Friday, 3 October 2014

Open House 2014 Day 2

Last week I posted all about my first day at Open House 2014 - onwards to day two!

We started off at the Leadenhall Building, perhaps more commonly known as the cheesegrater. I wasn't too optimistic about this as we had been to the gherkin the day before and to the heron tower quite a few times so I wasn't expecting much view wise, and as I'm pretty sure businesses aren't actually operating within the building at the moment I doubted we'd be able to see any of the floors.

Well, I was correct about the second part - the lift takes you straight to the top and that's where you remain. But, the view was very good, it was a clearer day and I'd say the view was better than the gherkin - The Leadenhall Building has the same extra factor that the Heron tower does - you can see the (in my opinion) much prettier buildings like the gherkin from it. I don't think anyone really considers the heron tower an attractive building and honestly I don't much like the look of Leadenhall either, so it's a bit better to be able to get those other significant buildings in your shot instead!

The views were better - but what a horrible atmosphere! It's very structured - you have to walk around the outside on a strip only. And you are CONSTANTLY harassed to move on. There were around five staff members dotted around who just constantly hurry you on, even if the people in front of you had moved literally a second before they suddenly appeared. It really ruined it - you don't queue for two hours just to be shoved around! At one point the people moved in front of my friend as he was taking a photo and the security actually tapped him to push him on. It had been genuinely maybe two seconds when he did this. One of the others was quite rudely telling people, "alright, enough pictures, move now" when again, I hadn't even taken one picture yet - and I'm not a slow picture taker. So that ruined it a lot, some of them were getting quite aggressive about it, and honestly it was making people slower if anything. If you constantly try and harass me into hurrying up, you can guarantee I'll make this the best photo I have ever taken whereas if you'd just left me to it I would have walked at a perfectly ordinary pace... Nice views, awful security.

Next on we went to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Honestly - at this point we realised we'd kinda overdone Open House as we just didn't have any interest in it. It was fine. Old style building, odd colour schemes, old portraits. If you're interested in the history you'd probably really enjoy it - for us it turned out that we just weren't as interested as we had thought we were.

We also went to the HM Treasury - not much to see here to be honest!

Out of this years buildings, the two I'd recommend the most are Crossrail by far (LOTS to see) and the Leadenhall Building - but again, be aware that you're queuing to basically be harassed around a circle. Hopefully they improve on this next year because it really was riling people up and was completely unnecessary. You have a year to wait, but I'll make a post about it a little in advance next year I think :) I'd always recommend Open House, but the important thing is to pace yourself! Open House is a lot more effort than you think it's going to be and the queues are massively variable - yesterday the FCO queues were huge, at the same time today we literally walked straight in. Equally, we queued an hour for the gherkin yesterday and heard someone mention four hours today, so be prepared for all sorts!

1 comment

  1. The Leadenhall Building is beautiful. Love the pictures

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle | UK


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