Accompanying Program of Open House Prague 2023

Events on the Weekdays (May 15–19, 2023)

The week-long accompanying program of the festival started on Monday, May 15 and offered a total of 140 accompanying events. The public had the opportunity to attend lectures and walking tours and see exhibitions. Some of the accompanying programs were also organized by our partners from both participating and non-participating buildings.

Tour at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University with dean Marie Pětová, photo by Dušan Vondra
Tour of the former Federal Assembly with Pavel Karous, photo by Dušan Vondra

On the occasion of the significant anniversary of architect Karel Prager‘s birth, we commemorated him with lectures, discussions, and tours of his buildings as part of the accompanying program. Some of Prager’s buildings were not accessible during the weekend, but there was still an opportunity to visit them during the week as part of the festival’s accompanying program. People could attend a guided tour at the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University in Troja, which resulted from a reconstruction of a former canteen designed by Prager, with faculty dean Marie Pětová, and in the building of the former Federal Assembly with sculptor and educator Pavel Karous.

In collaboration with the New Stage of the National Theater, we also organized workshops for children and interactive tours with our Worksheets for Little Architects. There was also a discussion titled ‘Kauza Nová scéna’ (‘The Case of the New Stage’) with important figures from the world of architecture and design, which focused on the creation of the New Stage of the National Theater and its planned reconstruction. Hosted by Ondřej Cihlář, the discussion welcomed guests Radomíra Sedláková, Viliam Chlebo, and Petr Vorlík. In cooperation with Kunsthalle Praha, we also organized a walking tour at Holubička Park, where sculptures of brutalist buildings had been installed, including the building of Komerční banka designed by Prager. Here people could listen to a commentary from the author of the sculptures himself, Krištof Kintera.

Walking tour at Holubička Park with Krištof Kintera, photo by Simona Němečková
Lecture with Radomíra Sedláková and Marek Tichý, photo by Jan Malý

This year’s major topic was brutalism and its manifestations in Czech post-war architecture. The topic was discussed in detail at a lecture given by Radomíra Sedláková, an architect and architecture historian, and Marek Tichý, the chief architect of the ongoing reconstruction of the former Hotel Intercontinental.

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Neo-Renaissance architect Antonín Viktor Barvitius, there was a lecture with an emphasis on his funerary designs given by Šárka Těšík, an expert on funerary architecture. The lecture took place at the Church of St. Philip and St. Jacob in Malvazinky Cemetery, which was built according to Barvitius’ conceptual design. Funerary architecture was also the focus of a presentation given by Filip Ditrich, chief architect of the company Hřbitovy a pohřební služby hl. m. Prahy. He presented various realizations found at the cemetery as well as current burial trends. The presentation took place in the intimate premises of the recently opened Funeral Atelier at the Evangelical Cemetery in Strašnice.

Šárka Těšík’s lecture on A. V. Barvitius’ funerary architecture designs, photo by Kateřina Červená
Walking tour of Holešovice Marketplace with Kristián Mejstřík, photo by Jakub Červenka

The accompanying program also included several thematic walking tours. Art historian Markéta Čejková focused on the architectural transformations of Prague Castle during the era of President Václav Havel, a period of time when the castle was most accessible to the public, while former deputy mayor Adam Scheinherr and Petr Tej from the Klokner Institute led a walk from Vyšehrad train station over the railway bridge near Výtoň to the Smíchov embankment. In addition, Kristián Mejstřík led a walk which focused on the history and construction of the industrial complex of the former Central Prague Slaughterhouse and the ancient and recent stories of the individual buildings.

Representatives of Studio ALTA and 22:22 architekti presented plans for the transformation of the former brewery in Libeň into a new cultural center for the studio’s art scene, including a debate and space for discussion. Studio ALTA also offered two performances by Ufftenživot & Studio ALTA: WHOMAN, which explored stereotypes, norms and expectations. The new town hall in Modřany hosted a lecture by the building’s main architect Jana Mastíková from LOXIA and BIM manager Tereza Kadidlová on the creation of the town hall project. Tomáš Hübl, chairman of the company Výstaviště Praha, which manages Prague Exhibition Grounds, guided visitors through the Exhibition Grounds, and in the hall of Prague-Bubny train station, there was a discussion with architects and urban planners about the current transformation of the surroundings of the Memorial of Silence. Guests included: director of the Memorial of Silence Pavel Štingl; architect, historian, and councilor of Prague 7 Lenka Burgerová; dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Architecture at Technical University of Liberec Jan Stolín; and the discussion was hosted by Pavla Melková.

