borough’s hidden gems.
“Bexley is bursting with historical and cultural sites; many of which are open all year round. During this event, residents and tourists alike will be able to give in to their curious side and have a poke around 15 of the borough’s best buildings absolutely free of charge. It’s another fantastic way to explore Bexley.”
Over the years, other parts of London have become favourites with visitors, like the BT Tower plus the Cheesegrater and Gherkin.
Open House Director Rory Olcayto said: “We want Londoners to speak as confidently about their built environment as they do about books, music and art. Getting the public inside great buildings and visiting places that are well-designed is the best way to do it.”
He said architectural nerds are also well-catered for with serious, thoughtful design including a 1930s house in Romford designed by Penguin Pool architect Berthold Lubektin, the controversial Maggie’s Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and a hipster housing block in Stoke Newington vying for the Stirling Prize.
It is claimed that with the free entry to some amazing buildings, Open House champions great architecture and the importance of the public realm.
Amazingly, the scheme has been going for so long that when it was launched 25 years ago, places like the Gherkin didn’t yet exist - now the London skyline has been transformed.
Last year, Open House saw more than a quarter of a million people visit at least one building each.
This year’s is also the last chance to visit Crossrail stations – on pre-booked tours – before they open to the public next year.