WHO ARE WE?
We founded Open House Prague in 2014 because we were excited by the idea of opening buildings that are usually inaccessible. We are enthusiasts who love their city, and we want to make other people interested in the place where they live, too. The quality of our life depends, among other things, on the quality of the architecture and the public space around us. The aim of our non-profit organization is to popularize architecture among the general public. We open the capital city for all people regardless of age, education or profession, and we strive for people to explore the city’s architecture and public space in a wider urbanistic, historical, and cultural context.
Let’s not be indifferent to our surroundings, let’s discuss and take care of our city, and let’s take part in public matters!
Architecture is a part of our everyday life, and Open House Prague invites you to its unconventional exploration.
WHAT DO WE DO?
- We organize a weekend festival with tens of open, usually inaccessible buildings.
- We liven up and open the city.
- We make it possible for people to have a direct, free experience with architecture, design and art, and we popularize architecture in all its forms.
- We provide educational materials for children and we organize workshops for them.
- We participate in fostering a volunteering culture whose extent has no parallel in Czech environment.
- We offer hundreds of volunteers to spend their festival weekend actively and meaningfully.
- We develop and take care of the volunteer community even throughout the entire year.
- In the volunteer program we connect people of different generations, education, and professions.
- We involve elderly citizens and citizens who are disadvantaged in terms of their health in an active participation in the organization of the festival.
- We contribute to change by educating the lay public, which can then become an informed client or an equal partner of architects and urban planners.
- We support an active participation of the public in the public space.
- We connect architects and specialists with the general public.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
We discovered the Open House festival in London in 2013, and we started discussing the conditions of organizing the festival in Prague. By gaining the license to use the protected brand, we made a commitment to stick to the license standards, and we joined the international network of Open House Worldwide in 2014. Since its first year, the festival has been under the auspices of Eva Jiřičná, an architect of Czech origin who was at the start of Open House in London and was its part for nearly twenty years.
Open House Prague took place for the first time in 2015. The attendance and interest of the public exceeded our expectations, and it has been increasing with every year. The festival is traditionally held under the patronage of the city mayor, the director of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development, and the mayors and councilors of those municipal districts where the festival takes place.
The festival is organized by a small team of enthusiasts in their free time. Thanks to the effort of the organizing team and the help of hundreds of volunteers, Open House Prague is now one of the significant cultural events in Prague that is visited not only by the people of Prague but also by people from all around the Czech Republic and from abroad.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
The concept of the festival was born in 1992 in London, and the idea of opening the borders between buildings and passersby has since spread to more than 40 cities on five continents. Originally, it was a community project that was supposed to strengthen the dialogue between the public and architects, the city, and its public premises. As the founder of Open House London Victoria Thornton says: “The festival opens eyes, mind, and doors, so we can help the citizens of the city start their perception of their surroundings in terms of design and architecture. My goal was to create a festival that would be for everyone and be accessible for free because the city belongs to all of us, and we should get involved in it and become a part of it”. The festival in London attracts up to 350 thousand people every year, and it opens around 800 buildings. We are proud that we can be part of the international network of Open House Worldwide through which we promote Prague as an open cultural city all over the world.
Board of directors of Open House Prague
Michaela Pánková, chairwoman