series event

Open House London 2017

Library, Keppel Street Building
Library, Keppel Street Building

Open House is a unique opportunity to see, explore and learn about London’s amazing architecture and design. More than 750 buildings of all kinds will open their doors, alongside a programme of neighbourhood walks, engineering and landscape tours, night-time openings, urban jogs and experts’ talks – all for free.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is a stunning example of art deco architecture with a modern twist thanks to a striking conversion of courtyard space. However, the site in Keppel Street on which the School was built was originally earmarked for a theatre rather than a centre of education and research. The land was acquired in 1922 for £52,000 from the National Theatre Committee, which had bought it in 1913 intending to build a Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in readiness for the tercentenary of the playwright’s death in 1916. These plans were shelved at the outbreak of war.

A generous gift of $2m from the Rockefeller Foundation made the 1922 purchase of the site and the cost of a new building possible. Five architects competed to design the new School and the winning team was Morley Horder and Verner Rees.

Among the treats in store for visitors is the chance to see the artwork in the entrance to the wood-panelled library which was deemed too rude to be placed above the front door of the building when it opened in 1929.

Join us for a rare opportunity to get an insight into this very interesting building and learn about the history and work of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

To learn about the frieze on the outside of our building, listen to our podcast.


Free to attend and open to all, with no ticket required. Entry will be on a first come, first served basis.


Open House