Audio-described Architecture tours

From our colleagues at VocalEyes:

Audio-described architecture tours for Open House London 2017

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September 2017


Open House London celebrates all that is best about the capital’s buildings, places and neighbourhoods. Every September, it gives a unique opportunity to get out and under the skin of London’s amazing architecture, with buildings of all kinds opening their doors to everyone – all for free. Each year, VocalEyes runs audio-described tours of 4 buildings, led by one of our describers with a representative from the architectural firm or building.


Each tour lasts approximately 90 minutes.This year, the buildings are: Salters’ Hall, Lloyd’s Register Group, The Freemasons’ Hall and Canada House.


Do read on for more details about the four buildings including dates and times of the tours and how to book for the tours.

Salters’ Hall
4 London Wall Place, London, EC2Y 5DE

Tour: Saturday 16 September 2017, 10:00 (Please arrive by 09:45 for a prompt start), led by VocalEyes describer Tony McBride with Timandra Nichols, Salters’ Hall tour guide.


Salters’ Hall, a Grade II listed Brutalist building, has recently reopened following extensive renovation by De Metz Forbes Knight Architects in 2016. Designed by Sir Basil Spence in the 1970s with interiors by David Hicks, this building is home to the Salters’ Company, one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies. Come and explore the Salters’ Company historic archive as well as their fine silver collections through an audio-described tour of this stunning building.


The tour  will take you on a journey through the Hall from the glazed wooden pavilion entrance into the archive in the basement.  Then out into the garden before taking the cantilever staircase up to the double-height Livery Hall, which is fully lined in a fluted or reeded ash panelling, with corner windows, and a gallery.  There will also be an opportunity to visit the   Ladies’ Dining Room, with a gallery that overlooks the livery hall and an opportunity to gain a bird’s eye view of the garden and the surrounding cityscape including the old London Wall from a glass balcony.


More information about the audio-described tour of Salters’ Hall
Lloyd’s Register Group
71 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4BS

Tour: Saturday 16 September 2017, 16:00, led by VocalEyes describer Lonny Evans with Louise Sanger, Lloyd’s Register, Heritage & Education Centre, Deputy Manager.


Lloyd’s Register is one of the great City institutions, founded in 1760, with the same maritime and coffee-house roots as Lloyd’s of London. Lloyd’s Register has occupied the site on the corner of Fenchurch Street since 1901 when Thomas Edward Collcutt completed the splendidly decorated Edwardian baroque palazzo. Ninety-nine years later, the Richard Rogers steel and glass towers building was completed.


The audio-described tour  will take you on a journey from the courtyard through to the reception and lobby areas of the steel and glass Roger’s building into the 1901 Collcutt building and its restored interiors.


More information about the audio-described tour of Lloyd’s Register Group 
The Freemasons’ Hall 
60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ
Tour: Sunday 17 September 2017, 10:00 (Please arrive by 09:45 for a prompt tour start), led by VocalEyes Describer Tony McBride.


The Freemasons’ Hall has been the centre of English Freemasonry for 230 years. It is the meeting place for over 1,000 Masonic Lodges and is the headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England, the oldest Grand Lodge in the world.


The audio-described tour will start in the main entrance through the open doors on Great Queen’s Street.  The tour will then take you on a journey up the circular ceremonial stairs through three large vestibules (corresponding to the three degrees in Freemasonry): the Shrine, the Registration and the Assembly.  With the opportunity to admire many of the features of the building including The Memorial Shrine  and bronze memorial casket before passing through the heavily decorated Masonic bronze doors into the splendour of the Grand Temple.


More information about the audio-described tour of The Freemasons’ Hall
Canada House 
Trafalgar Square, London SW1Y 5BJ
Tour: Sunday 17 September 2017, 15:00, led by VocalEyes describer Di Langford and Simon Anderson from Canada House.


Canada House has been the centre of Canada’s presence in the UK from the time it was first envisioned by High Commissioner Peter Larkin in 1922. It is an important part of Canadian history in the UK, with a place in the memories of thousands of Canadians.


The audio-described tour will take you on a journey from the Trafalgar Square lobby into the Mackenzie King Room On the ground floor with references to the old Union Club and then up the main stair case with the unique light sculpture to a number of the magnificent meeting rooms in the building with great examples of Canadian furniture and art work.


You will also have the opportunity to visit the Board room and dining space on the top floor named the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Room, a grand space with views over Trafalgar Square, St Martin-in-the-Fields, the National Gallery, Big Ben and the London Eye. Weather permitting there will also be the opportunity to step out on to the garden terrace with its planted green roof and wall again with breath-taking views over Trafalgar Square.


More information about the audio-described tour of Canada House
Booking
If you would like to book your place on one or more of these tours, please use our Open House London 2017 online booking form (SurveyMonkey).  If you have any problems at all using this form then please email enquiries@vocaleyes.co.uk or call the office on 020 7375 1043 and leave your details.

Find out more about audio description of architecture and what happens on a tour.

With thanks to the the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and the Drapers’ Company for their support in making this year’s tours possible.

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