Open House: your one chance to venture inside some of London's most impressive venues

Open House in Peckham and Nunhead, September 22nd/23rd

Looking for interesting things to do this September in London? Why not check out Open House, an annual London festival of architecture, taking place 22nd and 23rd of September. The Open House festival is dedicated to making architecture accessible to all. It allows everyone access to unusual private homes, government building, historic sites, new skyscrapers, educational establishments and many others that are normally closed to the public.  This year more than 800 London venues will open their doors all over London - to what is an inspiring and FREE event.  Some popular places require pre-booking, for the rest, you can just turn up on the day! 

We have rounded up our top 5 venues to visit in South East London during the Open House weekend: 

1. Quay House 

Quay House in Peckham. Image credit:

Quay House in Peckham. Image credit:


The Quay 2c is a multi disciplinary design practice whose studio is also home to architect Ken Taylor and artist Julia Manheim. This development which was featured on BBC4 and C5 was previously a milk distribution depot; it was then transformed into an unusual domestic project through its conversion, with four first floor beach huts as a series of bedrooms and a bathroom, and three new build loft style apartments tabling over the sculpture studio.

Saturday 22nd Open 12pm–5pm (max visitors 150)

2c Kings Grove (Queens Road end), Peckham, SE15 2NB

2. Peckham Library

Peckham Library. Image credit:

Peckham Library. Image credit:


The dramatic design of Peckham Library resembling an upside-down 'L' of coloured glass and green copper was RIBA Award Winner in 2000. 

Peckham Library, which was bombed in WWII is one of three big libraries in the Southwark area. The library was part of a £265 million, seven-year Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) programme for Peckham, which ran from 1994 to 2001. 

The design brief to the architects Alsop and Störmer required the library to be light, to have flexible use which could be adapted as library needs changed, to be safe and welcoming to a diverse community and to be energy efficient.

Saturday 22nd Open 11am–1pm, Sunday 23rd Open 1pm–3pm

122 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JR

3. 15 and a half Consort Road

Unusual home in Peckham which featured on Grand Designs. Image credit:

Unusual home in Peckham which featured on Grand Designs. Image credit:


This unusual home with its opening roof and sliding bed-bath were built on a tight budget ( £40k spent on the land and around £170k on the build) on a brownfield site. It featured on Grand Designs and was even voted as one of nation's favourite Grand Designs houses.

The external the external appearance is a simple rectilinear wooden and opaque glass box behind the hedge. The main wooden corner has 2 huge doors to allow occasional vehicular access to the studio or garage. It has a floating staircase up to a mezzanine pod, a hidden cupboard outside designed to allow deliveries whilst no one is home, a sliding glass roof opens in around 17 seconds and closes automatically if raining and even a bed that slides to one side to reveal a spa bath!  Who wouldn't want a sneak peek around this house!

Open 10am–5pm Regular tours every 30 mins (11am-4pm) max 6 per tour

15 and a half Consort Road, SE15 2PH

4. Old Waiting Room at Peckham Rye station

The waiting room at Peckham Rye Station. Image credit:

The waiting room at Peckham Rye Station. Image credit:


The waiting room at Peckham Rye Station was once considered to be one of the grandest station waiting rooms in south London, but for decades this space has been forgotten about. The Old Waiting Room was designed by Charles Henry Driver as part of Peckham Rye Station when it opened in 1865 and finally closed its doors in 1962.

Following a successful campaign to get the building Grade II listed in 2007, Benedict O'Looney Architects have been working in partnership with Network Rail and other stakeholders to open up and restore this local treasure. 

Saturday 22nd Open 10am–5pm (max visitors 60)

Station Arcade, Rye Lane, SE15 5DQ

5. KnoxBhavan Architects

KnoxBhavan Architects studio in Peckham. Image credit:

KnoxBhavan Architects studio in Peckham. Image credit:


KnoxBhavan Architects has transformed a former stationery shop and warehouse in Peckham into a beautiful new studio to house their small practice. Dedicated to the idea that the workplace environment directly affects health and wellbeing, they saw an opportunity to design a health-conscious new studio, while showcasing the work of the practice through testing and experimenting with ideas, prototypes, materials and details.

Saturday 22nd/ Sun 23rd  Architect-led tour every 15 mins (12pm-4pm) max 8 per tour group.

69 Choumert Road, Peckham, SE15 4AR

For more info head to the Open House London website.