Islington’s Open House gems
Open House London is back, this year with 750 buildings, places and tours across the capital, on 17-18 September 2016. Here in Islington, despite being the smallest borough area, there’s loads to visit over the event’s two days. Here we choose some of our favourite architectural gems.
407 St John Street, EC1V 4AB
Angel Building is the reinvention of an unloved early 1980s commercial building located in the historic district of Clerkenwell. Commissioned by Derwent London and designed by award-winning architects AHMM, the building was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2011.
The fully refurbished building now sits more comfortably within its immediate context and has been a catalyst for regeneration in the area.
When: Open Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-1pm. Last entry 45 mins before closing.
Cruikshank Street, WC1X 9HA
Built on the bomb damaged site of Holford Square, Bevin Court is one of Islington’s hidden Modernist gems. This Grade II* listed building was designed by Berthold Lubetkin, whose motto ’Nothing is too good for ordinary people’, resonates through this revolutionary building.
When: Saturday tours at 10am, 11am, 12noon, 1pm.
BUNHILL HEAT AND POWER ENERGY CENTRE
Central Street, EC1V 3QB
The Bunhill Heat and Power Energy Centre supplies the heat for the Bunhill district heating network and produces electricity for the national grid using a gas combined heat and power (CHP) plant. Both the Energy Centre and the heat network are owned by the council. They began operating in November 2012 and currently supply heat to 850 council and private homes, Finsbury Leisure Centre, Ironmonger Row Baths and local office buildings.
When: Saturday 10am-5pm, last entry 4.30pm.
CALEDONIAN CLOCK TOWER
Market Road, N7 9PL
The magnificent Caledonian Clock Tower, designed by James Bunstone Bunnings, was erected in 1855 as the centrepiece of the new Metropolitan Cattle Market, developed by the City of London Corporation to replace Smithfields as the livestock market for London. The tower and sections of the original market railings on Market Road and Shearling Way are all that survives of the market which originally occupied thirty acres of ground.
The tower contains one of the largest chiming turret clocks in London. The bells were cast at Whitechapel Foundry and rang out at market opening and closing time as well as on the hour and quarter hours.
When: Sunday 10am-3pm. Hourly tours only, pre-book here. Last tour 3pm.