Open House Prague Festival to Open 101 Buildings and Spaces in May

6. 4. 2022

The 8th Open House Prague festival is ready for the annual celebration of Prague’s architecture, this time taking place on May 16–22, 2022. On the weekend of May 21–22, the festival is set to open 101 buildings and spaces across Prague for free, and starting May 16, there is also going to be an eventful accompanying program featuring lectures, discussions, and special guided tours.

The full list of open buildings is now available on our website. The list of the accompanying events will be published with updates in the Events Calendar. As in previous years, our printed festival guide will be available as well; it will go on sale in our online store in early May, and starting May 16, you can also buy it in our information center. The location of the information center will be specified in April.

illustration by Jan Šrámek

We are opening not only industrial buildings and modern buildings with various awards for quality and eco-friendly technologies but also iconic, unique constructions which represent the historical and cultural wealth of Prague. We uncover unknown or hidden cultural projects of excellent architects, artists, and craftsmen, and we present the forgotten stories of constructors, owners, and their descendants,”
says festival director Andrea Šenkyříková.

photo by Milan Svoboda

With tours for people with disabilities, families with children,and long-term foreign residents of Prague, Open House Prague is aimed at all members of the general public. The festival is first and foremost a community project, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy the festival with us. That is why we welcome fellow enthusiasts-volunteers, because without them, the event would never be able to take place. Anyone can become a volunteer, regardless of age, nationality, and profession. Let’s open Prague for everyone together!

This year’s program is dedicated to commemorating the birth of several significant architects who were active in the Czech lands during their life. January marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Slovenian architect and urbanist Jože Plečnik. On this occasion, the festival offers a guided tour of one of the most remarkable sacral buildings in the Czech Republic, the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord in the district of Vinohrady. Here you can enter not only the nave but also the underground crypt and the lower part of the church’s tower. An illustration of the church, created by Jan Šrámek, is part of this year’s visuals.

photo by Tomáš Sysel

We have also paid attention to Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann, born 200 years ago in April, who represents the so-called Czech Neo-Renaissance. We are inviting you to the magical Villa Lanna in Bubeneč, built as a summer residence of businessman, art collector, and patron Vojtěch Lanna Jr. You can also visit the historical halls of the first Prague Sokol Gymnasium in Nové Město, admire the white-and-red sgraffito decoration and interiors of the former Secondary School for Girls in Vodičkova Street, and look inside Ullmann’s last Prague realization, the Czech Polytechnic Institute in Charles Square, now the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at CTU.

Lastly, March marked the 140th anniversary of the birth of architect Pavel Janák. To celebrate him and the buildings he designed throughout his life, the program includes the Clubhouse of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, the functionalist EA Hotel Juliš in Wenceslas Square, Adria Palace, built in the so-called national style, and the constructivist Church of the Hus Congregation in Vinohrady with an unmistakable bell tower.

photo by Tomáš Sysel
photo by Tomáš Sysel

This year, there are 26 buildings that are participating for the first time ever. You can even see architecturally interesting and not usually accessible buildings in more remote parts of Prague, too, such as Zbraslav, Modřany, and Komořany. The list of open buildings includes the recently finished Prague 12 Town Hall, the Komořany Chateau (now used by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute) and its surroundings, or Zbraslav Clubhouse, a former washhouse turned into a community center designed by Projektil studio.

We had considered Zbraslav a few years ago already, and I am happy that we have finally managed to open some of the interesting buildings in this area. I also recommend the former bell foundry in Zbraslav, where the Manoušek family used to cast bells for many of Prague’s temples, including the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of our Lord or the Church of the Hus Congregation in Vinohrady. Unfortunately, the 2002 floods ended this family tradition, but Mr. Manoušek himself will be there to share fascinating information about his craft,”
says festival director Andrea Šenkyříková.

The program also features for example the reconstructed UMPRUM Technology Center in Mikulandská Street with spacious interiors and superior equipment for students; the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at the Czech Technical University in Prague, a building with an unmistakable pneumatic façade located in the university campus in Dejvice; and former Electrical Enterprises, now Bubenská 1, the biggest and most significant monument of inter-war functionalist architecture in Prague. At the time of construction, the latter was considered a symbol of the upcoming new age of modern architecture and progress.

photo by CPI Property Group

Open House Prague is part of Open House Worldwide, an international network of the Open House festivals which take place in more than 50 cities around the world. The network will stage its second collaborative event – titled Housing and the People – on Saturday, April 9, 2022. The virtual festival includes a 12-hour livestream with live tours of pioneering housing models from cities across the Open House Worldwide network, including Dublin, Lagos, London, Melbourne, New York, Oslo, Prague, Taiwan, Valencia, Vienna, and more. The festival will be broadcast from 6 am to 6 pm UTC on April 9, 2022 on YouTube.

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