Go behind the scenes of Hackney s architecture during Open House London

Open House London
Your chance to explore inspiring buildings for FREE
18-19 Sept 2010

Take the chance to discover great architecture over the weekend of 18 and 19 September, as 30 buildings in Hackney throw open their doors to the public for a glimpse of their design excellence.

As part of the Capital’s largest architectural festival, Open House London, residents are invited to visit the properties free of charge and learn more about their distinct features.

Steve Douglas, Hackney Council Corporate Director for Neighbourhoods and Regeneration, said: “High quality design in our buildings helps to create successful neighbourhoods, and getting the chance to go behind closed doors is a great opportunity to find out more about the role design plays in our lives, from combating climate change, to providing spaces where our young people can thrive, to creating places where we can relax.”

Among the buildings open to the public will be Stoke Newington Town Hall on Stoke Newington Church Street, N16, recently restored to its Art Deco glory by Hackney Council. Impressive features include the original sprung Canadian maple dance floor and beautifully renovated council chamber with original gold cornicing, wood panelling and vaulted domed ceiling. Tours of the building will be available on Sunday 19 Sept and must be pre-booked:

Take the chance to go backstage at the Hackney Empire on one of the tours at 10am and 12noon on Saturday and Sunday. The Grade II listed auditorium on Mare Street, E8, is the best example of Edwardian variety theatre remaining in London. Refurbishment restored the interiors, added to the fly-tower and provided new backstage areas.

The Graeae Theatre Company welcomes visitors to its fully accessible office and rehearsal space at Bradbury Studios, Kingsland Road, E2. Their Grade II listed home was built as stables in 1914 and now has access at the heart of its design, providing an inspirational hub for the arts.

Two of the borough’s academies offer architect-led tours to showcase modern learning spaces at The Bridge Academy, Laburnum Street, E2, and The City Academy, Homerton Row, E9.

Amnesty International’s UK headquarters at 17 to 25 New Inn Yard, EC2A, are housed in two refurbished factories with exhibition space, library and lecture theatre on the ground floor and offices over five floors.

Other buildings open to the public include Shoreditch Town Hall, St Augustine’s Tower, Village Underground, Round Chapel and more.

Now in its 18th year, this year’s theme for Open House London is ‘Our buildings, our neighbourhoods, our city’. It tells the story of amazing architecture in every London neighbourhood. Londoners will find out more about issues that are relevant to their local area – from the design of homes to the impact of climate change, and the role of architects and contemporary design in revitalising places.

For a full list of all buildings open to the public in Hackney during Open House London, visit: