Open House Prague will offer tours of the former slaughterhouse exchange, stables, cellars and water tower!
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we lost the popular Open House Prague festival in May. But the organizers wouldn't let themselves be stopped and postponed the event, which is popular with hundreds of people, to September. That means the festival will take place after all, and it's going to be spectacular. It will open 73 buildings. This year's motto is "Architecture for everyone" and visitors can look forward to tours of normally inaccessible buildings and other spaces in ten city districts. LP-life.com is a partner of the festival and you have our heartfelt invitation to visit.
This year, the Open House Prague Festival will take place from 1 to 6 September 2020. During the weekend, the visitors are invited to take a free tour of 73 buildings and spaces that aren’t usually accessible. In addition, in the week starting with September 1, the festival will offer an accompanying program consisting of guided walks and debates on urban architecture.
"To our delight, many of our building owner partners who we had originally agreed with have decided to participate again,"
says festival director Andrea Šenkyříková, adding:
"We continue to monitor current information on the state of the coronavirus epidemic and will adjust the operation and hygiene conditions in the buildings accordingly."
New spaces are spread throughout Prague
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.
On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the birth of architect Josef Chochol, visitors can have a peek in Kovařovic's villa on Rašínovo nábřeží, built in the Cubist style. The building of the headquarters of the Vyšehrad National Cultural Monument (NCM) will be made accessible on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the NCM institution. This year, we also commemorate 175 years since the arrival of the first train in Prague and since the opening of Masaryk railway station for passengers. Last but not least, the premises of the former Central Slaughterhouse of the Royal City of Prague, today's Prague Market, celebrates a nice round 125th anniversary of its establishment.
Buildings are coming to life
The public's attention is increasingly attracted to objects whose administration and operation are in the hands of active civic associations or individuals. These include, for example, the Karlín barracks complex, Jatka78, Pragovka and others.
"We would like to point out how much work, commitment and finances, including time-limited contractual uncertainty, is behind the activity of the people involved and the animation of the buildings. The associations connect local communities and, thanks to imaginative program dramaturgy, breathe life not only into the buildings themselves, but also their surroundings,"
says Andrea Šenkyříková. But the festival program includes even such objects, where multifunctional civic use is planned for the future, such as the former Krenovka railway inn in Žižkov or the Orionka depot.
This year, not only urbex fans, but also enthusiasts of technical or residential buildings will get their money's worth. Moreover, the program will present reconstructions as well as award-winning new buildings, designed with regard to both aesthetics and the quality of the indoor environment. Visitors will be able to watch Prague unfold in front of their eyes from residential terraces and roofs, and they'll even be able to explore ancient underground spaces.
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.