Open House Prague 2021

Once again, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Open House Prague took place on a different date, this time on August 2–8, 2021. The accompanying program on the weekdays featured a number of events which disclosed architecture to visitors in an unconventional way. People could take a cruise on the Vltava steamship, take the Kotěra tram and listen to a commentary provided by architect Zdeněk Lukeš, enjoy a contemporary dance performance combined with a night tour at the Laichter House, or attend a debate and a film projection on the topic of abandoned buildings at the stands of the Great Strahov Stadium. There was also a tour and a discussion regarding the reconstruction of the Zenger Transformer Station, the future location of Kunsthalle Prague. During the week, there were other guided tours and walks, for example on the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the foundation of Prague Exhibition Grounds, the 150th anniversary of the Gröb Villa, or the 150th anniversary of the first train arriving in Prague.

po řece kolesovým parníkem Vltava, doprovodný program festivalu, foto: Tomáš Sysel
photo by Tomáš Sysel
photo by Dušan Vondra


Open House Prague 2021 saw more than 53,000 visits of the open buildings and the accompanying programs in total. Compared to last year when the festival took place on a different date as well, we are once again seeing an increased number of visitors as in the years before the pandemic. The 2021 festival was visited by one half more people than in 2020.

Thank you very much for a perfect preparation, great tour guides and a wide range of interesting buildings.


Biggest attractions

The main program included 79 buildings and spaces that are not usually accessible. These included 26 newly participating buildings, and on Saturday morning, there were queues at a number of them. The most visited building were the Vršovice Waterworks in Michle. Those who were brave enough could climb up to the 42-meter high tower, or climb down into the underground water tank and learn more about this cultural monument designed by architect Jan Kotěra whose reconstruction is just being finished. The waterworks were opened on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Kotěra’s birth.

photo by Štefan Letko
photo by Dušan Vondra

Another place that was popular among visitors was the Garden of Arts, which also served as the venue for the opening reception attended by a number of our partners. Other frequently visited buildings included ARA Palace, Laichter House, Hotel International Prague, Šaloun Villa, gardens at the Czernin Palace, Štvanice Power Station, or Kunsthalle Prague. Visitors could see three different water towers, several underground shelters, two châteux, a former spa, sports premises, an observatory, a mill, or several hotels. Artistic spaces and ateliers were a separate theme route.

…You’re simply an amazing organization! You give people exceptional memories and connect them with Prague better than anyone else.


A festival for everybody

With the motto of this year’s festival being Architecture for everybody, selected tours were interpreted into the Czech sign language; people with visual disabilities could use tactile plans and ground plans of the buildings as well as 3D models which they could explore by touch during special guided tours. There was a rich program for families with children, too – a lego workroom, interactive guided tours with worksheets for little architects, an opportunity to take a ride on the Třebešín Velodrome, and a theater performance.

photo by Dušan Vondra

As always, I was thrilled; the festival has such a pleasant atmosphere, all the volunteers are helpful and nice, and that passes on to visitors, too. A big thanks to all of you!

photo by Štefan Letko


The festival is a community project that would never be able to happen without an active participation of the owners and the people from the buildings nor without a large number volunteers. Although the festival took place during summer holidays, nearly 350 volunteers helped us with organization. Many of them have been with us since the very beginning because this work makes sense to them and inspires them in their professional as well as personal lives. Open House Prague is the only event in the Czech Republic that is capable of connecting such a large number of people at once. The volunteers are people of different ages and professions, and thanks to Open House Prague, they can meet throughout the year as well thanks to various tours that we prepare for them.

I was a bit afraid if I could do this at my age and how the young would collaborate with an “old woman”. It was fantastic, though! So much that I can’t even describe it. Such a great group of volunteers, regardless of age difference, and great visitors! If I can, I will definitely do it again next year! I’m already looking forward to it. To you and all the organizers – thank you so much!


Accompanying programs

Aside from the accompanying program during the festival week, visitors could attend more accompanying events on the weekend which were prepared directly by our partners from the participating buildings – special guided tours with architects, exhibitions, presentations, lectures, and other surprises.

Sochařský ateliér Jana Laudy, sídlo studia Olgoj Chorchoj, setkání s majitelem panem Němečkem, foto: Dušan Vondra
photo by Dušan Vondra

Thank you for allowing us to present to the public the future of a dilapidating building. The number of visitors surely exceeded not only our expectations, and thanks to the dedication of your volunteers (who didn’t take a break for the whole day), the last tour took place even after the closing time.

photo by Barry Butler

Open House Prague is part of an international network

The concept of Open House was born in London in 1992 and founded by Victoria Thornton, who holds the Order of the British Empire for her services to architecture. Thanks to the festival’s success, it has expanded to 50 cities over the world. The festival was originally a community project which was supposed to strengthen the dialogue between the public and architects, the city, and its public spaces. Open House Prague is a proud member of the Open House Worldwide network, which was officially founded in 2010 and is administered by Open City, a charity registered in the UK.

Open House Prague 2021 in numbers


open buildings


guided tours

city districts

events in the accompanying program

Archiv budov - EN
Which buildings were open during this festival?
Archiv budov - EN
Which buildings were open during this festival?


Open House Prague 2021 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; 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; Tomáš Portlík – 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; Tomáš Bryknar – mayor of the Prague-Troja Municipal District.

Financial support

Hlavní město Praha, Ministerstvo kultury ČR, Ministerstvo vnitra ČR, Státní fond kultury, Architekti Headhand, Nadace české architektury, Městská část Praha 1, Městská část Praha 2, Městská část Praha 4, Městská část Praha 5, Městská část Praha 6, Městská část Praha 7, Městská část Praha 10

Partners, Bageterie Boulevard, pizza360,, Rekola, Czech Repubrick, EMPYREUM Information Technologies, anygence, Institut dokumentárního filmu, AI DESIGN, Česká rada pro šetrné budovy, Hestia – centrum pro dobrovolnictví, Centrum architektury a městského plánování (CAMP), Umělecká zahrada, Pražská paroplavební společnost, Prague Pride

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

Main media partner

Media partners 

Český rozhlas Rádio DAB Praha, TV Architect Studio, TV Bydlení, Luxury Prague Life, ERA21, Intro, Architect+, Archiweb, Estav, CZECHDESIGN, Propamátky, Prague City Tourism, S dětmi v Praze

Thank you to all our partners for your support!

Stay in Touch

Throughout the year, we send our newsletter about the festival and other events in english.