This year marks the 30th anniversary of London's prestigious annual Open House festival. The festival launched on 8th September, and finished its successful two-week run earlier this week.
Events took place all over London, celebrating the capital’s housing, architecture and landscapes. Greenland’s award-winning Ram Quarter offered several tours on the very day that the festival launched. All tours were booked to capacity when tickets became available, so more spaces were released which were also quickly booked.
Greenland worked with EPR Architects (which developed the design and vision for Ram Quarter) and with the Heritage Centre at Ram Quarter (managed by Sambrook's, the development's on-site brewery) to run guided tours of the development. The tours covered the history of the site, from its two centuries as the former home of Young’s brewery to its more recent redevelopment creating hundreds of new homes and a vibrant heart for Wandsworth Town centre.
The walk began in the historic square, where EPR architect Antony Stivala explained how a residential-led, mixed-use masterplan has transformed the brewery complex into a new urban quarter, creating a contemporary design which reflects Ram Quarter’s industrial past. The tour took visitors up the main boulevard and back along the riverside terrace, ending at the historic listed buildings which now house the onsite Heritage Centre and brewery run by Sambrook's.
John Hatch, brewer with Sambrook's and manager of the Heritage Centre, then led visitors into the Heritage Centre in the historic brewery buildings, explaining how the site's beermaking tradition has been maintained throughout the centuries to the present day. Ram Quarter’s fascinating past as the site of Britain’s longest continuously-operating brewery drew strong interest from the visitors, with many staying behind after each tour to learn more.
Alongside Ram Quarter, this year’s Open House programme featured a house in Wimbledon that Richard Rogers designed for his parents (Rogers' others designs include the Pompidou Centre and Lloyds of London), and three houseboats on one of London's many canals.