The non-profit organization Open House Praha, which hosts the eponymous festival in May, has become a new partner of the Open House Europe project, bringing together a total of 12 cultural organizations across the European continent. The project, co-financed by the European Union, aims to promote quality architecture in Europe and engage the public in a debate about the city and its construction development in relation to sustainability. Currently, Open House Europe connects festivals in Athens, Bilbao, Brno, Dublin, Essen, Stockholm, Lisbon, Slovenia, Milan, Tallinn, Thessaloniki, and Vilnius. In 2024, in addition to Prague and Vienna, the guest cities will include Copenhagen, Tirana, and Zagreb.
“We are proud to have been selected among several applicants as a new partner organization for the Open House Europe project, allowing us to focus more closely on the themes of accessibility and inclusion next year. This commitment will be reflected across the spectrum of our activities, including the Open House Prague festival,” says festival director Klára Veselá. She adds, “In addition to the opportunity to share our decade-long experience in organizing the festival, the project also includes the chance to send three of our volunteers on an exchange with our partners, undoubtedly bringing new experiences to our entire team.”
First Annual Summit in Lisbon
In December, the first annual summit of the Open House Europe project took place in Lisbon, focusing on sustainability in architecture. The summit, titled “Building Futures Together,” was hosted by the non-profit organization Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Trienal de Arquitetura Lisboa). From December 15 to 16, 2023, the public program included debates, tours, workshops, exhibitions, and film screenings. The summit was held at the organization’s headquarters, the historic 18th-century Palácio Sinel de Cordes, adapted for hosting cultural events.
The main highlight of the program for public comprised three panel discussions with international experts exploring the theme of sustainability from various perspectives. The debates and presentations were live-streamed on the Open House Europe YouTube channel.
In the first panel discussion on Friday, December 15, participants included Demetrio Scoppeliti, the Director of the Office for Mobility, Environment, and Territory of the City of Milan, Filipa Serpa, Vice President of the Board of the Institute for Housing and Urban Renewal, Janet Sanz, Deputy Mayor of Barcelona for Ecology, Urban Planning, and Urban Mobility, and Susana Ruiz, responsible for urban planning in the city of Bilbao. The recording of the public debate on the first day is available on YouTube.
The second discussion on Saturday, December 16, centered around sustainability in urban planning and featured award-winning researcher, professor, and landscape architect Aurora Carapinha, data science enthusiast specializing in urban mobility Manuel Banza, and architect and researcher Mariana Sanchez Salvador.
In the third debate on Saturday, December 16, focusing on achieving sustainability in architecture, architects Marta Álvarez Pastor from Vaumm Studio, Gianandrea Barreca from Barreca & La Varra Studio, an architectural firm that designed Europe’s first social housing with zero carbon emissions, and Francisco Adão da Fonseca from Oficina Pedrêz Studio, dedicated to the study of cultivated building materials and self-sufficiency infrastructures, and also a founding member of Architects Declare in Portugal, participated. The recording from the second day is available on YouTube.
At the first annual summit, not only were partners involved in the Open House Europe project present, but also representatives from cities within the international Open House Worldwide network gathered to share their experiences in organizing their respective festivals. As part of one discussion block, we had the unique opportunity to present their activities related to preparing special tours for individuals with hearing and visual impairments.
As part of the accompanying public program, there was also an exhibition opening for “Visual Stories” showcasing visual narratives of Open House festival visitors across the continent, reflecting the main theme of sustainability for this year.
The program concluded with a tour focusing on presenting the possibilities of vertical urban farming systems by the non-profit organization Upfarming. Representatives from Open House Prague also had the opportunity to visit the Lisbon Drainage Master Plan.
Learn more about the project at openhouseeurope.org.
- Athens a Thessaloniki, EL – Open House Greece;
- Bilbao, ES – Asociación Open Urbanity;
- Brno, CZ – spolek Kultura a management;
- Dublin, IE – The Irish Architecture Foundation Limited;
- Essen, DE – Forum Kunst & Architektur;
- Stockholm, SE – Open House Stockholm;
- Lisbon, PT – Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa;
- Ljubljana, SI – AFRONT zavod za prostorsko inovativnost;
- Milan, IT – Associazione Open House Milano;
- Tallinn, EE – Mittetulundusühing Eesti Arhitektuurikeskus;
- Vilnius, LT – Architekturos fondas.
Project co-ordinator of Open House Europe:
Open House Europe is co-ordinated by the organization Architektūros fondas and co-funded by the European Union.