Open Buildings and Spaces of the 6th Open House Prague
September 5–6, 2020
Open House Praha 2020
The 6th Open House Prague took place on a new date, September 1–6, 2020. The festival began with a series of small events which livened up some architecturally interesting by music and dance. For example, Vážný zájem, a classical music ensemble, performed in the cubist Kovařovic Villa, Braasi Factory, or the functionalist Radost House. In Prague Crossroads, there was a contemporary dance performance. The program also featured a theme route titled Buildings coming alive, stirred up by a debate with representatives of places such as the Karlín Barracks, Radost House, or Prague Marketplace. As part of the accompanying program, there was a special guided tour around the marketplace focused on its history and revitalization plans.
On the weekend of September 5–6, 66 buildings that are usually not accessible opened their gates to the public, from industrial monuments and historic palaces to modern offices, eco-friendly buildings, and residential living. The original number of enrolled buildings was 73; however, some of our partners had to cancel their participation at the last minute, mostly due to reasons related to the coronavirus epidemic. Despite the increased safety measures, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of visitors. Considering the situation and the different date, we recorded 35,650 visits, roughly one half of the attendance rate from previous years, and we deem such a number successful.
The most visited buildings were the newly participating ones, such as Kovařovic Villa, Straka Academy – seat of the Government of the Czech Republic, Congress Center Prague, the coworking center on Sněmovní 7, HubHub coworking center in ARA Palace, Nusle Brewery, or the recently finished Prague 7 Town Hall. Visitors were also attracted to unusual places such as underground shelters, water towers, or industrial spaces. The program was adjusted in accordance with the current situation, and we tried to open not only buildings but also larger premises such the Exhibition Grounds, Pragovka, Podkovářská, Libosad, or Orionka Tram Depot.
The theme route was focused on dilapidating and nearly forgotten buildings. We were interested in their stories and the stories of the people (active citizen associations or individuals) who are trying to bring such buildings back to life. These people interconnect local communities and give new life not only to the buildings but also to their surroundings. There was also a debate on the topic.
Accompanying program on the weekend
There was a diverse accompanying program prepared by our partners from the participating buildings. Visitors could attend tours with architects, see exhibitions and presentations regarding the history and the future of the buildings, visit an art market, or attend concerts and performances. There were 55 events in the accompanying program in total.
Festival for families with children
The motto of Open House Prague 2020 was Architecture for everybody. We created another set of interactive worksheets which allowed children to explore the buildings in a fun way. 14 special tours for children with worksheets for little architects took place in 7 buildings. In Radost House, there was a Lego workroom where children and their parents could get creative and build dozens of interesting constructions. The littlest ones could play in a workroom with Duplo bricks. Some of our partnes from the buildings had an entertaining program for families prepared, too.
A program without barriers
In three buildings, there were special tours for people with hearing disabilities. These tours were interpreted into the Czech sign language with simultaneous transcription. For the first time ever, we also prepared guided tours for visitors with visual disabilities. These tours took place in 7 buildings. Visitors could not only listen to the commentary but also read more about the buildings and their surroundings thanks to tactile maps, tactile plans, and 3D models.
There were 300 volunteers who helped organize the tours and the commentary in collaboration with the owners or managers of the buildings. Our volunteers were asking visitors to be mutually considerate, and they were making sure that the limits of group sizes and frequency of tours were not exceeded. The program also included tours guided by the very architects of some of the buildings.
The first joint event of the Open House Worldwide network
The 1st Open House Worldwide Festival took place on November 14–15, 2020. The joint event of more than 35 cities, members of the international network, offered a 48-hour long online program including various events, discussions, tours, and more. Open House Worldwide touched upon various subjects – from climate change and housing to transport and public space. The festival was attended by more than 40,000 people. Our contribution on behalf of Open House Prague was shot in collaboration with Adam Gebrian and Mall.tv and was met with a very positive response.
Open House Prague 2020 in numbers
participating city districts
events in the accompanying program
Open House Prague 2020 was held under the auspices of the following people: Lubomír Zaorálek – culture minister; Nick Archer – ambassador of the United Kingdom; Zdeněk Hřib – mayor of Prague; Petr Hlaváček – deputy mayor of Prague; Hana Třeštíková – councilor for culture, protected buildings care, exhibitions, and tourist industry; Jan Chabr – councilor for property managament; Ondřej Boháč – director of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development; Naděžda Goryczková – CEO of the National Heritage Institute; Petr Hejma – mayor of the Prague 1 Municipal District; Jana Černochová – mayor of the Prague 2 Municipal District; Jiří Ptáček – mayor of the Prague 3 Municipal District; Irena Michalcová – mayor of the Prague 4 Municipal District; Michal Hroza – deputy mayor of the Prague 4 Municipal District; Renáta Zajíčková – mayor of the Prague 5 Municipal District; Ondřej Kolář – mayor of the Prague 6 Municipal District; Jan Čižinský – mayor of the Prague 7 Municipal District; Ondřej Gros – mayor of the Prague 8 Municipal District; Jan Jarolím – mayor of the Prague 9 Municipal District; Renáta Chmelová – mayor of the Prague 10 Municipal District; Miloš Růžička – mayor of the Prague-Ďáblice Municipal District.
Hlavní město Praha, Ministerstvo kultury ČR, Ministerstvo vnitra ČR, Architekti Headhand, Kongresové centrum Praha, Městská část Praha 4, Městská část Praha 6, Městská část Praha 5, Městská část Praha 7, Městská část Praha 1, Městská část Praha 8, Státní fond kultury, Nadace české architektury
Czech Repubrick, ekolo.cz, Mapy.cz, EMPYREUM Information Technologies, AI DESIGN, Bageterie Boulevard, Hestia – centrum pro dobrovolnictví, Radost, Pražská paroplavební společnost, Ústav jazyků a komunikace neslyšících FF UK, Transkript, Česká unie neslyšících, Nadační fond Českého rozhlasu Světluška, Středisko Teiresiás Masarykovy univerzity, Sjednocená organizace nevidomých a slabozrakých (SONS) ČR, Galerie Jaroslava Fragnera, Rekola, Česká rada pro šetrné budovy
Partners of programs for people with disabilities
Ústav jazyků a komunikace neslyšících FF UK, Transkript, Česká unie neslyšících, Nadační fond Českého rozhlasu Světluška, Středisko Teiresiás, Technická univerzita v Liberci – Fakulta umění a architektury, Radost