“Architecture for everyone” is the motto of Open House Prague this year, which invites visitors to see buildings and spaces that aren’t usually accessible in 10 city districts.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year we will meet our visitors on a new date, in September. To our delight, many of our partners who we had originally agreed with have decided to participate again,” says festival director Andrea Šenkyříková.
Open House Prague festival will take place from September 1 to September 6, 2020. During the weekend of that week, visitors will be able to take a look around 73 usually inaccessible buildings and spaces, and starting on September 1, the weekdays will offer a supporting program consisting of guided walks, lectures, and debates on city architecture.
The festival of open buildings is now a traditional architecture holiday that allows people to explore the hidden treasures of the city for free and enjoy the unique atmosphere of communality and excitement from exploring places.
Beautiful views over Prague will be available from terraces and roofs, and visitors will also get to explore ancient undergrounds. The weekend program will be accompanied by supporting events on weekdays, which will provide visitors with more information on selected buildings and topics from the program. The information center of the festival will open on September 1 in Radost House in Žižkov.
The former Palace of Culture, now Congress Center Prague, which forms the main visual of the festival, is one of the 30 newly participating buildings. Aside from opening buildings, the organizers have also focused on introducing the history and revitalization plans of important premises owned by the city. Visitors will be able to access the premises of Prague Marketplace, including the former slaughterhouse stock market, the cold storage located underground, or the water tower built at the end of the 19th century.
Prague Exhibition Grounds will offer a tour of the technological background of the sports hall, the swimming pool, or Spirála Theater. Buildings that represent successful conversions of technological buildings that were changed by architects for their own use include Braasi Factory in Holešovice or the offices of Machine House in Karlín.
A rich industrial past is tied to Nusle Brewery, whose revitalization is currently being prepared. A complete reconstruction was recently done at the recently opened town hall of the Municipal District of Prague 7 in Holešovice.
As for brand new buildings, the festival will show for example Prachnerova Residency, nominated for the Czech Architecture Award, or the ČSOB Campus in Radlice (SHQ as well as NHQ building), which serves as an example of eco-friendly architecture.
As in previous years, the program will also include interestingly designed administration spaces. Visitors will have a chance to look inside a few coworking centers and offices, including HubHub, located in the functionalist ARA palace, Sněmovní 7, and NN IT Hub in Smíchov, which won the title of the “Most attractive office of 2019” in the Art of Space Awards contest. The festival will also be joined by the creative agency of DBB Prague, whose premises won the “Offices of the 21st century” award.
Tours in English
There are seven buildings that offer English tours (a special icon in the printed guide as well as on the website informs about them). There are also others which can be visited freely without a guide.
Open House Prague is part of the Open House Worldwide international network of festivals, which take place in 46 cities around the world. The festival is joined by hundreds of volunteers, who help with the opening of the buildings and who are being recruited until the very start of the event.
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