Forest Hill and Sydenham Architecture Walking Tour - Saturday 12 February 2022 10.30 am

Forest Hill and Sydenham Architecture Walking Tour - Saturday 12 February 2022 10.30 am

Regular price £14.50
Tax included.

Ticket Type

Join Open City for a socially-distanced walking tour exploring the fascinating civic architecture of Forest Hill and Sydenham. 

This walking tour from Forest Hill to Crystal Palace Park — led by architect and researcher Marianna Janowicz — explores the architecture of the area’s most prominent public buildings. Highlights include the Arts and Crafts-style Horniman Museum and Gardens, RCKa’s landmark TNG Youth and Community Centre, and the Brutalist Grade II*-listed Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.

A journey through styles and periods, this engaging and accessible tour traces the power and politics behind grand architectural ambitions including Frederick Horniman’s controversial tea trade wealth, the Baths and Washhouses Act 1846 which enabled the construction of Forest Hill Pools, and the London County Council’s ambitious postwar vision for a new Modernist centre of sporting excellence.

While many of these buildings tell similar stories of social reform and education they were all designed and delivered in very different ways with some founded by philanthropists and campaigners and others financed by private wealth or brought to life by public bodies. Clashing agendas and conflicts of opinion are also explored though discussion of the now demolished Sir Basil Spence-designed extension to Sydenham School, community efforts to save the Stirling Prize-nominated concert platform in Crystal Palace Park, and redevelopment plans for the National Sports Centre itself.

Providing a safe and fun way for enthusiastic urbanists to explore the city this walking tour is part of a new series responding to the core themes of the Open House festival and wider Open City programme.

Using live audio and image sharing, participants will use their smart phones to discover the extraordinary stories of the ambitious municipal projects of Sydenham and Crystal Palace. 

Meet: Bandstand at Horniman Museum and Gardens (Horniman Museum address 100 London Road London SE23 3PQ). Duration 2.5 hours and 5.5 km approx. Tour ends at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. Note: fairly steep uphill section towards the start of the tour.

This tour incorporates the use of Zoom, please read the tab below. 


Marianna Janowicz is an architect, researcher and member of feminist design collective Edit. Her project about foraging and rights to land was selected for the main exhibition at Oslo Architecture Triennale in 2019 and her writing on subjects around space and social justice has appeared in Open City blog, Eyesore Magazine and BUM Editions Journal. Marianna is also a research assistant at London Metropolitan University and studies part-time for an MA in Architectural History at the Bartlett, UCL. Most recently Edit has designed ‘How We Live Now,’ an exhibition on the work of the feminist architectural co-operative Matrix, which is currently open at the Barbican Centre. Marianna joined the Open City tours team in June 2021.

Concession pricing is available for those that are a student or unemployed. 

While on the tour please follow the latest government guidelines to minimise risk to yourself and other attendees as well as adhering to the precautions Open City have in place to hep keep everyone safe. 

Due to the continually changing situation tours may have to be rescheduled at late notice. In the event your tour date is cancelled you will be provided with the opportunity to book onto a rescheduled date, book onto another tour or held in credit (with no expiry date).

This is an in-person tour and the guide is with you for the duration. Zoom is used in order to help with social distancing and allow better spacing between participants.

Attendees must download Zoom to their smartphone before the tour. Bring your fully charged smartphone (with an internet connection) and headphones with you. Zoom joining info will be sent out to bookers 24 hours before the tour.

Get in touch with Adrianna at with any queries.