Open House Prague 2023
The 9th Open House Prague Festival was a unique celebration of the city’s architecture, surpassing the previous years in terms of the number of visitors and volunteers. The biggest architecture festival in Prague took place May 15–21, 2023. On the weekdays, the festival offered 140 accompanying events, such as lectures, debates, exhibitions, and guided tours with renowned architects and other artists. On the weekend of May 20–21, the festival opened 107 buildings and spaces that are usually inaccessible, and visitors could explore them for free. In total, we recorded over 83,200 visits of the buildings and the accompanying programs. The festival centered around brutalism and its manifestation in Czech post-war architecture. In relation to this topic, we also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the birth of Karel Prager, whose buildings such as the branch of Komerční banka in Smíchov, New Stage of the National Theater, and others were open during the festival. We also commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth of architect Antonín Viktor Barvitius. His works that were open during the festival included Vila Lanna, tomb of the Lanna and Schebek families in Olšany Cemetery, Church of St. Wenceslas in Smíchov, and Gröbe Villa. One of our priorities is to give an experience from architecture to as wide a spectrum of people as possible, which is why a record number of more than 500 volunteers took part in the festival and helped visitors experience Prague architecture directly.
Open House Prague 2022
The 8th Open House Prague Festival took place on May 16–22, 2022. The accompanying program and the usually inaccessible buildings featured in the main program attracted 64,000 visitors. After two years of the coronavirus pandemic, the festival was able to take place in the traditional month of May again. On the weekend, visitors were able to see 100 architecturally fascinating and usually inaccessible buildings around Prague for free. We welcomed a great number of visitors in remote parts of Prague as well, such as Zbraslav, Komořany, and Staré Ďáblice. As usual, buildings that participated for the first time turned out to be the most popular; there were 26 new buildings and spaces in the 2022 program. 400 volunteers helped organize the tours in the buildings. On the weekdays, people could visit our information center on Železná Street and attend many accompanying events; several events were dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jože Plečnik – there was an exhibition, a concert, a lecture, and many walking tours. The program also focused on families with children and visitors with visual or hearing disabilities. For the first time ever, visitors could also participate in a photo contest titled Otevřená Praha (‘Open Prague’) and win valuable prizes.
Open House Prague 2021
Once again, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival took place on a different date, this time on August 2–8, 2021. The 7th Open House Prague featured an accompanying program on the weekdays consisting of events that disclosed architecture to visitors in an unconventional way. The information center of the festival was located on Malé náměstí 4. The 79 buildings that were opened during Open House Prague 2021 and the accompanying programs on the weekdays were visited by 53,000 people in total. The most popular buildings included Vršovice Waterworks in Michle, Garden of Arts, ARA Palace, Kunsthalle Prague, Olgoj Chorchoj atelier, Boutique Hotel Jalta, or Hotel International Prague. One of the themes of the festival was the 150th anniversary of the birth of architect Jan Kotěra. Visitors were also able to enjoy tours around artistic spaces and ateliers and take a look inside selected hotels. This year, the festival collaborated with the students of the Faculty of Arts and Architecture of the Technical University in Liberec who took part in creating 3D models of the buildings for people with visual disabilities. To support the festival, Open House Prague fans could buy a special limited-edition merchandise in spring.
Open House Prague 2020
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the sixth Open House Prague festival took place on a different date – September 1–6. The festival kicked off with a series of small supporting events that livened up some architecturally interesting spaces with music and dance. Over the weekend of September 5–6, we opened 66 buildings (out of the 73 that had been originally announced). The information center of the festival was located in the Radost House. The newly participating buildings were the most visited – those included the Cubist Kovařovic Villa, Straka Academy, Congress Center Prague, Sněmovní 7 and HubHub (ARA Palace) coworking centers as well as the Nusle Brewery or the New Town Hall of the Municipal District of Prague 7. More than 300 volunteers helped with the event. The participating buildings were visited by more than 35 thousand people. We also introduced our new website, including our online store.
