Junior Open House Festival 2012

‘Junior Open House was the capital's first-ever 'child-friendly’ city architecture festival. It inspired London's children to find and explore places they have not seen before, opening their eyes and minds to the extraordinary architecture and spaces of the City of London.”
Nicolas Kenyon, Barbican Centre

On the 23 & 24 June 2012 over 2,158 children participated in the festival’s 124 architectural activities, tours and workshops. The festival took place in 23 venues throughout the City of London’s Square Mile. View the festival highlights or see a full list of the festival’s programme.

What did we achieve?

Youth and Family Learning - ‘Education through enjoyment’

  • The festival provided an informal and free learning model that is both educational and enjoyable.
  • It developed ways in which parents and children can learn and be creative together.
  • It showcased innovative thinking and practice to educate future generations about their city and good design.

Architectural Engagement

  • The festival programmed 124 architectural-specific activities that engaged children aged 4-12 years old in the great buildings and public spaces of the City of London’s Square Mile.

Artistic and Professional Development

  • An objective of the festival was to develop artistic and professional collaborations. Supported by the Arts Council’s ‘Grants of the Arts’, Open-City commissioned 11 artists and architects to develop their work into a children’s architectural activity. View the 5 commissioned activities. In commissioning the activities, Open-City supported the creative and artistic development of these practitioners.
  • The festival provided a platform for cross-sector working by building partnerships and collaborations with a range of member, trade and professional organisations.

Community Development

  • The festival attracted a broad multicultural, geographical, inter-generation audience to engage in their city.
  • Attendees of the festival were from a very even spread over Greater London Area. Particular attendance from Islington, Hackney, Camden and Haringey.

The success of the festival for local children demonstrates how much learning potential the City has to offer young people, and the value of unlocking it through inspiring creativity and curiosity.

Who was involved?
Each activity was located in an inspiring architectural venue. Venue participants included Broadgate, Barbican Centre, Bishopsgate Institute, Goldsmiths Hall, and Leadenhall Market. 

Partners and supporters included Arts Council, British Land, British Council, Broadgate, City of London Corporation, London Festival of Architecture.

Open-City’s education team was assisted by 8 architectural practices, 30 architects, 15 architectural students and graduates, 9 artists, and many city worker volunteers.

Insight into good design leads to a greater appreciation of the built environment and positively influences attitudes towards taking personal responsibility of public spaces and places, benefiting the whole community.Our partners and participants recognised the value Junior Open House Festival has on educating and engaging the community with the built environment. The programme gave the opportunity for everyone to enjoy and celebrate the buildings and places where we live, work and play.


The 2016 programme of tours & events starts 30 Jan. Further 2016 tours announced shortly, sign up to enews below to hear info first

30 Jan - King's Cross


6 - Cathedral to Commerce
11 - Eve With Segal

13 - Architecture on the Thames Boat Tour
20 - Photo Wren to Rogers; Riverside walking tour
27 - King's Cross

5 - Cathedral to Commerce
10 - Photo Night
12 - tbc
19 - Photo Tour Shoreditch; Riverside walking tour
26 - King's Cross
31 - Photo Night

Button JOHF



Highlights of 2012

Programme 2012