Tower 42_external It’s finally here. Open House London kicks off on Friday and with more than 800 buildings opening their doors, the only difficulty you’ll have this weekend will be choosing what you end up doing! This year’s theme is ‘celebrating architecture, people and place’ and among the highlights will be the opening of landmark structures like Battersea Power Station, Tower 42 (pictured), and the Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe) as well as 100 private homes, architects’ homes and “ground-breaking” housing developments and everything from the Shri Swaminarayan Temple in Brent to Horse Guards in Whitehall (certain buildings, like 10 Downing Street and The View from the Shard, are only open to people who won tickets in an earlier ballot). This year’s festivities also include a moonlit “culture crawl” through London on Friday night. If you haven’t ordered a hardcopy programme, you can check the listings online at www.openhouselondon.org. There’s also an Open House iPhone app available from the appstore.

A series of works by Yinka Shonibare – including some never before seen in the UK – went on display at Greenwich yesterday, thanks to Royal Museums Greenwich. The works, which explore notions of “Britishness, trade and empire, commemoration and national identity”, can be found inside and around buildings including the Queen’s House, National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory and include Fake Death Pictures – a series of five vision of the death of naval hero Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson, Wind Sculpture – a gravity-defying object located on the Queen’s House lawn, Cheeky Little Astronomer – a specially commissioned sculpture located in the Flamsteed House at the Royal Observatory, and Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle – last seen on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. Yinka Shonibare MBE at Greenwich, which is supported by a range of talks, debates and tours, runs until 23rd February. For more, see www.rmg.co.uk.

Bankside will be transformed this weekend as artists will be transforming disused hoardings and derelict buildings with original artworks as part of the Merge Festival. The work’s include Candy Chang’s Before I Die, Alex Chinnick’s Miner on the Moon, and Marcus Lyall and Mark Logue’s House of Pain. Until 20th October. For more on the festival celebrating Bankside, see www.mergefestival.co.uk.

On Now: Michael Peto Photographs: Mandela to McCartney. This new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery just off Trafalgar Square features a previously unexhibited photo of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, taken at the beginning of their love affair. It’s one of 10 portraits taken by the late Hungarian-born photographer Michael Peto in London during the 1950s and 1960s – others feature Samuel Beckett, Jennie Lee, Paul McCartney and Ian McKellen. Admission is free. For more, see www.npg.org.uk.

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News this week that The Magazine building in Kensington Gardens – which dates from 1765 and was built to house munitions initially intended to help repel a Napoleonic invasion – is getting a new lease of life as an art gallery. The Royal Parks have awarded the Serpentine Gallery a contract to create a new art space – the Serpentine Sackler Gallery – in the building. Pritzker Prize architect Zada Hadid will oversee the renovation of the building which will be open in time for the Olympic Games in 2012. PICTURE: John Offenbach © The Royal Parks and Serpentine Gallery.

• A Blue Plaque commemorating singer, songwriter and one-time Beatle John Lennon’s stay in a house in Marylebone was unveiled last month. Yoko Ono unveiled the plaque at 34 Montagu Square, where she and John lived in the basement and ground floor flat in the latter half of 1968 when Lennon was working on The Beatles’ White Album. It was the first home the couple shared and, while Lennon lived at a number of London addresses between 1963 and 1971, of those that survive it is the home he occupied for the greatest period. Previous occupants included Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix.

• ON NOW: Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition will be held at the O2 from 5th November until 1st May. The exhibition traces the Titanic’s final journey, from Cherbourg on 10th April, 1912 to its sinking with the loss of 1,500 lives after striking an iceberg three days later. Featuring more than 200 artefacts from the ship, the exhibition includes recreated interiors from the ship. Tickets start at £13 for adults. For more information, see www.titaniclondon.co.uk.