Open House London is once again opening the city’s doors to members of the public. This year the selection of buildings is more comprehensive than ever before, providing a great opportunity to see, explore and learn about architecture and design in your area and across London over one weekend. More than 800 buildings of all kinds will be open across London, alongside a programme of neighbourhood walks, engineering and landscape tours, cycle rides and experts’ talks – all for free. Here’s our pick of the must-see top buildings that should be top of your list
Leadenhall Building, EC3V
London's newest completed city building, The Leadenhall Building, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour+Partners and known affectionately as The Cheesegrater, is the star attraction this year. It has a distinctive slanting shape designed to protect views of St Paul's Cathedral from Fleet Street to Kew House and includes the transformation of a 19th century brick stables into a corten steel façade set within a conservation area. There's even a competition for a sunset tour.
Crossrail construction site, EC2Y
Londoners will have the opportunity to see behind Crossrail's construction site walls as Europe's largest infrastructure project opens six of its worksites to the public. Quiz the engineers and get a platform viewing of the 55m deep shaft at the Moorgate site.
Ott's Yard, EC1R
Photo: Tatianavon Preussen
Ott's Yard is an RIBA Award-winning residential development that replaces a derelict joinery workshop with two new green roofed houses. Designed by vPPR Architects, with gardens by Arabella Lennox-Boyd, the site is located at the centre of a residential block in north London, surrounded by 23 party walls and accessed via a long narrow passageway. The plans are based on an abstraction of the existing triangular geometry.
The Tree House, E1
The Tree House is a timber framed and reclaimed timber addition to two 1830s terraced cottages, designed by 6a Architects for architecture critic Rowan Moore and his family. A ramped interior reframes the activities of the house around the garden and allows access for the mother of the family who uses a wheelchair.
Photo: Valeria Carullo
A rare chance to take a glimpse inside Lubetkin & Tecton's grade I listed Modernist apartment block in Highgate. Entry is by accompanied tour only and includes the communal areas of the block as well as the restored foyers and the interior of a flat.
Writer's Shed, E8
Designed for a children's author and illustrator, the Writer's Shed is conceived as a fairytale hut at the bottom of the garden. It was designed by Weston, Surman & Deane last year. Externally, the angular cedar façade lights up at night, while inside, a large north-facing skylight floods the workspace with natural light.
Cabbies Shelters, various locations
Originally built during the day of horse-drawn Hansom Cabs, only 13 of the sixty plus Cabmens' Shelters survive. Built between 1875 and 1914 these grade II listed structures provides cabbies with a place to eat and rest. The opening is part of a wider project that will see shelters transformed into spaces for art or art works themselves.
Antony Gormley Room at The Beaumont, W1K
ROOM is a monumental, inhabitable sculpture by Antony Gormley on the listed façade of The Beaumont Hotel. And if you don't want to fork out roughly £2500 a night, this is an opportunity to take a look inside the giant crouching cuboid figure based on the artist's body.
LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, WC2A
Home to the LSE Student's Union, this newly constructed and Stirling Prize-shortlisted building by O'Donnell + Tuomey has a dramatic sculptural form and unusual perforated brick façade. Housed on a very tight site, the building has a complex and unusual plan with outer walls that slope and twist.
Duggan Morris's new 1550sq m home for Maudsley Learning provides an education and events centre with learning facilities, a café and exhibition spaces. It won a RIBA National Award this year and narrowly missed out on the Stirling Prize shortlist.
Apply for your places now at openhouselondon.org.uk/ballots. The closing date is 7 September for all ballots.