Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Open House Prague has once again taken place on a new date, this time on August 2–8, 2021. The 2021 Open House Prague was attended by more than 53,000 visitors, with the buildings open during the weekend and the accompanying program on the weekdays combined.
The accompanying program on the weekdays included a number of events which helped disclose architecture to visitors in an unconventional way. People could take a ride on theVltava paddle steamer or take the Kotěra tram and listen to a commentary provided by architect Zdeněk Lukeš, enjoy a unique evening with a contemporary dance performance at the Laichter House with a tour in the evening, or take part in a debate and a movie projectionon the topic of abandoned buildings at the Great Strahov Stadium. Another popular accompanying event was the tour and the discussion regarding the reconstruction of the Zenger Transformer Center, the future seat of Kunsthalle Praha. There were other guided tours and walks, too – for example, on the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the foundation of the Prague Exhibition Grounds, the 150th anniversary of the Gröb Villa, or the 150th anniversary of the first train arriving in Prague.
The main program taking place on the weekend included 79 buildings and spaces that are not usually accessible. With 26 newly participating buildings, there were already queues at a number of these on Saturday morning.
Another busy place was the Garden of Arts, hidden under the bridge in Nusle, which served as a sculpture plant in the era of the First Czechoslovak Republic.
Other frequently visited buildings included for example ARA Palace, Laichter House, Hotel International Prague, Šaloun Villa, the gardens of the Czernin Palace, Štvanice Waterworks, or Kunsthalle Praha. Aside from three water towers, visitors could also see several underground shelters, two châteaux, a former spa, sports facilities, an observatory, a water mill, or hotels. Artistic spaces and ateliers were a separate theme route. The organizers also commemorated the 150th anniversary of the birth of architect Jan Kotěra by opening several of his buildings. More events related to the anniversary of the founder of modern Czech architecture will continue in the fall.
With the festival being a community project, it could never take place without an active participation of the owners and the people from the buildings, nor without a large number of volunteers.
The motto of this year’s Open House Prague was Architecture for everybody. Selected tours were interpreted into the Czech sign language, there were tactile plans and ground plans and 3D models of some of the buildings for people with visual disabilities who were able to explore the buildings during special guided tours. There was a rich accompanying program for families with children, too – a lego workroom, interactive guided tours with worksheets for little architects, a ride on the velodrome, or a theater performance.
Open House Prague is part of Open House Worldwide, an international network of festivals which take place in 50 cities around the world. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, Open House Prague is not only a cultural holiday but also a unique event with an impact on local communities and the society.
Check out snapshots from the festival in our Facebook gallery! A photogallery for the website is in the works…
We already have a date for the next Open House Prague. Join our Facebook event!