September 15, 2007

London Open House Weekend with Richmond Arts Link

During London Open House Weekend, the doors to over 700 buildings of architectural interest are opened to the public. Richard from the Richmond Arts Link ( led a group of us on a tour that started at Baron's Court Station (itself a Grade II listed building) and included three Open House buildings with tours.
We walked through the Hammersmith Cemetary (opened in 1869) to reach Voysey Studio, now a Hungarian Reformed Church (the very nice minister sold us much needed coffee and cookies). According to the Voysey Studio Restoration website, C.F.A. Voysey was one of the leading architects of the Arts and Craft Movement in Britain during the late Nineteenth Century. Voysey Studio is one of his first and best buildings, designed in 1891 for the artist W.E.F.Britten and completed in 1892. Our tour guide pointed out the silhouette on the wooden overhang over the front door.
Our next visit was to the Richard Rogers Partnership, an architectural firm responsible for such buildings as Centre Pompidou, Lloyd’s of London headquarters and the Millennium Dome. We were given a comprehensive tour that showed how architectureal firms work. The people who showed us how to build the models were especially memorable. The only pictures I took here were of the former Harrod's Depot across the Thames, now Harrod's Village (where we almost chose to live).
After lunch at the Crabtree Pub, Richard pointed out sights along the river such as Bishop's Park, Craven Cottage (1880) which is home to the Fulham Football Club, and an odd boat on the river.

Our first sight at the Hurlingham Club was a black swan. The manager took us for an extensive tour around the grounds. We also admired the interior of several buildings and I took a picture of one especially exquisite embroidered scene. We learned that the last new member had been on the waiting list for 17 years.

Richard directed us to the nearest tube station. This was a great day at a perfect pace.

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