Famous Islington buildings open their doors to the public this weekend

17:45 20 September 2012

Emirates Stadium

Emirates Stadium


Some 40 buildings across the borough will fling open their doors to the public this weekend as part of Open House London 2012.

The capital-wide event – now in its 20th year – will enable people to explore venues otherwise closed to the public, alongside a programme of neighbourhood walks, engineering and landscape tours, night-time openings, urban jogs and expert talks.

This year’s theme ‘The Changing Face of London’ explores issues relevant to local communities and how the built environment is evolving – including the design of homes, the impact of climate change, the role of architects and contemporary design in revitalising places and how good design can make London a more liveable, vibrant and enjoyable city.

Here the Gazette takes a look at the nine buildings new to this year’s line up.

For more information visit

Grenville Community Allotment Gardens

Commissioned by Islington Council, the gardens were designed by students under the guidance of consultancy firm Buro Happold, who helped design the London 2012 Olympic Park. The allotments in Grenville Road, which opened earlier this year, were the first of their kind to be created within a public park in London.

Opening times: Sat/Sun 2pm-7pm.

Emirates Stadium

The home of Arsenal FC, which opened in 2006, the state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium in Clifton Terrace, Holloway, is the third largest in the country with a capacity of 61,361. The three-tiered bowl soars as high as 42 meters and cost £390 million to build.

Opening times: Hourly tours – which need to be pre-booked through Open House – run from 10am-1pm.

Park Theatre

Due to be completed in November this year, the Park Theatre in Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, promises to be a brand-new £2.4 million venue for the performing arts.

Originally constructed in the 1960’s, the building has over-seen an overhaul of its design under David Hughes Architects. This will include two auditoriums, a cafe bar, education studio and three residential flats.

Opening times: Saturday 10am - 1pm. Pre-booked hourly tours available through Open House.


Featuring recording studios, dance studios, a media centre and rehearsal space, Platform Youth Hub opened just over a year ago in former Hornsey Road Baths in Hornsey Road, Holloway.

Aimed at attracting young people and making a different to their lives, the new space was completed in 2011 by Van Heyningen and Haward Architects.

Opening times: Sunday 12noon-4pm. Architect-led tours at 1pm, 2pm & 3pm. Last entry 3.30pm.

Penthouse Flat, The Print House

Recently completed, the apartment in Aylesbury Street, Clerkenwell, boasts a sophisticated design of an open living space with views of St Paul’s and the Shard. Architects, Form Design Architecture, designed the flat over two floors of a converted and extended former print works.

Opening times: Saturday 10am-5pm. Regular tours, pre-book only on 020 7404 3336.

Flat 5 ¾ Martineau Road

Described as a ‘tardis’ house, Ullmayersylvester Architects’ metal workshop and one bedroom flat design in Martineau Road, Highbury, has been shortlisted for RIBA Award and Don’t Move, Improve Award.

Opening times: Saturday, 1pm-5pm.

Entry given on a first come basis.

Lantern House

A refurbished Victorian house full of creativity, Studio Octopi’s design boasts a wide range of materials and finishes that have been used to for a unique effect including a glass roof bringing light into the kitchen. Sustainable features on the Evershot Road property in Finsbury Park include a sedum roof.

Opening times: Sunday 10am-5pm. Hourly architect-led tours, pre-bookable only through Open House.

Centre 404

Designed by Anne Thorpe Architects LLP for disability charity Centre 404, this community building in Camden Road, Holloway, has improved use of space and accessibility following the eight month refurbishment. It is energy efficient and includes sustainable features such as a green roof.

Opening times: Sat 1pm-5pm, with entry given on a first come basis.

Gillespie Park and Nature Reserve

The Highbury nature reserve and ecology centre in Drayton Park now features a new entrance via an innovative timber canopy and meadow, along with an urban woodland play area on a formerly inaccessible and contaminated piece of railway land.

The space boasts many sustainable features including bug hotels and wildlife-friendly planting.

Opening times: Saturday and Sunday 8am - 5pm. Tours available on Saturday between noon - 4pm. A quiz trail for children will also be on offer.


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