8th 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. The festival included an eventful accompanying program on the weekdays, e.g. an exhibition, a concert, a lecture, and several walking tours. At our information center on Železná Street, visitors could learn more about the program and purchase the festival guide and more items.
New Buildings & Anniversaries
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. The former Electrical Enterprises Prague, now Bubenská 1, saw long lines of visitors as early as in the morning, and this continued over the entire weekend. Popular stops also included the Clubhouse of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic and EA Hotel Juliš on Wenceslas Square. Elsewhere, such as at Adria Palace or at the Gráf Hotel, now I. P. Pavlova 5, visitors were able to enjoy breathtaking views from the roof. As for recently finished constructions, the UMPRUM Technology Center and the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) were among the busiest.
For the first time ever, we managed to open the Thun Palace in Malá Strana, which serves as the British embassy and the residence of the ambassador. Beautiful gardens were to be found at the Czernin Palace in Hradčany, seat of the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vlašská Infirmary in Malá Strana, or Vila Lanna in Bubeneč. The lesser-known Central Boiler House of the General University Hospital in Prague, designed by Karel Prager, served as a venue for an exhibition of contemporary art. The program also featured Diamant, an apartment building designed by Emil Králíček and one of the few cubist houses in Prague. For the first time, the program also included buildings located in the districts Komořany and Zbraslav.
The 2022 festival commemorated birth anniversaries of three notable architects who were active in the Czech lands during their life – Jože Plečnik (150 years), Vojtěch Ignác Ullmann (200 years), and Pavel Janák (140 years). On the weekend, visitors could see both famous and lesser-known buildings, such as the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Hus Congregation in Vinohrady, Czech Polytechnic Institute, Secondary School for Girls on Vodičkova Street, Sokol Gymnasium in Nové Město, and more.
Starting May 16, people could attend a number of accompanying events, e.g. a walking tour from Hlávka Bridge to Libeň Bridge. Together with Ana Porok, curator of the Plečnik House in Ljubljana, we installed an exhibition of Plečnik’s unrealized projects for Ljubljana right in front of the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord. The exhibition was accompanied by a lecture with Ana Porok and professor Vladimír Šlapeta, which took place at the Faculty of Law, Charles University. At the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord, one of the most significant sacral monuments in the Czech Republic, there was also a concert of music composed by Plečnik’s contemporaries performed by the Stamic Quartet. The accompanying program included other events, such as a discussion on the future of sports facilities held at the Clubhouse of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic, a discussion regarding the development plans for the Bubny district, and a number of guided walks and tours.
Program for Families with Children
Young and older children alike could have fun at our Lego and Duplo workroom. This year, it was located at the UMPRUM Technology Center on Mikulandská Street.
Children of age 5+ could attend tours with worksheets for little architects in six festival buildings. In total, over 200 children attended the program for children (which was free for everyone).
A Festival without Barriers
We strive to remove barriers that might keep people from exploring the city and its architecture. Because our motto is Architecture for Everyone, the 2022 Open House Prague again included special tours for people with disabilities, including people with hearing, visual, or physical disabilities. There were 4 tours for people with hearing disabilities, 6 tours for people with visual disabilities, and 2 tours for visitors who use wheelchairs; these tours were attended by over 180 people in total.
As late as Friday afternoon before the festival weekend, we weren’t sure if we would be able to open all the announced buildings. We want to say a big thank you to all the volunteers, owners, and managers of the buildings, thanks to whom we were able to make sure that the event went smoothly. The festival is a community project above all, and this year, 400 volunteers helped guide and coordinate visitors for no financial reward. As part of our volunteer program, our volunteers get to visit selected buildings throughout the year as well. Open House Prague is an event which opens buildings for the public for free, and so, the festival would never happen without a number of partners, supporters, and donors. Thank you so much!
Open House Prague is Part of an International Network
The concept of Open House was founded in London in 1992 by Victoria Thornton, holder of the Order of the British Empire. Thanks to the success of the festival, it has since expanded to 50 cities around the world. Open House was originally a community project established with the intention to strengthen the dialogue between the public and architects, the city, and its public space. Open House Prague is a proud member of Open House Worldwide, an international network founded officially in 2010 and managed by Open City, a nonprofit organization registered in the United Kingdom. In April 2022, the network held its second collaborative online event, which we participated in as well. You can watch the recording on our website.
Open House Prague 2022 in Numbers
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Partners & Supporters
The festival was held under the auspices of the following people: Martin Baxa, culture minister; His Excellency Nick Archer, ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; 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 management; Naděžda Goryczková, CEO of the National Heritage Institute; Petr Hejma, mayor of the Prague 1 Municipal District; Alexandra Udženija, 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; 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; Jan Adamec, mayor of the Prague 12 Municipal District; Miloš Růžička, mayor of the Prague-Ďáblice Municipal District; Tomáš Bryknar, mayor of the Prague-Troja Municipal District; and Zuzana Vejvodová, mayor of the Prague-Zbraslav Municipal District.
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