In 2023, Open House Slovenia (OHS) became a partner in the international collaboration project – Open House Europe (OHEu), which connected 12 architectural festivals across Europe. The project reveals a multi-layered view of quality architecture across Europe and brings together people of all professions, interests, and visions – from volunteers and curious enthusiasts to young and experienced professionals and organisations. It promotes interest in architecture among various audiences, helps them gain new perspectives on their local environment, and invites them to contemplate what the future of architecture in Europe should be.
The central theme of the OHEu project in 2023, “Building Futures Together,” focused on sustainable practices in the built environment. We also dedicated significant attention to this important topic in the OHS festival program. We presented sustainable timber construction, high-quality renovations of existing building stock, and shed light on the issues surrounding the renovation of modernist heritage through the architecture of Edvard Ravnikar.
Another goal of the project is to increase visitor involvement and participation in the festival. Therefore, during the OHS 2023 festival, we launched the first public call for “Visual Stories,” providing an excellent opportunity for exploring and sharing personal interpretations of architecture and sustainability. Visitors were invited to present their stories and experiences with architecture through various artistic mediums.
In 2023, the winning contributions were provided by architectural photographer Miran Kambič, who captured the authentic atmosphere of the event through short films from the festival, bringing us closer to the experience of architecture.
The visual story by architect and photographer Alberto Rodriguez Arias focuses on the renovation of existing buildings. It emphasizes the importance of seeking new content and programs with the aim of greater social sustainability. It particularly highlights the connection and communication present throughout the entire OHS festival event, in terms of the public’s keen interest in experiencing architecture and contributing to its preservation.
Photographer Mateja Jordović Potočnik, through her contribution to the Visual Stories, presented unique festival moments and invited us into the intimate world of experiencing architecture.
The best submitted works were presented in December 2023 as part of an exhibition at the inaugural conference of Open House Europe, hosted by the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (Trienale de Architectura de Lisboa) in Lisbon. The selected contributions are also included in a printed publication and online presentation. Later on, the exhibition will travel to various local Open House events across Europe.
In 2023, our ambassador Megi Pilko participated as a volunteer in the Volunteer Exchange programme. She visited the Open House Stockholm architectural festival, where she assisted in organizing the event and participated as a photographer. Her photographs were selected as some of the best Visual Stories of the Swedish festival.
Also in 2024, we will continue with the open call and selection for the best Visual Stories. Therefore, we invite all those interested in such collaboration to join us at the next OHS festival, which will take place from April 12th to 14th!
The Open House Europe project is coordinated by Architektūros fondas and co-financed by the European Union.
In Slovenia, the Open House Europe project in 2023 was also co-financed by the Ministry of Public Administration and the Ministry of Culture.