Submitted by Elis Mutlu

Open House Prague Livens the City Up

Czech Republic Architecture News - May 11, 2018 - 15:28   4677 views

Open House Prague Livens the City Up

Open House Prague is the name of a non-profit organization as well as a significant cultural event, that opens otherwise usually inaccessible buildings and areas with significant architectural qualities to the public. This year the festival celebrates its fourth edition, and it takes place on May 18-19, 2018.  Moreover, it is free of charge for everyone. It mainly contributes connecting people of different generations, education, incomes and professions around the idea that an active participation of citizens in the public space what livens up and opens the city, and connects architects & city experts with the general public.   

About the Organizers 

It is organized by a small team of architecture enthusiasts, mostly women, who love their city and endeavor to help the citizens take part in their city. They particularly emphasize the fact that the quality of our lives in cities depends highly on our physical surroundings (the architecture and the public space). Therefore, they "want to popularize architecture among the general public" and make people "to explore the city’s architecture and public space in a wider urbanistic, historical, and cultural context." 

Their main message is "Let’s not be indifferent to our surroundings, let’s discuss and take care of our city, and let’s take part in public matters!" In that respect, they promise an unconventional exploration of the city. 

Open House Prague Livens the City Up

Open House Prague 2017

65 Buildings Are Open to the Public

This year Open House Prague enables free access to the 65 buildings, that are of great architectural value. The visitors will be able to see various historical, modern and contemporary architecture as well as buildings of different functions like offices, palaces, administrative centers, houses and railways stations. 

For 2 days, the entrance to more than 60 buildings including Villa Winternitz designed by the famous modernist architect & theorist Adolf Loos in 1932, the breathtaking 12th century Gothic Palace (Palác Ericsson), Desfourský palác,  and DRN (which means `tuft` in Czech) building, that showcases a modern approach to historic preservation in the 21st century in the Czech Republic, among many others can be visited free of charge. 

Open House Prague Livens the City Up

Desfourský palác, © Radomír Kočí - Prázdné Domy

Furthermore, Praha-Bubny Railway Station, that was firstly built in 1923 and has been under restoration since 2015, Salabka vineyard which is one of the oldest wineries in the city, the Pragovka Art District by Jakub Cigler Architects, Hotel des Invalides (the baroque building of the Invalidovna designed at the beginning of the 18th century), the PortX - the floating house by the SAD studio, the distinct modernist building of Expo 58 which was originally a restaurant are among the buildings to be open during the festival this year. 

Open House Prague Livens the City Up

Expo 58, the Czechoslovak Pavilion was designed by Frantisek Cubr, Josef Hruby&Zdenek Pokorny for the World Fair of 1958 in Brussels, and won the the Grand Prix for the Best Pavilion © The Prague Vitruvius

Open House Prague Livens the City Up

PortX by Atelier SAD, © Leona Telínová, Lukáš Žentel

The Program

The program of Open House Prague festival constitutes exhibitions, presentations, lectures, the guided tours & walks, and other events such as the musical literary performance inspired by the work of Karel Čapek Hovory at Libeň Chateau, local wine and spirits tastings at Salabka Winery, and special tours for 5-year and older children in five selected buildings (Central Telecommunication Building CETIN, Prague Institute of Planning and Development, The National Library of Technology, QUADRIO and Petschek‘s Palace).

The detailed program of Open Prague 2018 can be seen here. Also, please check out the extra activities, the tours for children, and the thematic circuits prepared for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. 

Support Open House Prague

The organizers of this festival are doing a very meaningful work and are more than happy to receive a support of volunteers to sustain their project. Supporting them by participating in different activities and by volunteering are some of the options, and they also accept financial support (in Czech only) to make sure their project will grow even better in the upcoming years. 

If you have any questions, please contact the volunteer coordinator Klára Veselá:

Top image courtesy of CERGE-EI's (Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute) Schebek Palace

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