Dance, a walk around the city and a cruise on a steamer are a modest list in the rich program of the Open House Festival Prague 2021

photo: courtesy of the Open House Festival

Guided walks through the city, a cruise on a historic steamer, debates, rides on the Kotěr tram and dancing in non-traditional spaces – this is just a selection from the rich program. From Monday, August 2, a festival information center will also open for visitors on Malé náměstí 4, in Prague 1, where it is possible to buy a festival guide, an indispensable helper for planning a route through open buildings and spaces. There are a total of 80 of them in the program this year and they will be available throughout the weekend from 7 and 8 August 2021. “The festival takes place again this year on an alternative date and ensuring the safety of the event is our priority. Therefore, we monitor the development of the epidemic situation and follow the government’s current measures. Inspections in the buildings will be organized in limited groups with protective equipment deployed and on the basis of proof of infectivity, ” says Andrea Šenkyříková, festival director. Admission to all buildings is free without the need for prior registration, but in compliance with current security measures. The complete list of buildings is published on the event website.

photo: courtesy of the Open House Festival

The main program

On the weekend of August 7 and 8, the Open House Prague Festival will offer to visit 80 buildings and spaces, including 26 novelties, which appear in the program for the first time. The buildings will be open to visitors, with some exceptions, from 10:00 to 18:00 and tours will be handled in small groups, usually throughout the day. For example, the Baroque garden of the Černín Palace in Hradčany, the chapel and selected areas of the Klára Institute for the Blind in Malá Strana or the Lowita water mill in Liben will open for the first time. From the technical constructions, visitors can enjoy a tour of, for example, the Vršovice waterworks in Michle by Jan Kotěra or the Zenger transformer station, today the seat of the Kunsthalle Prague. Those who want to look into the Prague underground can visit the anti-nuclear shelters at the National Agricultural Museum, Hotel International Prague or Boutique Hotel Yalta. The buildings of several institutions will be opened on the Dejvice campus, a novelty is the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague, where you will see, for example, the award-winning reconstruction of Studio D or the giant hall of the Water Management Center. Representatives of environmentally friendly architecture represent, for example, AFI City in Vysočany or the ČSOB campus in Radlice (NHQ and SHQ buildings). Lovers of original design spaces should not miss the coworking Spaces Albatros in the former house of the children’s book and publishing house Albatros on Národní třída. From the sacral spaces, it will be possible to visit, for example, the New Libeň Synagogue or the Hus Choir Vršovice. An example of unmissable functionalist architecture is the Fire House or the ARA Palace. A separate thematic area are art spaces and studios, which will be presented, for example, by the Olgoj Chorchoj studio, Šaloun’s studio, the future Dance House or the Art Garden.

photo: courtesy of the Open House Festival

Weekend program for children

Special tours for families with children (from 5 years old) will take place on the weekend of August 7 and 8 in a total of 10 open buildings. For example, children will visit the functionalist ARA Palace, Trmal’s Villa by Jan Kotěra, learn where Prague’s plans are born, see printing machines or a basketball court on the roof of the Podkovářská Complex, learn about Cubist buildings on Rašínovo nábřeží or look into the vault in Petschkov Palace. Traditionally, an open lego workshop will be prepared in the premises of the Center for Architecture and City Planning (CAMP), where enthusiasts of all generations can build the house of their dreams. A workshop with double cubes is waiting for smaller builders. There is no need to register for tours.

Selection from the accompanying program

It will be possible to sail along the river on the Vltava paddle steamer on Tuesday, August 3, from 5 pm and learn more about how the river shaped the life and appearance of the capital and what technical structures are located on the waterfront and in the vicinity of the river. On Wednesday, August 4, the organizers of Open House Prague prepared several events. On the occasion of the 130th anniversary of the foundation of the Industrial Palace building, it will be possible to take part in a guided walk with the Chairman of the Board of the Prague Exhibition Grounds from 6 pm and find out more about the changes this large complex is currently undergoing. Urbex fans can visit the non-traditional summer screening of the film Central Bus Station, about one of the largest bus stations in the world in Israel, which will take place directly on the grandstand of the Great Strahov Stadium. The screening is preceded by a debate on the topic of abandoned buildings, which had great ambitions but did not fulfill their function. Art lovers can then enjoy a composed evening that combines contemporary dance and architecture and will also take place on Wednesday from 8.30 pm in Laichter’s House, one of the key buildings of Prague’s architectural modernism by Jan Kotěra, whose 150th birth anniversary this year is commemorated. Tours of the newly emerging Kunsthalle Prague House of Arts and Culture will take place on Thursday from 5 pm, followed by a discussion with the director of Kunsthalle Prague and architects. There is also a special ride on the Kotěr tram around Prague with the architect Zdeněk Lukeš and other guided walks or tours of the buildings.

photo: courtesy of the Open House Festival

Tours for people with disabilities

The motto of the festival is “Architecture for all” and even this year there will be tours for people with visual and hearing impairments. Haptic urban plans and floor plans of 8 buildings and their surroundings, 3D models of buildings and descriptions of routes to all accessible objects will be prepared for tours for the blind. In cooperation with the ČRo Světluška Endowment Fund, volunteers will undergo special training for these specific inspections. “We have recently involved students from the Faculty of Arts and Architecture of the Technical University of Liberec (FUA TUL) in the preparation of these special tours, who have modeled and printed 3D models of selected buildings as part of their school projects. Their work will have another use, ” says Andrea Šenkyříková, festival director. People with hearing impairments will be able to view a total of 5 selected buildings from the program and an interpretation of the interpretation into Czech sign language with simultaneous transcription will be prepared for them.

photo: courtesy of the Open House Festival

Source: MODA.CZ – Pánská móda, dámská móda a vše ze světa módy by

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