For those with a yearning for discovery or an instinctive nosiness, the annual Open House weekend is an opportunity not to be missed.
For two days only, curious visitors can roam around the interiors of some of the capital's most intriguing buildings, many of which are closed to the public for the rest of the year.
And the range of local treasures on offer is impressive, with a range of architecture spanning more than 500 years on display in Hammersmith and Fulham on September 18 and 19.
Some 22 buildings will throw open their doors around the borough, with many more also welcoming guests in Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.
The BBC Television Centre will be a highlight for many, since the listed 'concrete doughnut' looks set to be comprehensively redeveloped as the broadcaster moves its studio operations elsewhere.
Also high on the list may be the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, the exclusive sports and social club which usually requires good connections and several years on a waiting list to gain entry.
Those with a more scientific curiosity will have the chance to snoop on work being done in the latest parts of Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's Hospitals and the new GlaxoSmithKline Clinical Imaging Centre in Shepherd's Bush.
And for the historians of the borough, Open House offers the opportunity to explore normally out-of-bounds parts of Fulham Palace, the riverside home of Arts and Crafts pioneer Emery Walker in Hammersmith, and the stunning 15 th century tower of All Saints Church in Fulham.
As always, entry to all the buildings is free, although advanced booking is often required and places are limited.
The theme is 'our buildings, our neighbourhoods, our city', encouraging people to discover more about issues relevant to their local area, such as sustainability and the role architecture plays in the development of a vibrant, evolving city.
A milestone this year is the inclusion of the BT Tower in central London, which will welcome the public for the first time to its famous revolving 34th floor and offer stunning views over the city.
Sally Chatterjee, chief executive of Visit London said: "London's iconic skyline and buildings are recognised the world over and Open House provides a unique opportunity to see behind the scenes. It's incredibly exciting that the BT Tower will open its doors for the first time allowing lucky visitors to have an exclusive view of the capital."
Private houses will also be on show and guided tours are offered around many of the 700 buildings across London.
For a full programme or to book tickets click here
OPEN HOUSE HAMMERSMITH AND FULHAM
42 Avalon Road
A modernist semi-detached house in a conservation area, featuring a courtyard created in a dug-out basement with living, dining and kitchen areas.
42 Avalon Road SW6 2EX Sat 1pm to 5pm, first come basis.
44 Stamford Brook Road
A minimalist garden extension which replaced an existing conservatory, connecting various ground floor spaces and the unusual double-width garden. Features include frameless structural glazing and innovative sliding doors.
44 Stamford Brook Road W6 0X Sat 10am to 5pm. Regular tours every 15 minutes, last tour 4.30pm, pre-book only through londonopenhouse.org
7 Hammersmith Terrace
The home of Emery Walker, printer, antiquary and mentor to William Morris, featuring a unique original Arts and Crafts domestic interior.
7 Hammersmith Terrace W6 9TS Sat/Sun 11am to 4pm with tours on the hour. Pre-book only on 020 8741 4104 or email email@example.com
All Saints Church
Features include a 15 th century tower and a Victorian nave by Sir Arthur Blomfield. In the churchyard are the newly restored tomb of Granville Sharp, father of the Abolitionist movement and the tombs of Bishops of London.
Church Gate, by Putney Bridge. SW6 3LA Sat 10am to 4pm, Sun 1pm to 5pm.
Apartment A, The Piper Building
Two tank rooms on the roof of a former British Gas laboratory were transformed to create two homes within a steel frame. The glazed ends of each house offer panoramic views of the Thames and the London skyline.
The Piper Building, Peterborough Road SW6 3EF Sat 1pm to 5pm. First come basis, last entry 4.45pm.
BBC Television Centre
The world's first purpose-built television studios, designed by Graham Dawbarn in 1960, including famous statue of Helios and the John Piper mural. See the famous studios, grouped around the distinctive central 'concrete doughnut'.
Wood Lane W12 7RJ Sun – 10am to 5.30pm, pre-book only on 0370 901 1227. Tours last 1hr 15 mins with security checks beforehand, last tour 4.15pm.
BBC White City Media Village
A vibrant modern complex housing BBC Worldwide featuring art by Yuko Shiraishi and works by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and graphic designer John Morgan inlaid into the street. The site is commemorated for hosting the 1908 Olympics at the White City Stadium.
201 Wood Lane W12 7TQ Sun 10am to 5pm. Pre-book only on 0370 901 1227. Tours last half an hour with security checks beforehand, last tour 4pm.
Charing Cross Hospital
The Riverside Wing was completed in 2006 with sculpture by David Mach, the newly restored hospital chapel features stained glass by John Piper, and the West London Mental Health Centre has sculpture and prints by Bill Woodrow.
Fulham Palace Road W6 8RF Sun 10.30am to 2.30pm with tours at 10.30am and 12.30pm. Pre-book only on 020 8383 5226 or email Emelie.Salford@imperial.nhs.uk
Historic former residence of the Bishop of London. Tudor courtyard with Georgian additions and Butterfield chapel in 1867. Reopened after Lottery-funded restoration in 2006 with rooms around east courtyard restored and returned to late Georgian colour scheme.
