Special guided tours for children
During the weekend, there was a rich accompanying program for families with children. One of the main attractions of the 7th Open House Prague was the ARA Palace, featured in the 2021 visuals. Built in the 1930s, this imposing palace was constructed with the use of a steel frame, just like New York City skyscrapers, which has helped the palace survive two fires. Open areas in the palace included two floors of HubHub coworking, and there were also special guided tours for children (age 5+) with worksheets for little architects.
This year we were commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of architect Jan Kotěra, considered by many to be the founder of modern Czech architecture. Several of Kotěra’s buildings were opened during the festival, including Trmal Villa in Strašnice, a country house with elements of vernacular architecture. There were special guided tours for children where they learned more about the architecture of the house in an interactive and fun way.
Other places that had programs for children included the Prague Institute of Planning and Development; Podkovářská Premises with printing machines and a basketball court on the roof; or Church of St. Anna in the Old Town, said to have inspired some stories written by the famous Czech author Jaroslav Foglar. Visitors could also explore the Kovařovic Villa and see other Cubist buildings on Rašín Embankment, or take a look inside the bank vault in Petschek Palace. There was no need to register for the tours in advance. Admission was free.
List of buildings with guided tours for children
- ARA Palace – Saturday 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.
- Church of St. Anna (Prague Crossroads) – Saturday 11 a.m., Sunday 12 p.m.
- Kovařovic Villa and a walk to Cubist buildings – Saturday 1 p.m., Sunday 3 p.m.
- National Library of Technology – Saturday 2 p.m.
- Petschek Palace – Sunday 1 p.m.
- Podkovářská Premises – Sunday 4 p.m.
- Prague Institute of Planning and Development – Saturday 3 p.m.
- Quadrio – Saturday 10 a.m.
- Štenc House – Sunday 10 a.m.
- Trmal Villa – Sunday 2 p.m.
Like last year, families with children could visit the lego workroom where they could build the house of their dreams. The youngest children could play with duplo bricks in a special little workroom. Organized in collaboration with Czech Repubrick, the lego workroom was open for the whole weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning. Visitors could also collect stickers of visited buildings and put them in their festival diary. Finally, there were beautiful souvenirs available for purchase in the information center, such as t-shirts, bags, matching cards, and more.
More programs for children
Kunsthalle Praha offered a unique opportunity to explore the former Zenger Transformer Station through a workshop with the Kapla construction set and learn about Václav Zenger and Zdeněk Pešánek through fun coloring pages created by illustrator Patrik Antczak. Children could also learn about the materials that were used during the building’s reconstruction. The workshops with instructors took place on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who were brave enough could rent a track bike and take a ride on the oval track at the Třebešín Velodrome. Various activities and a children’s corner were ready at the National Museum of Agriculture. For a more relaxed program, visitors could stop by at the Vlna Community Center where children could have fun at the playground in the yard. Another popular building was the Ďáblice Observatory.
Four dancers, one musician, children, and thousands of paper sheets. Visitors could experience a creative adventure through an exploration of dance, movement, and an (extra)ordinary piece of paper. Svět z papíru (“Paper World”), an interactive play created by Mirka Eliášová et al., was an unconventional theater performance. As part of the festival’s accompanying program, the very last performance of the play took place on Sunday, August 8 at 5 p.m. in PONEC Theater, located nearby the future House of Dance (Dům tance) on Husitská Street. The performance was for children between 5 and 12 years of age. Admission was free, but it was necessary to make a reservation in advance.