Opening up Architecture

How often do we consider the influence that the built environment has on daily London lives? How do the materials, use of light, layout and constructions methods impact on our work and leisure?

London Grid for Learning has been working in partnership with Open-City since September 2011, supporting the Open-City Education programme. This highly regarded programme incorporates architecture into the Primary and Secondary curriculum, helping London teachers and students to better understand the built environment.

Throughout 2012, London Grid for Learning and open-City have been working on a new resource that offers an insight into 3 unique buildings in London. With help from three architects that have a deep understanding of each building, they unlock the vision behind each building and how it meets the needs of the clients and daily users.

Materials used, use of light and sensitivities of the needs of clients and daily users are all analysed and presented in a accessible way for the non specialist to incorporate into a wide range of curriculum areas including
  • Art & Design
  • History
  • Science
  • PSHE education
  • Citizenship 
  • English 
  • Mathematics
Opening up Architecture
Opening up Architecture screenshot
Victoria Thornton, Hon FRIBA, OBE - Founding Director: “Architecture is the one thing that affects us all everyday, and yet it is often the one thing we don’t learn about. At the same time, it is the perfect vehicle to bring to life so may core subjects on the curriculum: beyond Design & Technology, it also provides a good method through which to teach a wide spectrum of subjects, including Maths, and Geography.

Open-City has for many years recognised the importance and value of young people being given an architectural understanding and education, enabling 3000 young people each year to have this opportunity through direct experience of our architecture in schools programme. Therefore, we were delighted when LGfL approached us to develop this interactive film resource. It will allow exemplary design and expert architect knowledge to be accessed by all young people, directly in to their classrooms - a wonderful step forward for this generation who will go on to be tomorrow’s advocates of good design, with some perhaps even becoming the architects of the future.”

Bob Usher, LGfL Content Manager: "By working in partnership with Open-City, this unique new resource allows London’s teachers and learners to discover the significance of architecture and the influence it has on us all, each day, in London. Our carefully created video insights are supported by tried and tested curriculum material that offer relevance to a wide range of curriculum areas. We hope that schools will welcome this important addition to the LGfL Learning Resources portfolio available to all LGfL connected schools".
Designed with a new interface offering a fully filtered resource bank and the latest online video technology, Opening Up Architecture provides unique resource that seeks to develop a better understanding of the environment in which we all live our daily lives.


• Opening up architecture resource:
• Project Trailer:
• Project video walkthrough:
• Further information:
• Open-City Education programme: