Open House London



As a society concerned with your local built environment I’m sure you have many members who have participated in the annual Open House Weekend and would like to see this and our other work continue despite the Covid-19 outbreak.

The link to our Friends appeal page is

For three decades we have staged the extraordinary Open House festival every September opening the doors of amazing buildings all over London for hundreds of thousands of people to explore and enjoy for free. We have also created unique design-led education for children and young people from deprived backgrounds and with special educational needs across the city. We estimate that since Open House was founded, around 2.8 million people have come to the festival and tens of thousands of children have benefited from our workshops and learning programmes.

However, as a charity, we have always funded our work with income we earn from running events throughout the year, and as society takes important steps to defeat the coronavirus, we have been hard hit by the lockdown which has stopped almost all our sources of income.

Open House is not a big organisation. We don’t receive central government grants or statutory funding but nonetheless do amazing things with modest resources. We have a tiny staff team supported by tireless volunteers but making the Open House festival happen every year, and delivering educational projects in communities on the ground is a huge undertaking. Right now our staff are working around the clock finding new ways to continue supporting the communities who rely on our learning programmes throughout the lockdown. We are creating new online and mail-order educational activities to ensure nobody is deprived of a holistic education due to the pandemic. And we are devising inventive ways to celebrate London’s unique landscape for all even if Covid-19 means that we can’t run a traditional Open House Weekend in September. But we can’t do any of this alone.

In the past, we have rarely asked the public for financial support and have done everything we can to keep Open House free for all, but in this crisis, we now need your help. If you believe in our work and can afford to contribute a small monthly donation, please act now to become an Open House Friend. You can read more about the great rewards we are creating to say thank you to everyone who donates below.

We understand that incomes are being hit across society by the virus, and that not everybody is in a position to give to charity at this time, but if just 1% of the people who come to Open House every year gave a small donation each month, it would safeguard the charity, guaranteeing the future of the free Open House festival and the critical work we do with disadvantaged young people across London.

Once again the link to our Friends appeal page is

For three decades, Open House has been welcoming
people of all backgrounds to share in 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. It will be a celebration of
the buildings, parks and places that we’ve all
been missing, and we are especially keen to
feature the local places and spaces that are
important to local communities. This part of the
programme would be dedicated to local discoveries:
places that only locals know, such as community
centres, local clubs, volunteer centres, pubs,
local parks and open spaces.

We would be delighted if you or your members would
like to propose places which would fit this bill.
Best of all would be if you could ask the owners
or managers to propose the buildings themselves so
they would get onto our database directly: here is
the link to make a proposal:

Alternatively we would be delighted to receive any
suggestions direct, and we could follow up with
the locations – just reply to this email with your

The Open House festival will be on 19 and 20
September this year. Of course it will have to be
a bit different in format from previous years; but
we are determined that it should go ahead and we
have already received enthusiastic support for the
2020 programme from many buildings which have
taken part in the past. We envisage visits being
carefully managed so as to keep everyone safe; but
we are also expecting to offer virtual tours and
online architects’ talks and introductions where
possible. You can find more details about our plan

We very much look forward to hearing your
suggestions for places we should feature. Thank
you in advance for your ideas.

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