Open House Prague 2019
The fifth Open House Prague festival was held in the spirit of anniversary celebrations. The traditional weekend holiday of architecture lovers took place on May 18–19 and opened 80 buildings which attracted more than 76 thousand people. Over 300 volunteers helped with the festival. The eco-friendly buildings – Visionary in Holešovice and Dock in Two in Libeň – and the historic palaces – Hrzán, Trauttmansdorff, and Liechtenstein – were the most visited out of the newly participating buildings. The number one attraction, though, was the Great Strahov Stadium, followed by the Water Tower in Letná or the Crematorium in Strašnice. We also focused on opening buildings located in the districts on the city’s periphery such as Ďáblice, Suchdol, Strašnice, or Modřany. The information center of the festival was located in one of the municipal houses in the Old Town. Children could play in a lego workroom, go on tours, and participate in an adventurous game. The opening ceremony of the festival took place in the Hrzán Palace in the Lesser Town. For the first time ever, the weekend of the festival was preceded by a supporting program on the weekdays which included a steamboat cruise with a commentary, debates on eco-friendly architecture, and a presentation about lego builders. We also founded the Architecture Lovers Club.
Open House Prague 2018
The fourth Open House Prague festival took place on May 19–20, and its theme was the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. The opening ceremony took place in Hotel International Prague in the district of Dejvice; the hotel was one of the newly participating buildings in the program. For the first time ever, the reception was attended by our patroness, architect Eva Jiřičná. The visuals of the event, including the logo, were redesigned by Lukáš Franz. The main visual motif was the illustration of Prague Central Station, created by Jan Šrámek. The festival catalogue introduced 65 buildings. For the first time, we organized special tours for the deaf, for English speakers, and for children. More than 300 volunteers helped with the organization of the event, and there were more than 54 thousand visitors. We opened not only one but two information centers, one in the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning, the other in the Prague Cultural Center. The most visited buildings included Expo 58, DRN, Hotel International Prague, and historic palaces such as the Schebek Palace, the Clam-Gallas Palace, the Michna Palace, or the Desfours Palace.
Open House Prague 2017
Due to a transformation of the Open House Prague institute, preparing the program well ahead of time wasn’t possible, and so, we opened 43 buildings and spaces. We managed to start our all-year volunteer program. The third Open House Prague festival took place on May 13–14, and the main visual motif portrayed the gasometer in Libeň. The festival even received patronage from prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka, and the opening ceremony was held in the Liechtenstein Palace. The information center was located on Hybernská Campus. The most visited newly participating buildings included the House of Fashion, National House in Karlín, Křižík II Palace – main office of Seznam.cz, Winternitz Villa, and Lanna Villa. For the first time, we included cemetery architecture in the program.
Open House Prague 2016
For the first time, the festival received patronage from the mayor of Prague, and the opening ceremony was held in the mayor’s Residency. The second Open House Prague festival took place on May 14–15, and the main visual motif portrayed a drawing of the power plant in Štvanice by Michal Bačák. We also started our collaboration with graphic designer Lukáš Franz. For the first time, the information center was opened one week before the event (in the building of Prague 1 Municipal District) and we were working on worksheets for children. 51 buildings were opened, including 24 newly participating buildings, and they were visited by over 48 thousand people. 160 volunteers helped with the event, twice more than during the first festival. The most attractive buildings were: Protected Health Department KO17 under Thomayer Hospital, Invalidovna, Petschek Palace, Kramář Villa, Port X, House at the Stone Bell, or Staropramen Brewery. We started selling our printed catalogue and prepared our mobile app.
Open House Prague 2015
The first Open House Prague took place on May 16–17; it opened 33 buildings and attracted more than 38 thousand visitors. The most visited buildings were: Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, Invalidovna, the Dancing House, Main Point Karlín, Kramář Villa, O2 Central Telecommunication Building, and the power plant in Štvanice. The information center was located in Fusion Hotel, and the opening reception was held in the Dancing House with the founder of the concept of open houses – Victoria Thornton – attending. The event was organized with the help from 80 volunteers, many of whom were our close friends or family members. We had 10 thousand brochures ready, and visitors took almost all of them on the first day.