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Open House 2021


University of London presents a set of exclusive in-person and virtual tours through its iconic Senate House as part of Open House 2021. London’s tallest secular building when it opened as the administrative HQ of the University of London, this Grade II* listed landmark Portland stone structure balances classicism and art deco elements. Open House London is the world’s largest architecture festival, giving free public access to 800+ buildings, with walks, talks and tours held over one weekend in September each year.  This year, the University of London team presents in-person guided tours on Saturday 4 September and exclusive virtual tours on Sunday 5 September. 

In-person tours

Saturday 4 September 2021

In celebration of Open House 2021, you are invited to a set of guided tours of the iconic Senate House and Senate House Library. 

This year, Senate House Library is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its Founding Collections and as part of the Open House 2021 tour, you’ll be able to see some of the highlights featured the #SHL150 online gallery in addition to your guided tour of the Library's heritage reading rooms and other historic spaces in Senate House.

There will be two in-person tours which will last approx. 1hr:

12:00 Open House tour 

13:30 Open House Tour 

Meeting point: Crush Hall by the ceremonial staircase on the Ground Floor of Senate House (South Block) - please have your registration confirmation email ready on arrival.

Please note: The in-person tours are now fully booked but please check back on the Eventbrite page prior to the date as there may be cancellations. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Health and safety

The University's highest priority remains the health and safety of the staff, students, and visitors using our buildings. It is taking a risk-based approach to managing health and safety including the following safety measures: 

  • Encouraging staff and students who are eligible to get vaccinated
  • Asking staff and students to avoid coming into University buildings if feeling unwell, displaying COVID symptoms or have tested positive
  • Requesting staff and students to take regular asymptomatic tests (2-3 per week). Test kits are free and available online here or collect in person at the desk next to Senate House reception
  • Practising good hand and respiratory hygiene. Sanitising stations are available across all University buildings and at all reception/entry points.
  • Wearing face coverings whilst in shared spaces or moving around University buildings.
  • Maintaining 2m social distancing wherever possible, and where not possible, 1.5m.
  • Adjusting ventilation systems in accordance with HSE guidance

Virtual tours 

Sunday 5 September 2021

The virtual tours, running across three sessions on Sunday 5 September, will take you through the key parts of the building including all the nooks and crannies and reveal some of Senate House's finest secrets along the way. The two tours in the afternoon will be followed with a live Q&A.

This is a free event and no registration is necessary - simply join on your preferred date and time.