Last week Sunday at this time, I was in the middle of sunny Poplar to take another guided walk. Poplar, you might ask- why? It’s easy. I have been to the area on two occasions in “interactive games” – one time at a treasure hunt with A Door In a Wall in the Lansbury Estate and one time at an immersive Macbeth Theatre event in the Balfron Tower. In both occasions, i had become curious on what is behind these (on the first view) so grim masses of concrete.
Balfron Tower is part of the Brownfield estate and one of Poplar’s most popular buildings.
Luckily for me, Andrew Parnell of Footprints of London is offering an architectural Walk through the social housing estates of Poplar, called “Stock Bricks to Brutalism: Housing Design History in Poplar” – so this was the perfect opportunity to learn more. Not that I am any expert in Architecture – far from it. But I am interested in seeing the design of housing, see patterns and ideas behind the planning and – how it has turned out in reality (and as Poplar Shows, the planned effects have not always been reached). Continue reading
Image by Sir John Soan’s Museum
One of the things I love about London and the English is their embracing of eccentricity. Looking at past and present, a certain quirkiness almost seems to be a requirement for securing a place in the history books 🙂
Sir John Soane, a neoclassical architect (e.g. Bank of England) is no exception. A well-travelled man, he left his legacy to London in form of his house, where he housed his models, his art and other collections, things he acquired on his travels, and much more. In fact, Oxford Dictionary of Architecture calls the house and its interiors “one of the most complex, intricate, and ingenious series of interiors ever conceived”.
Image by Sir John Soan’s Museum
The good news is – you can visit Sir John Soane’s museum – and as most London Museums, entry is absolutely for free. Since Soan’s death in 1837 (almost 180 years ago), the house is almost untouched, which is not only remarkable as it offers a time capsule, but also remarkable that somebody lived there….You even can see a mummy sarcophagus which has survived many legal battles with the British Museum who also wants to have it, so it is top notch pieces to see and will brush up your history from Egyptians, Greeks, Romans…Sir John has done all the travel and research for you 🙂 Go and visit, you won’t regret it!
The museum is situated on Lincoln’s Inn Fields near Holborn and is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-17.00. There might be a queue outside as there is a maximum number of people in the building at one time, but it usually moves quite quickly. All other information can be found here.
Good morning London Baby readers!
It’s a (hopefully not too rainy) weekend ahead, and its London Open House weekend. Before I even get started, I have a confession to make: as much as I love pretending I am an expert of all-that-is-London, Open House weekend is totally out of my expertise. Often, I have not been in town, and if I have, I was very unprepared. Usually, friends of mine are trying to win tickets for the hottest venues for us already months before in the lottery ticket system, but we are never successful. On the weekend, I found myself in some of the most absurd long Q’s at Battersea Power Station or elsewhere, so its not been such a success for me until now 🙂
However, it is a genuine and beloved highlight in the London events calendar, so I do want to give you a bit of background and one or the other tip of buildings to see.
So what is the London Open House weekend?
To celebrate and promote London’s architecture and design, more than 800 venues, many of them usually not open to the public, open their doors over this weekend. This Continue reading