Share in our Love of Architecture this September

Explore the best of English architecture this Heritage Open Days by visiting one of the free Love Architecture events happening in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Building on last year’s successful partnership with RIBA, Heritage Open Days (HODs) will again offer a range of Love Architecture events free to the public. From 8th to 11th of September, visitors will be able to enjoy the expertise of local architects and architectural historians up and down the country, gaining a deeper insight into the buildings which make up the places we love. From churches to Victorian pools to football stadiums, here is a small sample of the great events happening this year.

Arts and leisure

The Plaza Super Cinema and Variety Theatre Stockport (© Stockport Plaza Trust)

  • Have an exclusive tour of The Portland Collection with the architect. This stunning building won a National Award and is part of RIBA's Great British Buildings programme.
  • Go behind the scenes at John Smith’s Stadium Huddersfield. Winner of  RIBA's Building of the Year Award, fully guided tours will take visitors into the depths of this functioning sport and music stadium. Here they can enjoy areas normally reserved for the staff and players, including the players' changing rooms, the tunnel, the manager’s dugout, the press box and board room. 
  • Journey back to the 1930s with Stockport Plaza Art Deco Super Cinema and Variety Theatre. Guided tours of the Grade II listed building will be framed by atmospheric cinema presentations and musical interludes played by the original Mighty Compton Organ.

Faith buildings

  • Holy Trinity Church, Ipswich, is a rare Georgian Church with a surprising interior, including a remarkable stained glass window commemorating the fallen of the parish in World War I.
  • Visitors in Kingston will also be able to tour the award winning Quaker Centre. On Saturday, the architect himself, John Langley, will be present to lead a tour group and explain his cutting edge, sustainable, design.


  • Charterhouse, Waverley, is one of the country's great schools. Founded in 1611, this September the school opens up its historic buildings, including the South African cloisters, the Founder's chapel, the Memorial chapel, the Main Hall, the library and the Scholars' Court to the viewing public.
  • The Grade II listed Boardman House, Norwich, is now home to the Norwich University of the Arts' School of Architecture. The recipient of the RIBA East Award 2016, visitors will be able to take a tour of this local marvel.

Local heritage

Kingston Ancient Market Place and Stalls (© Anthony Hurren)


  • Farnham Pottery, on the other hand, offers an insight into a Victorian country pottery. Opened in 1872, the building has undergone little change during its 144 year history, with many original features still intact.
  • One of the few remaining Victorian swimming pools, Fore Street Pool, Ipswich, is an extraordinary example of English ingenuity. Housed under a spectacular glass roof, the pool was officially opened in 1894, and saw almost the entire population of Ipswich turn out for a swim.  
  • Celebrate the 30th birthday of Leicester’s Print Workshop, the Midlands Centre for Fine Art Printmaking (winner of 2016's RIBA East Midlands Award). Take a tour of the old warehouse originally built as a Steel Fabricators for George Alton. Converted in the 1970s, the building retains the decommissioned crane beam and now houses a fully equipped printmaking studio, a small exhibition space and shop.

Zero Carbon House (© Martine Hamilton Knight)

Looking to the future

  • For a look into a sustainable future, visit the award winning Zero Carbon House in Birmingham, the UK’s first and only retrofit house to fit the 'zero carbon' standard. Completed in 2009 the building generates all of its own energy, using no CO2-generating fossil fuels. Learn from the experts, see the materials and technologies used in the construction of the building, with the architect's detailed drawings and photos of the construction.

Love architecture? Find out more...

  • These are just a few of the RIBA events we’re excited about this Heritage Open Days. To find an event in your area tick the RIBA box on our event directory's advanced search
  • Click here for details of the wider Love Architecture festival