Open House London 2017
As you might have noticed, London is a city of buildings. And we're as guilty as anyone of not giving enough thought to the beauty, innovation and ingenuity behind some of London's best. This weekend that all changes. Open House is a huge event in the London calendar: a free weekend-long event that aims to educate us regular Joes on all things architecture by throwing open the doors to some of the city's most sought-after buildings and letting us nose around. The programme is big. And we mean really big. Divided into sections such as Hidden Gems, Award-Winning Projects and Design-For-Living, there's stuff as varied as forgotten tube stations in Crystal Palace, the Gherkin, tree houses in Kew and a waste management facility in Southwark. Some of the popular ones require booking in advance, so do that if you can. Create a realistic itinerary and get to it.
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The Conran Shop
Spread over three floors of an old stable building, The Conran Shop offers a classy mix of homeware including furniture, lighting, textiles and art. Arguably the best bit about this store has got to be its centre piece - the 'Ultimate Conran Apartment' - using roomsets to demonstrate the ideal Conran interior landscape. It's lush, airy, thoughtfully-designed and probably a slither of what heaven looks like.
This bar, restaurant and music-cum-art space next to the canal has an ethos we're right behind: an experiment in creating a community area with businesses adhering to ethical, sustainable and green business models. Think locally sourced, organic and fair trade produce sourced from organisations that don't avoid their taxes and pay the London living wage. Alongside temporary restaurant residencies and a bar, they put on plenty of community events with live music, day festivals and other stuff all in-keeping with community spirit.
We Live in the Office
“Historic buildings have been transformed into banks and information technology centres; artisan sheds have become ateliers for design and fashion; warehouses have become homes or theatres, offices have become art galleries or hotels; garages have become recording studios; basements have become research laboratories. One works at home and lives in the office.” - Andrea Branzi The evolving nature of the city is a pretty fascinating topic, and this architecturally themed exhibition at RIBA is a focusing on one of the most familiar and unavoidable features of the city: the façade. Gilles Round has turned the gallery space into a production studio and a shop: exploring the increasing tension between the changing interior and static exterior of the architecture around us and our subsequently unreliable understanding of cities and spaces.
Stighlorgan is a brand with roots in Dublin and East London, with a city-slicker-cool-dude-meets-yuppie-backpacker vibe. The Dalston location is their flagship store: here you can find their full collection as well as apparel and goods from other local and independent designers that fit their functional yet fashionable ethos. Bags made for everyday city wear as much as long travel - you know you want one.