Open House London 2017

Its the 25th anniversary year of Open House London always an exciting time to visit various buildings around London. This is also my 10th year in a row that I have been going. I never get tired of visiting the splendid buildings around the capital and this year there were many more to see as all London boroughs are taking part.
This year I ventured first to south london to Crystal Palace. To the subway which was built in Victorian times, it has stunning architecture and its a place I have been trying to go to for the last 3 years.

1. Crystal Palace Subway

The entrance to the subway is facing Crystal Palace Park with the subway itself under the road, it is only open a few times a year. It used to be the Crystal Palace train station which has been closed since 1954.
Crystal Palace Subway

Long exposure – ISO100 | 10mm | f22 | 10sec | ND filter

Walking down to the entrance of the subway what greets you is this amazing architecture. Spanish style Terra Cotta and brick. This must have been an extraordinary station when it was at its peak usage in the 1890s.
Crystal Palace Subway

Impressive curves of the architecture

Why is the station there?

Back before the war the Crystal palace exhibition space was on top of Sydnam hill, it was one of the most popular attractions at the time. Wealthy people didn’t want to walk up the hill to the exhibition as it was quite steep, so a station was opened in 1865 for them. The part you see in the subway is what remains of the 1st class ticket hall. In 1936 the Crystal Palace Exhibition was destroyed by a large fire, the red glow of the fire could be seen from the south coast.

Crystal Palace Subway

Once covered with glass – 3 photos stitched panoramic

The rest of the station was pulled down as people thought it was an eye sore in the 1960’s, it was certainly cultural vandalism of the highest order and wouldn’t happen today.

Crystal Palace Subway

These pillars hold the weight of the road above

The subway is only open a few times a year and is supported by the Friends of Crystal Palace Subway. If you want to visit this historic place then check out the website – where you can also find out more about the place.

2. Roca Gallery

The Roca Gallery is a very stylish building and very complicated design. Its mostly made out of concrete and glass. The late Zaha Hadid was the architect inspired by water to create the curves and flow of the building. She was know as the queen of curves.

Roco gallery

It is used as a bathroom showroom making it a unique space. I visited during open house London where we were given an interesting tour by one of the architects from the Hadid’s firm and one of the management from Roca.

Roco gallery - Tour

An Italian firm who are known for their stylish showroom gallery spaces. They have many famous buildings around the world to show off their bathrooms.

Roco gallery

Roco gallery

Bath tub

The building was a complex build as all the curves are made out of concrete. Each piece was manufactured in Germany and there were 236 interior panel & 36 facade panels. It used a special concrete which has glass reinforcement the panels had to be small enough to be easily transportable.

Roco gallery

Roco gallery - Tour

It took 2 years to build and to budget. Find out more on the links below, this was another fabulous building to discover on Open House London.

I looking forward to discovering more buildings next year, thanks for reading.


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Roco Gallery –
Open House London – httpss://

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