Hackney announces locations for Open House festival 2020

Hackney’s most unique buildings are preparing to open their doors and welcome in the public during Open House festival from 19-27 September. This year’s programme, which celebrates London’s architecture and urban landscape, promises ‘a rich mix of events, tours, carefully-managed building openings and film premieres reconnecting us with the city we’ve been locked out of for months.

Hackney locations to discover more about include: 50 Chocolate Studios; A House with a Slide; Frampton Park Baptist Church & Housing; Mildmay Club; PEER Gallery; Round Chapel; Shoreditch Town Hall; Three Rooms Under a New Roof; and Yorkton Workshops.

There will also be a self-guided walking tour around the City, starting from the headquarters of world-renowned architectural firm Foster and Partners in Principal Place, Hackney.

Now in its 29th year, Open House has traditionally encouraged Londoners to peek inside buildings of architectural interest across the capital. This has been limited by the impact of Covid-19 and organisers have devised a brand new programme in response to the pandemic. 

This includes an online documentary series, a range of model buildings for Londoners to make at home, online events, audio and self-led walking tours, a podcast and new book: ‘Open House Alternative Guide to the London Boroughs’. 

Where building openings and tours can take place, safety measures will be introduced including pre-booking, timed entry and altered capacities. 

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Business, Investment and Culture
Guy Nicholson Cllr for Planning, culture and inclusive economy said: “We’re impressed by the creative adaptations each of our venues has taken on to ensure they can participate in this important festival at this important time. We hope residents take use Open House to safely rediscover Hackney’s prized locations which are sure to be a source of local pride and a reminder of how important our cultural venues are.”
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Business, Investment and Culture

Alice White, PEER Curator for Local Audiences said: “Open House is a wonderful opportunity to highlight not only our gallery programme but the capital developments we have made to the area, for which we were commended in Hackney Design Awards 2018. This includes a 10-metre wide glass facade, bringing art straight onto the street, public seating, a Chris Ofili clock and Khadija's Garden – which have especially been enjoyed by local people, many of whom do not have gardens, over some very difficult months. We took part in Open House last year when the theme was 'social', which seems more pertinent than ever. We are looking forward to participating this year and being part of a London wide initiative encouraging people to re-engage with arts and culture, particularly raising awareness of our programme to local and wider audiences.” 

Sian Milliner, Head of Open House festival, said: “For three decades, the Open House festival has been welcoming people of all backgrounds to share the history, spaces and fabric of our city. This year, Open House will be a festival of rediscovering the richness of the city after months stuck inside — a jump-start for local economics and celebration of the buildings, parks and places that we’ve all been missing. As we renegotiate our relationship with a London that has been closed for so many for so long, the 2020 Open House festival will help reconnect Londoners with London featuring a programme built around safe ways to explore the streets of the city on foot and bike with sociable, active ways to participate in the festival from home too.”

Open House is a volunteer-led festival of London’s urban landscape. It is run by Open City - a charity using events, publications and podcasts to make London more equitable, accessible and open. In addition to the fees provided by participating boroughs, this year’s festival has been made possible thanks to individuals who responded to the charity’s Open House Friends appeal to support the organisation. 

The main Open House weekend will take place over 19 and 20 September with the festival continuing through the week and following weekend, closing on 27 September. The full festival programme is available on the Open House website and app.

Notes for editors 

Images for and press resources can be downloaded here

Website: openhouselondon.org.uk

Instagram and Twitter handle: @openhouselondon 

Facebook page: facebook.com/openhouselondon2020