Behind Closed Doors

Charlie Luxton will present Behind Closed Doors, a seven-part, half hour-long series in which he tracks the opening of exceptional buildings to the general public as part of the Open House events taking place in September. In this week-long series Charlie will give the viewer an access-all-areas tour of some incredible buildings the public never usually gets a chance to see. In each show Charlie offers his personal preview of five selected buildings which viewers can go and see as part of an Open House event happening in their area.

This fascinating new series delves behind the doors of buildings normally closed to public view.

To celebrate a week of national open-house events, architectural designer Charlie Luxton travels the length and breadth of the UK to visit a series of hidden gems. From 18th-century mansions to futuristic university laboratories, Charlie explores the massive variety of stunning architecture to be found in Britain.

In the first show of the week on Monday, Charlie visits five buildings that reflect the story of power in Britain – from a rarely opened World War II bunker in North London to Manchester’s extraordinary neogothic Town Hall. He also learns from former mayor Ken Livingstone what it was like to work in the glass shell of London’s spectacular City Hall; and investigates secret tunnels beneath the Treasury.

On Tuesday’s show, Charlie visits homes and offices made out of shipping containers and goes under the Mersey to see George’s Dock Ventilation Tower in action. He also finds out about ‘blobitecture’ at the futuristic Blizard Building at Queen Mary’s University, London and powers up an original James Watt steam engine at Crossness Pumping Station.

Charlie visits some of Britain’s greatest financial institutions in Wednesday’s show, including the normally secretive Bank of England, and the cutting-edge headquarters of corporate giants Lloyds and Bloomberg.

In Thursday’s programme, Charlie finds out about the different ways in which buildings can provide inspiration through their designs. He gets a sneak preview of the Royal Institution’s £22million makeover, which is intended to introduce a new generation to science. He visits Britain’s only residential library at St Deiniols in North Wales and looks at the rich cultural history of London’s 900-year-old Barts Hospital.

Friday’s show takes a closer look at the way British homes have evolved to meet society’s changing needs. Charlie pays a visit to a number of different homes, starting with the lavish 18thcentury Newark Park lodge near Bristol and ending with London’s Trellick Tower.

Later on Friday there is a special programme exploring Michaelis House, the ultimate 21stcentury eco home designed by Alex Michaelis – the man responsible for making David Cameron’s home environmentally sound. The show also examines a range of other buildings that are outstanding in their fields.

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