Open House London 2017: inside an architect’s home

Holden Harper’s Director Richard Holden and his wife SJ Holden recently opened up their home as part of the Open House London architecture festival – the 14th time they’ve participated in the annual event, now celebrating its 25th year.

Open House London Richard Holden Harper 2017Inside a Wimbledon architect's home for Open House London

In under four hours, Richard welcomed more than 270 people through the doors of his 1950s family home and garden, including members of the public and invited guests. Here they found inspiration from the architect and artist partnership that’s resulted in a balanced and tranquil space, flooded with natural light and filled with a lifetime’s collection of art and sculpture.

Open House London | Wimbledon architect's home

Open House London | Wimbledon interior design inspiration

Richard entertained guests with an informative talk and a personal guided tour of his conversion, sharing ‘before and after’ photos (see below), detailing his design processes and discussing his influences, including the dramatic lighting effects of Baroque churches, the work of Sir John Soane, and interconnecting spaces that pay homage to Adolf Loos’ ‘Roundplan’ concept.

Open House London | Wimbledon architect's 1950s home

Open House London | Wimbledon architect's 1950s home


Garden inspiration in Wimbledon | Open House London

The day was a great success, with plenty of visitors despite the absence of last year’s glorious sunshine. There was lots of praise and positive feedback for the space Richard and his wife have created.

A ‘very special home’ – Karine Torr, Darling magazine

Wimbledon garden inspiration | Open House London

‘Beautiful, calm, serene’ – Helene Arrentz, interior designer
Wimbledon architectural inspiration | Open House London
Wimbledon architectural inspiration | Open House London


About Open House London

Open House London began in 1992 to promote and open up the capital’s lesser-visited buildings and architecture to the general public. It now showcases more than 800 public and private spaces open for free, with professional architects, homeowners and volunteers on hand to offer tours and answer questions.

Open House is now an international programme that runs in 20 other cities around the world, including New York, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Barcelona, Chicago and Slovenia. The popularity of Open House Weekend has led to a year-round programme of events spanning building, photography and boat tours. Visit the Open House website for more details.

Best Buildings to Visit in Merton for Open House London

As Holden Harper’s architect-director Richard Holden opens his Wimbledon home for this weekend’s Open House London 2017 festival, he rounds up the best buildings to visit in SW19 and beyond.

Coinciding with Merton Arts Festival, this weekend is a great opportunity to explore and find art, design and architectural inspiration in the area.

SW19 Architect's residential conversion on Parkside

9 Parkside Avenue

Richard Holden will be opening up his 1950s family home and garden once again on Sunday afternoon as one of 800+ little-seen spaces throwing open their doors across the capital. Details of the conversion have been influenced by the dramatic natural lighting of Baroque churches and the work of Sir John Soane, as well as drawing on Arts and Crafts theories and Adolf Loos’ ‘Roundplan’ concept, to create a series of interlocking spaces.

To see how Richard has taken influences from the past to inform his present-day home design, he suggests visits to Nicholas Hawksmoor’s St George’s church in Bloomsbury, St Sir Christopher Wren’s St Stephen Walbrook in the City and Sir John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields – just a few of the iconic inclusions in Open Week London. He’ll also be giving guests a personal tour and discussing all aspects of the conversion. 

Visit: Sunday 17th September

Time: 1pm – 5pm

Address: 9 Parkside Avenue, Wimbledon Village, London SW19 5ES


Best Buildings in Wimbledon for Open House London 2017: Buddhapadipa Temple

Buddhapadipa Temple

This arresting Thai-style Buddhist temple set on 4 acres of land is one of the only two temples of its kind outside Asia. View beautiful mural paintings by Thai artists depicting aspects of the Buddha’s life.

