Open House opens up Barking and Dagenham buildings to the public

Barking Abbey and St Margaret's Church will be open to the public

Barking Abbey and St Margaret's Church will be open to the public - Credit: Archant

The borough’s architectural gems will be on display this weekend at a free festival to celebrate beauty and function in design.

Dagenham Library, Valence House and Barking Abbey are among the landmark buildings to open their doors to the public, as Open House London celebrates its 13th year.

The borough has been particularly recognised for its Courtyard Housing, which was developed to suit the needs of the over 55s community.

Examples of the architecture, complete with a communal landscaped garden, can be seen in Wood Lane, Dagenham, where architects will lead regular tours from 10am to 1pm on Sunday.

Barking’s Technical Skills Academy will also be seen in a new light on Saturday, when residents will be pointed towards the sustainable features of the institute, including a combined heat and power system.

The festival acknowledges the housing crisis in the borough, with a guided walking tour taking in a number of award-winning schemes, including Barking Central, William Street Quarter, and the Ice House Quarter.

“Open House is a unique and vibrant annual event, offering people across London the chance to explore and learn about the capital’s architecture,” said Victoria Thornton, founding director of Open House London.

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“This year we’re putting together a great programme of open buildings, walks, tours and talks taking in everything from award-winning contemporary homes to major regeneration areas.”

The festival is supported by Barking and Dagenham Council and runs on Saturday and Sunday at locations across the borough.

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