About the organization
We founded Open House Praha, z. ú., a non-profit organization, in 2014 because we were excited about the idea of opening buildings that are usually inaccessible. We are a group of enthusiasts who love their city, and we want to make other people interested in the place where they live, too. We think that the quality of our life depends, among other things, on the quality of the architecture and the public space around us. We open the city for everyone, and we want people to explore the city’s architecture and public space in a wider urbanistic, historical, and cultural context. Architecture is a part of our everyday life, and thanks to Open House Prague, you can explore it in an unconventional way!
What do we do?
- We organize a weekend-long festival with tens of open, usually inaccessible buildings and other events for the public throughout the year.
- We liven up and open the city.
- We make it possible for the general public to have a direct experience with architecture, design, and art, and we popularize architecture in all its forms.
- We provide educational materials for children and we organize workshops for them.
- We foster a volunteering culture to an extent that has no parallel in the Czech environment.
- We offer hundreds of volunteers to spend their festival weekend actively and meaningfully.
- We develop and take care of the volunteer community even throughout the entire year.
- We connect people from different generations, educational backgrounds, and professions in our volunteer program.
- We involve elderly citizens and citizens who are disadvantaged in terms of their health in an active participation in the organization of the festival.
- We prepare special tours for hearing impaired and visually impaired people.
- We contribute to change by educating the lay public, which can then become an informed client or an equal partner of architects and urban planners.
- We support an active participation of the public in the public space.
- We connect architects and specialists with the general public.
When Victoria Thornton came up with the idea of Open House around 30 years ago, at first I thought that the project had no future. Despite that, I ended up getting involved myself and putting some energy into it. Although the beginning was difficult, Open House London has become one of the most important cultural events. The way I see it now is that Open House is a contribution to every city and every country it takes place in. But in my own country I’m obviously going to promote it stronger than anywhere else in the world.
architect of Czech origin who works and lives in London,
long-time member of the administration board of Open City, patroness of Open House Prague
… The opportunity to look behind some closed doors and discover for oneself another part of the city. This is actually what’s most beautiful about Open House Prague – that even those people who otherwise know Prague as the back of their hand (or at least they think they do) can look at the city from a different point of view every year. I would like to wish all Prague walkers happy exploring.
mayor of Prague
Open House Prague is the first Czech festival of its kind that has opened itself to people with visual disabilities while fully respecting their needs and putting emphasis on their safety, independence, and full experience. Accessibility is about determination, not about financially demanding solutions or rebuilding. Andrea Šenkyříková, director of the festival, has simply decided to make Open House Prague available for everybody, and she is working towards her goal. That is why people with hearing and visual disabilities can explore the beauties of Prague’s architecture. I am glad that Světluška could be a part of that.
Světluška – Czech Radio Foundation
Exploring new buildings always brings a sense of excitement, even a sense of discovery. That isn’t the most important thing about Open House, though: discovering houses that have only been an anonymous spot on the map from the inside enables us to deepen our relationship with the city and become more connected to the place where we live.
Petr Hlaváček and Magdalena Hlaváčková