Visit: Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September

Time: 10am – 5.30pm

Address: 14 Calonne Road, Wimbledon Parkside, London SW19 5HJ


Best Buildings in Wimbledon for Open House London 2017: Donhead Preparatory School

Donhead Preparatory School

An updated and extended school building with a 150-seat auditorium, light-filled 50-seat chapel and double-height art room. A sensitive juxtaposition of old and new with a contemporary aesthetic by Phillips Tracey Architects.

Visit: Saturday 16th September

Time: 10am – 5pm

Address: 33 Edge Hill, London SW19 4NP


Best Buildings in Wimbledon for Open House London 2017: Cannizaro Studios

Cannizaro Studios

This building set within the grounds of Cannizaro Park holds great history behind it. A converted Victorian potting shed, it now hosts artists’ studios: try to time your visit to coincide with the guided tour of the park at 11.30am on Sunday; otherwise enjoy the exhibition of the current occupants’ works as part of Merton Arts Festival.

Visit: Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September

Time: 11am – 5pm

Address: The Old Potting Sheds, Cannizaro Park, London SW19 4UW


Best Buildings in Wimbledon for Open House London 2017: Wimbledon College of Art

New Studios, Wimbledon College of Arts

An exemplar of sustainable building design by Penoyre & Prasad that received both the RIBA London Award and RIBA London Sustainability Award this year, with the highest score received by an educational institution. It provides simple and flexible workspaces for Wimbledon College of Arts students, focusing on clever orientation to make the most of natural light and natural ventilation.

Visit: Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th September

Time: 10am – 5pm

Address: Merton Hall Road, London SW19 3QA

Open House London Weekend 2017 9 Parkside Avenue

9 Parkside will be open to view from 1pm–5pm on Sunday 17th September. Visit Open House London 2017 for more about participating buildings in Merton. 

Whilst you’re in the area, visit some of the Merton Arts Festival houses and studios for a mix of painting, sculpture, ceramics and photography. See the trail map to plan your route.


Extension well underway…

Progress on a new extension in Wimbledon

Building work is well underway on a new extension in the Wimbledon West conservation area. While we wait for the windows to arrive, tiling has begun on the roof. Once the windows are in the next step will be plastering the interior.

Even in the early stages of the project,  you can see how bright and spacious the finished family home will be, with visual links throughout the house – light floods from roof lights in the attic down to the foot of the stairs…

new Extension in Wimbledon is well underwayprogress on new extension in wimbledonNew extension, Wimbledon, as seen from the back

The building work involves an extension to a current house enlarging it on the east side and into the roof space. The design adds extra rooms and opens the back of the house out into the garden, consequently allowing much more natural light into the house. The finished house will have 6 bedrooms while still allowing for multiple family rooms and an open first floor landing.

We will keep you posted on this and more of our projects here

To see some of our finished projects click here

Planning permission granted for new development

Planning approved for new flats in Wimbledon

Merton council has approved planning for 7 new flats in Wimbledon. The new development consists of 7 1-bed flats within Wimbledon Town Center. The re-purposing of office space within the existing building will provide housing for a new demographic due to its proximity to transport links.

Development of new flats in Wimbledom

Front and rear elevations of the development in Wimbledon

The plans maintain the existing facade while refurbishing the interior to create the flats. The combination of renovation and extension of the offices transforms the interior space into open plan and modern flats. The flats optimize natural light while an external private courtyard will provide a level of amenity space.

The scaffolding is up…

Work has begun towards an extensive renovation to historic family home in Wimbledon.

Erection of the scaffolding has commenced to initiate the renovation to a historic family home in Wimbledon. Work starts with the demolition of an existing detached building on the site, consequently making room for more living space.

renovation to historic family home

The work has begun!

The project is an extensive refurbishment and restoration of the historic building in order to maintain its traditional qualities. Whereas inside, the large rooms create a modern and open plan environment. The building optimizes space with many good sized bedrooms.

renovation of a historic family home in Wimbledon

CGI images of the show the finished renovation.

CGI images of the show the finished house.

To stay posted on this and other projects watch this space