Performance Ufftenživot & Studio ALTA: WHOMAN, photo by Kateřina Vodrážková
Photo workshop at Congress Center Prague, photo by Lucie Vořechovská

On the occasion of the first birthday of the Visitor Centre at the Czech National Bank, there was a lecture given by the CNB’s chief archivist Jakub Kunert, which traced the fascinating history of the headquarters of the Czech National Bank. A guided tour of an exhibition of Milan Jaroš’s reportage photography was held at 400 ASA Gallery, located at the former transformer station in Smíchov. In collaboration with Megapixel, we organized a photo workshop “Basics of Interior Architecture Photography” at Congress Center Prague. In total, over 690 people attended the accompanying programs on the weekdays before the festival.

Events on the Weekend (May 20–21, 2023)

Tours with Architects & Other Experts

The weekend program also offered several special tours of buildings that were led by the architects of the buildings themselves or experts on a specific topic. At the Evangelical Cemetery in Strašnice, architect Filip Ditrich together with Tereza Frindová showed visitors the recently constructed Funeral Atelier, the tombs of the Lanna and Schebek families by A. V. Barvitius, and other interesting places in the Olšany Cemetery. A special guided tour with art and architecture historian Dalibor Prix took place on the grounds of the institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Philosophical, Sociological, and Institute of Art History). At the Pricefx offices at Meteor Centre Office Park in Karlín, tours were guided by architects of the office interiors from COLL COLL studio.

Tour of the Evangelical Cemetery in Strašnice with Filip Ditrich, photo by Filip Valoušek
Tour of DBK Shopping Center with Pavel Karous, photo by Vendula Tichá

At DBK Shopping Center, tours were guided by  sculptor, publicist, and educator Pavel Karous alongside Petr Zajíček, former long-time technical director of DBK. Architect Jiří Havrda from DAM Architects gave a tour of PORT7, first deputy mayor Petr Šula led a tourof the Prague 12 Town Hall with architects and authors of the project Jana Mastíková and Michal Hendrych from LOXIA. Architect Peter Chládek guided visitors through the showroom of the company, architect Antonín Topinka guided visitors through The Fizz Prague, architect Patrik Hoffman and curator Marie Kordovská guided tours at the reconstructed transformer station in Smíchov, now 400 ASA Gallery, and at the Marianne Gellert-Petschek Villa, now Museum of Literature, tours were guided by architect and author of the building’s reconstruction Zdeněk Žilka.

More Accompanying Programs

During the weekend, visitors could see the second unconventional exhibition of artworks by contemporary Czech artists from the private collection KOOJON by Iva Bízová and her friends, with a tour of the exhibition guided by curator Pavel Kubesa. The exhibition was installed in the basement of Hall 36 at the Holešovice Marketplace. On the premises of the Institutes of Philosophy, Sociology, and Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences, there was a panel exhibition titled ‘Changes in Rural Architecture’ with photos and texts detailing the architectural and historical development of selected rural areas in the 19th and 20th century. The exhibition was on display during the weekend. On Saturday, there was also an introduction of the project ‘Alchemy of Scents’, which focuses, among other things, on the reconstruction of ancient Greek-Egyptian perfumes. In addition to guided tours of the buildings, nearly all of the participating buildings prepared a lot of materials, photographs, and plans regarding the construction or reconstruction of the buildings in their historical, architectural, urban, and cultural contexts.

KOOJON exhibition in the basement of Holešovice Marketplace, photo by Dušan Vondra

Overview of Accompanying Events in the Open Buildings on the Weekend

Blum – main office of the company
time-lapse video from the construction process, photo loop, exhibition with plans and photos

Bořislavka Center
exhibition of Milan Houser’s work, program for children

Braník Brewery – Dance Art Center
presentation of stage equipment

Central Prague Slaughterhouse – Holešovice Marketplace
educational trail about the history of the marketplace; exhibition of artworks from the private contemporary art collection KOOJON

Cibulka Homestead
exhibition of the future appearance of the center of children’s palliative care and the hospice, presentation of the activities of the Vlček Family Foundation; information about children’s palliative care

City Spa Žižkov – House of Dance
exhibition of the visualizations of the House of Dance (Studio Reaktor and Tanec Praha, z. ú.)

