See Behind Closed Doors

Open House London gives you a peek at iconic buildings usually closed to the public

Take a look inside iconic Wandsworth buildings normally closed to the public as part of the Open House London event this month.

Across the capital hundreds of buildings will open their doors on September 21-22, alongside a programme of free neighbourhood walks and architect-led tours.

This year’s event explores the theme of ‘social’, including buildings as homes and as part of the fabric of a community and the impact of social media on architecture. Some open days and tours must be booked in advance, and it is recommended you do this as soon as possible. The Wandsworth buildings are:

Battersea Townhouse and Studio. A four-storey architecturally redesigned townhouse flooded with natural light providing a living and working space.

Blackbook Winery. A converted Victorian railway arch in Nine Elms. Grapes come from English growers within two hours of London, and there is a chance to meet the winemaker.

Buzz Bingo Hall (Granada Cinema. Exceptional Grade-I listed example of the ‘super cinema’ of the 1930s in Tooting (pictured below).

Emanuel School, Battersea. The former Royal Patriotic orphanage has been a school since 1883.

Foster + Partners Studio, Riverside, 22 Hester Road, Battersea. Purpose-built architects’ studio.

Quaker Meeting House, Wandsworth. The oldest Quaker meeting house in London.

Queensmere Road. Typical 1980s purpose-built semi transformed by a full-width rear extension.

RCA Battersea: Dyson and Woo buildings. See inside the Royal College of Art buildings in Battersea, designed to be an ‘art factory’.

Roehampton University – Mount Claire Temple. A Neoclassical garden templ, pictured below.

Roehampton University Library. Opened in 2017, the library has been designed to encourage good behaviour and academic attitude.

Roehampton University Chadwick Hall. The Wandsworth Design Award winner is a student residence in the grounds of the 18th century Downshire House.

Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. A former Georgian villa in Putney extended to reflect medical attitudes and thinking through the ages.

Sister’s Avenue. Refurbished post-war end of terrace in Battersea.

St John’s Hill. The regeneration of the 1930s Peabody Estate in three phases, replacing 351 existing homes with 538 new ones and a new community hub, and creating new pedestrian links with Clapham Junction.

St Mary’s Church Battersea. Grade-I listed Georgian Church

Tara Theatre. Architectural fusion of east and west in Earlsfield.

Tooting Bec Lido. Outdoor pool containing a million gallons of unheated water. It was built in 1906 and recently refurbished.

US Embassy. Striking embassy building in Nine Elms using the latest in energy-efficient building techniques. Pictured above.

Wandsworth Prison Museum. More than 400 items telling the prison’s history.

The council’s cabinet member for community services and open spaces Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “This year’s Open House weekend has a really impressive slate of Wandsworth buildings, including some of our oldest treasures and some striking modern design.

“It’s good to see some of the buildings are former winners of the Wandsworth Design Awards which we run to celebrate architectural excellence in Wandsworth. There’s still time to nominate for this year’s award so get in touch by the end of this month if there is a building you feel deserves recognition.”

Opening times vary, and in some cases visits must be booked. For full details, visit

September 12, 2019