We will obtain a license for this festival from the Czech Republic in 2015 in Prague and three years later also in Brno. The idea will bring the city and its architecture closer to the inhabitants, but also to visitors in the form of tours, it was created in 1992 in London, says Michaela Pánková from the festival’s organizing team.
“We organized the first year of the festival in 2015 and at that time we didn’t even know what we were going to do. We didn’t know what the audience’s interest would be. But we already knew from our partners from abroad that the event is quite popular. The founder of the festival concept is Victoria Thornton, who had the idea of bringing architecture closer in this way and connecting lay people with experts and the city government to create a dialogue, a platform for sharing various experiences. This inspired other organizers around the world. “
“In London, the Open House festival opens around eight hundred buildings, so it’s really a huge holiday of architecture and we found it very inspiring. So we asked Victoria Thornton to make Prague one of the festival cities. We obtained a license to organize the festival and we also asked for such patronage, patronage, the Czech architect Eva Jiřičná. Eva Jiřičná has been helping to build the Open House in London since the beginning. She has been a member of the board for many years. Eve forms such a bridge between us and London. “
The Open House Festival Prague 2021 opens eighty buildings
The festival is a chance for residents and visitors to Prague to get to know the city a little differently. Are some objects open with a guided tour?
“Most of the objects are accessible in other smaller applications, which are accompanied by a volunteer, a guide, or someone directly from those buildings. The festival is a community project and we want the buildings themselves to be directly involved in the festival and give visitors their personal experiences, which they have with the fact that they work in those buildings, they have operations there, so all the buildings are really with tours. “
What is the problem of getting into such buildings, I think for you as organizers?
“We have a long list of buildings we would like to get to since the first year, and we are gradually succeeding in filling them and satisfying the interest of visitors, because visitors also write us their own tips on where to look. In recent years, the owners themselves have signed up and are involved in the program themselves, so in that sense the main barrier is overcome, there are still a lot of objects that we were happy to look at, but even for operational reasons it is not possible. “
Does this help the festival to draw attention to buildings that have not yet found further use and are waiting for rescue?
“Yes, this is exactly the line we find quite strong and necessary. Especially in Prague there are many buildings that are still waiting for their new use. We cooperate with the capital city of Prague and other city districts, and if some buildings are owned by the city, then Prague opens them for us and can discuss what might be achieved in those buildings. Even this year, we have in our program, for example, the Desfour Palace, which will eventually be used after many years, because there will be expositions of the Museum of the Capital City of Prague, which makes us very happy that the festival can draw attention to the fate of these buildings. “
The open day arouses interest in history and the future
“The mission of the festival is to arouse people’s interest not only in buildings, but also in architecture in the city, and this interest can later arouse the active participation of citizens in some decision-making processes of what will happen to that architecture in the future. So that’s why the festival is free all over the world, the entrances to the buildings are free, so that the festival is really for everyone and all the inhabitants can participate in it and co-create it. “