Hackney top 5: the borough’s best buildings

De Beauvoir Square

Looking more like Bruges than downtown Dalston, De Beauvoir Square is lined on three sides with gabled Tudor/Jacobean-style villas built by a nineteenth-century developer.

Hackney Empire

A mini Moorish palace on Mare Street, Frank Matcham’s 1901 theatre was crammed with practical innovations: electric lights, central heating and an in-built projection box.

Haggerston School

This uncompromising Brutalist secondary school was designed by Erno Goldfinger in 1964. You can get inside and see its coffered ceilings and bush-hammered concrete during the twice-yearly Midcentury Modern furniture sales.

Velodrome and London Aquatics Centre 

The cedar-clad Velodrome, where Chris Hoy whizzed to British gold, combines elegant aerodynamic design with energy-saving ingenuity, while the fluid lines of Zaha Hadid’s Aquatics Centre were inspired by the movement of water.

Village Underground

Alternative Hackney office space, with reclaimed tube trains and shipping containers perched above the glitz and graffiti of Shoreditch. A roof garden soundproofs the venue and solar panels fire the lights and laptops.