Open House London
Open House London is the capital’s largest annual festival of architecture and design, giving access to over 750 buildings and sites for one weekend (17 and 18 September). In Merton, three religious institutions are opening their doors to welcome visitors. Why not take this opportunity to visit them?
BAITUL FUTUH MOSQUE – 181 London Road, Morden SM4 5PT
Purpose-built mosque and the largest in Western Europe, with 15m diameter dome and minarets 36m and 23m high, accommodating 13,000 worshipers. The building is a blend of Islamic and modern British architecture and incorporates much of the structure of an old dairy site. Facilities include halls, library, creche, studios. Voted one of top 50 buildings in the world by Independent Magazine.
Open Sat/Sun 10am-5pm. Regular talks and tours, pre-book ONLY on (020) 8648 5255. Talks given in Urdu, Arabic, German and English. For further information and booking: office@baitulfutuh.
BUDDHAPADIPA TEMPLE – 14 Calonne Road SW19 5HJ
Complex of buildings on 4 acres of land with Buddhist Theravada Temple in Thai style – one of only two outside Asia. Interior walls with excellent mural paintings by Thai artists, depicting aspects of the Buddha’s life.
Open: Sat/Sun 10am-5pm. Regular 10 minute tours. Last entry 4pm. Max 30 per tour.
ST MARY’S CHURCH & GARDEN HALL – 30 St Mary’s Road SW19 7BP
Grade II listed church by Gilbert Scott. The Garden Hall has an uncompromisingly modern design using materials which echo the knapped flint and limestone of the Church. Incorporates a ‘light-bar’ of translucent glazing. RIBA Award Winner 2005.
Open: Sat 10am-1pm/Sun 1pm-5pm.
LUMEN UNITED REFORMED CHURCH AND CAFÉ (next door to URC offices) – 88 Tavistock Place WC1H 9RS
Created within the shell of an earlier 1960s church building, which is itself built over the crypt of an 1820s Presbyterian church building (Regent Square) that was damaged by a V2 missile strike in 1945. Redesign includes a cafe clearly visible through a dramatic 8m high window, a new extension housing three rooms, a reflective space the ‘Shaft of Light’. RIBA Award Winner 2009.
Further information on these and all the open buildings can be found at http://www.openhouselondon.org.uk/.