Open House Festival London 2021

Discover more about the city you live in this September through the Open House Festival London. The festival exists to guide people through secret and closed buildings, and in the process help them understand more about the city they call home. 

Generally the festival includes both in-person and online tours. These include guided tours, walking tours, general access visits to buildings and workshops. 

The festival has several themes this year-

Local London

The focus here is on community spaces - from libraries to pubs and local art venues. London’s communities, if anything, are resilient, and many of the city’s community spaces are a testament to this. Londoners rightly have a lot of pride for their neighbourhood buildings and spaces, and the Open House Festival aims to provide them with a platform to showcase this pride.

Global London

There is much to love about local architects and local culture in London, but the city is still very much a global one, and the festival aims to recognize the input and work of global architects, designers and artists in helping build the past, present and future face of the city. No city exists in a bubble and London is no exception. 

Architecture and Wellbeing

The festival aims to promote improved mental well being through a series or architectural tours that will take participants into undiscovered areas and buildings. Mindfulness is the aim of these tours. Finding new ways to help residents engage with the city is also a key tenet of the festival. 

Architecture & Food & Education

Not to be forgotten are the themes of food and education - and their relationship with architecture, especially in London. The past 18 months have been tricky and challenging ones for the hospitality industry and educational sites have not been used this year as they usually are, and the festival aims to place the spotlight back on these important buildings and all they give the city they inhabit. 

The Collections

This year the Open House Festival London will showcase a number of architectural collections and tours to highlight the unique and diverse, yet impactful communities that make up London. 

Here are some we are intrigued by -

Slow Down City

Discover Battersea’s hidden parks, enjoy a guided tour across the banks of the Thames, take a tip in the Tooting Bec Lido, explore the Bluebell Centre or Clitterhouse Farm - there is a lot going on during the festival’s Slow Down City collection that aims to help residents boost their wellbeing and connect with some of the more natural, quieter parts of the city at the same time.

At Risk Sites

Change is a constant when it comes to urban planning, and most of the time redevelopment aims to build a better city in its former image. Explore some at-risk modern sites, all of the community spaces. The rise and fall of community spaces is not without a degree of sadness as neighbourhoods change and evolve. 

Healthcare in the Spotlight

In 2021 the festival aims to celebrate the work and dedication of healthcare works in the capital over the last 18 months or so. Explore some of London’s leading healthcare facilities, including hospitals, both big and small. The tours aim to help us better appreciate the sacrifices made by healthcare professionals during the global pandemic. They are also a reminder of the importance of quality urban services that meet all the needs of residents. 

The Open House Festival is a reminder that our cities are filled with amazing and unique architecture, but what really matters is what happens within each building in order to build stronger, more resilient and happier communities around them. 

At Vonder we believe that the buildings we inhabit, to live, work and play, have the potential to be meaningful, impactful spaces that create, enhance and empower communities. Our co-living complexes are designed to be places where connections happen. 

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