The 7th Open House Prague will take place in the summer, from August 2 to August 8, 2021, and all lovers of architecture are welcome to visit! On the weekend of August 7–8, 80 buildings and spaces that are not usually accessible will be opened, and there are a number of accompanying events taking place on the weekdays. With the motto of the festival being “Architecture for everyone”, tours are intended for everybody from the public, including families with children and people with visual and hearing disabilities. The admission to all the open buildings is free with no need to register in advance. The list of all open buildings is available HERE.
Anniversary of the birth of Jan Kotěra
This year, we are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the eminent Czech architect Jan Kotěra.
“I am very pleased that we are joined by several famous buildings in Prague that were designed by Kotěra. These buildings include Laichter House in Vinohrady, Trmal Villa in Strašnice, and Vršovice Waterworks in Michle, which we have wanted to open during the festival for many years now,” says festival director Andrea Šenkyříková.
The accompanying events taking place on this occasion will continue even after the festival, and the famous Czech architectural historian Zdeněk Lukeš will take part.
“Jan Kotěra (1871–1923) is considered the founder of modern Czech architecture. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he was taught by professor Otto Wagner. Aside from being an architect, a designer, and an urbanist, Kotěra also focused on scenography and taught at Prague’s UMPRUM and at the Czech Academy of Fine Arts, where he was promoting modern trends in architecture. His most important modern buildings include the museum in Hradec Králové, Laichter House, Mozarteum, his own villa in Prague, and the National House in Prostějov. He was also one of the few Czech architects who realized their projects abroad, too,” says Zdeněk Lukeš.
Artistic spaces and ateliers
Artistic spaces and ateliers form a separate theme route in this year’s program.
“We are inviting visitors to the Garden of Arts (Umělecká zahrada), which has been flourishing thanks to a couple of enthusiasts and their relentless efforts to save it. We have also managed to arrange the opening of the atelier of Jan Lauda, an atelier with a troubled past located on the island in Libeň. Built in 1930 and designed by architect Otakar Novotný, the small atelier managed to withstand a demolition order and now houses Olgoj Chorchoj, an architecture studio and design studio,” says festival director Andrea Šenkyříková.
You will also be able to see a project of a new artistic house in Kunsthalle Praha, where a complete renovation of the original Zenger’s Transformation Station is currently being finished. The renovation will create a new space for cultural events and exhibitions of Czech and international art of the 20th and the 21st century. You can also take a look into the decaying City Spa in Žižkov (Městské lázně Žižkov), which used to be the biggest and most modern spa in Prague, once visited even by emperor Franz Joseph I. The spa is set to be completely reconstructed, and the building is planned to be transformed into the House of Dance (Dům tance). Some buildings included in the program have already been reconstructed, such as the former Sokol biograph in Vršovice. Built during the First Czechoslovak Republic in the style of Art Deco, the cinema has been transformed into Vzlet, a new cultural palace. Many more places that are coming alive thanks to art and culture will be opened, too.
Prague hotels with distinctive architecture and impressive interiors are a new part of this year’s program. There are two hotels representing the so-called socialist realism, two hotels representing the quality brutalist architecture of “the golden sixties”, and one post-Velvet Revolution building.
“Opening these hotels is something that we have been trying to make possible ever since the beginning of the festival, but finding a way to organize the tours so that the operation of the hotel would not be disrupted was always very difficult. However, because the coronavirus pandemic has significantly reduced the number of tourists, some hotel operators have agreed to open their hotels during the festival,” says festival director Andrea Šenkyříková.
We follow the latest information regarding the coronavirus pandemic and will adjust operation in the open buildings accordingly. Information will be available on the festival’s website. The buildings will be accessible with no need to register in advance. Tours in most of the buildings will take place continually in the form of groups. The size and frequency of the tours depends on the capacity of each building.