Clubhouse of the Autoclub of the Czech Republic
exhibition on the history of the club and the history of the building, exhibition about Czechoslovak automobile racer Eliška Junková

Czernin Palace – seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
panel exhibition in the hall/sala terrena in the garden

Ďáblice Observatory
presentation on the history of the observatory

DBK Shopping Center
exhibition panels, quiz

DISK Theater (part of the Academy of Performing Arts – DAMU)
evening performance at DISK, “Kočka na kolejích” by Josef Topol showroom
city bikes and cargo e-bikes available to try out for free on the testing circuit

Ericsson Palace and the Polish Institute in Prague
information on Poland, tourist attractions, and the program of the Polish Institute in Prague

Faculty Elementary School in Ďáblice
plans, photos documenting reconstruction and activities of the facility

Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague
historical videos and photos from the faculty life – important figures, cultural life, buildings

projection of a video documenting the construction; tours in English – Saturday, Sunday at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Floating Boathouse of TJ Tatran Praha
exhibition of photos and available documentation concerning the floating boathouse

Gráf Hotel – I. P. Pavlova 5
creative origami workshop for families with children (Saturday 2 p.m.)

Great (Löwit) Watermill
historical photo loop

House of the Firemen’s Association of Bohemia – Firemen’s House
information flyer on the history of the building

Church of the Hus Congregation in Vršovice
performance, lecture, community event

Institute of Philosophy, Institute of Sociology, Institute of Art History of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
panel exhibition ‘Changes of Rural Architecture’, presentation of the project ‘Alchemy of Scents’ (Saturday, 1 p.m.)

Klar Institute of the Blind – seat of the Czech Geological Survey
historical photos of the building and its construction, posters with the activities of CGS

Laichter House
exhibition of documents, plans, drawings, and photos

Letná Water Tower
current exhibition in the gallery

Libeň Brewery – Studio ALTA
photo loop, past – present; interactive dance workshop for children (whole Sunday)

Libeň Gas Holder
exhibition of materials about the building

Machine House – main office of Qarta architecture
presentation with historical photos, models of completed projects

Marianne Gellert-Petschek Villa – Museum of Literature
projection of documents, plans, drawings, and photos from the preparation stages of construction and then reconstruction

Masaryk Railway Station
historical photos of Masaryk Railway Station

Metro Palace – Image Theater
video documenting the reconstruction, historical photos of the original cinema provided by the owners of Metro Palace

Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic
short loop with a movie documenting the construction; construction plans on walls; transport-themed playground for children in front of the building

Municipal House in Ďáblice
exhibition of drawings and photos

National Library of Technology
exhibition of books and reproductions from the historical collection, exhibition on the history of the library, exhibition on the construction of the library building in Dejvice with interesting facts

New Stage of the National Theater
drawings and archive materials; video from the glass factory where the screens of the New Stage were made; information and interesting facts about the furniture of the New Stage, the building itself, and more; plans of the upcoming reconstruction, LEGO and DUPLO workroom (entry via piazzetta)

New Synagogue in Libeň
historical photos, information about the history of the building and the former Jewish quarter

game, photos showing the building before and after reconstruction

Petschek Palace – seat of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic
exhibition of historical photographs and drawings of project documentation

Petzold Restaurant – Bohemia Pavilion
exhibition with photos from the reconstruction process

Podkovářská Premises
visitors can play basketball on the roof; tour of the printing office and the graphic studio, tours of showrooms

Pragovka Art District
open galleries, exhibitions

Prague 12 Town Hall
exhibition of original remote worksites, video loop

Project Studios Association – CAMP
children’s corner with LEGO

Sokol Gymnasium in Karlín
exhibitions of photos and materials from archives

Transformer Station Smíchov – 400 ASA Gallery
projection of footage from the reconstruction process

Trmal Villa
current exhibition, permanent exposition of furniture designed by Kotěra

Třebešín Velodrome
free bike and helmet rental and a ride on the velodrome

Stay in Touch

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