Bishops Avenue SW6 6EA Sat 11am to 1pm, Sun 11am to 3pm. Sat tours of private offices on the hour, pre-book only on 020 7610 7164. Sun tours of major public rooms on the hour, no pre-booking required.
GlaxoSmithKline Clinical Imaging Centre
New clinical imaging centre, the result of a unique collaboration between GlaxoSmithKline, Imperial College London and the Medical Research Centre. Artwork inside includes a series of photographs by Turner Prize-nominated artists Zarina Bhimji and Catherine Yass.
Burlington Danes, Du Cane Road W12 0HS Sat 10.30am to 2pm. Tours at 10.30am and 12.30pm, pre-book only on 020 8383 5226 or email Emelie.Salford@imperial.nhs.uk
Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte's Hospitals
West London Renal Building with stained glass by Martin Donlin, radiotherapy department with prints by Julian Opie and Annie Albers and other works by John Hoyland and Kate Whiteford.
Du Cane Road W12 0HS Sat 2.30pm to 4pm. Tour at 2.30pm, pre-book only on 020 8383 5226 or email Emelie.Salford@imperial.nhs.uk
Exclusive sports and social club and last of the grand 18 th century mansions which once fronted this part of the river, with magnificent interiors and extensive grounds.
Ranelagh Gardens SW6 3PR Sat 11am to 4pm, tours at 11am and 3pm.
Larmenier & Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School
Within a landlocked site, a two-storey spiral building incorporates Fibonacci's 'golden mean'. Sustainable features include natural ventilation, light and a sedum roof. Further developments include a garden with a pond and an enhanced playground promoting creative play.
41A Brook Green W6 7BL Sat 10.30am to 5pm, regular tours on a first come basis, last entry 4.30pm.
Latymer Upper School Performing Arts Centre
Although free-standing, the building is linked to the school's original arts centre across two glazed bridges. The main recital space seats 100 while separate studios provide areas for dance, drama and music rehearsal. A fully glazed foyer opens to the newly landscaped heart of the school. Winner of the National Brick Award in 2008.
237 King Street W6 9LR Sat 2pm to 4.30pm, last entry 4pm.
Grade II listed, this elegant double-fronted Georgian riverside residence dating from 1733 is owned by The London Corinthian Trust. Original 18the century frontage with 19th and 20th century interior. The race-starting box on river bank is a Civic Trust award winner.
60 Upper Mall W6 9TA Sun 1pm to 5pm with tours on the hour and boating and rowing demonstrations.
Lyric Theatre Hammersmith
The thriving theatre's beautiful gilt and velvet auditorium was rebuilt inside the concrete exterior of a 1970s development. A striking new glass and steel entrance extension is illuminated at night to create a glowing box.
King Street W6 0QL Sat 10am to 1pm, with tours at 10.30am and 12noon. Pre-book only on 0871 221 1722.
A non-institutional 'open house', Maggie's is a flexible space designed to be welcoming, uplifting and thought-provoking for people with cancer and their families. The raised roof allows natural light to enter and partitions divide up the open structure, placing the kitchen at the heart of the building. RIBA award winner in 2009.
Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road W6 8RF Sun midday to 4pm, some tours, last entry 3.30pm.
Built as a wharf for marble importing, this development later became a decorative plaster works and now houses artists' studios with a river frontage.
56 Rainville Road W6 9HS Sat 1pm to 6pm, Sun 1pm to 6pm.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
The architects' office in a former oil refinery mixes retained features with new elements in an industrial aesthetic. The RIBA award winner has a spectacular lightweight roof, designed in conjunction with Lifschutz Davidson.
Thames Wharf Studios, Rainville Road W6 9HA Sat 10am to 4pm. Regular tours on a first come basis, last entry 3.45pm.
The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)
Completed in 1894, the building has been LAMDA's home since 2003, it includes a black box studio theatre, rehearsal rooms, stage armoury and student common room. Redevelopment plans are underway to create a world class drama campus.
155 Talgarth Road W14 9DA Sat 10am to 4.30pm, regular tours behind the scenes including classes in stage combat and director workshops. Last entry 4.15pm.
Voysey Studio, now Hungarian Reformed Church in UK
One of Charles Voysey's first and best buildings, designed for the artist WEF Britten and described by architecture writer Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as being 'remarkably novel'. Currently undergoing restoration by TBD Architects.
17 St Dunstans Road W6 8RD Sat 10am to 5pm. Architect-led tours every half hour on a first come basis, last entry 4.45pm.
William Morris Society at Kelmscott House
Residence of Sir Francis Ronalds, George MacDonald and (from 1878-96) the artist, designer and printer William Morris.
26 Upper Mall W6 9TA Sat 1pm to 5pm, Sun 1pm to 5pm. Demonstration of printing on William Morris's Albion press and display of Morris's artwork.