Havering’s architectural gems set to open their doors for London Open House weekend

The Queen’s Theatre, Havering Town Hall and Towers Junior School-these are just some of the buildings that residents will be able to take a peek behind as part of the London Open House.

The event on Saturday September 17 and Sunday September 18 will see 12 buildings in Havering opening their doors for residents to explore.

Among the gems taking part in the annual event will be the Thames Chase Forest Centre, which reopened in April 2010.

People will be able to explore the award winning modern visitor centre which is attached to a 17C listed barn-one of the best preserved in the London area.

Residents will also be able to take a look behind the scenes of local democracy as the Grade II listed Havering Town Hall offers regular tours as part of the event. The design was the result of an architectural competition won by Collins & Geens and the building boasts unique fittings using Bath stone, bronze and Tasmanian oak.

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Some of Havering’s classic buildings will again be taking part in the open weekend including The Queen’s Theatre, which will also have children’s activities, the recently refurbished Langtons House, Upminster Tithe Barn and Rainham Hall.

This year Havering has two exciting new editions to the event, Hylands Primary School and Towers Junior School have both recently been modernised. Hyland Primary School now boasts sustainable features such as a biomass boiler and sedum roof.

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Residents can also join the Gidea Park Garden Suburb Walk. The two-hour tour takes in the Gidea Park exhibition houses and Hare Street buildings in the suburb’s centenary year. The walk takes place on the Saturday, meeting at 10.15am at the entrance to the Balgores Square car park.

There will also be the opportunity to take part in a guided walk around Havering-atte-Bower the oldest Royal village in the country. The walks will take place at 10.30am on Saturday 17 and 2.30pm on Sunday 18 meeting point is the bus stop on The Green.

Councillor Andrew Curtin, Cabinet Member for Towns and Communities, with special responsibility for Culture, said: “We are seeing some very interesting architecture being built in Havering now, tackling many social issues from environmental sustainability to reflecting modern ideas about education, as well as responding to aesthetic and engineering issues.

“I am looking forward to seeing some of these building as part of London Open House in Havering in 2011, and setting new works in the context of the rich historic tradition of landscape and architecture which exists in the borough, and I hope that many other residents will do so too.”

If you fancy exploring outside Havering, other buildings in London will also be taking part in the event.

For a full list of the programme for London Open House visit

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