The beginning of March will mark the launch of Open House Europe, a new international collaboration project. The project will embrace a more inclusive debate about architecture and strengthen the role of architecture as a positive change-maker addressing relevant social and environmental challenges. The launch event will be hosted by the project coordinator Architektūros fondas at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius, Lithuania, on March 3.
The concept of Open House originated in 1992 in London to promote a better understanding of architecture for the public. At the heart of this idea is accessible learning through direct experience of the buildings themselves and interactions between professionals and citizens. Since 1992, almost 50 cities worldwide have adopted this unique format.
To improve and expand this format, a new collaborative project was initiated by 11 European cultural organisations that annually organise 12 Open House events in Athens, Bilbao, Brno, Dublin, Essen, Lisbon, Milan, multiple cities in Slovenia, Stockholm, Tallinn, Thessaloniki, and Vilnius. The project will seek to include Open House festivals in other European cities and further knowledge exchange by collaborating with the extended Open House Worldwide network.
The three-year project will focus each year on a new direction: sustainability, accessibility and inclusion, and future heritage. These thematic axes will allow Open House Europe to shape the agenda for a debate about contemporary and heritage architecture, its values and quality. The objectives of the project are aimed at introducing collaborative modes of knowledge sharing, strengthening the position of architecture culture organisations in the sector, promoting education about exceptional examples of architecture and urban environments, engaging audiences, and increasing cultural accessibility.
The programme of Open House Europe will introduce a range of new activities and events that will be organised across the continent. The project will include Annual Summits in different European cities, a Volunteer Exchange Programme, a digital platform, and a range of innovations in the Open House festivals. The visitors will be able to take part in open calls for visual stories that will encourage them to explore and interpret the annual Open House Europe themes through their own experiences and knowledge gained during the Open House weekends.
The launch event of Open House Europe promises to be an informative and inspiring experience for architects, cultural specialists, and the general public. It will provide insights into the aims and objectives of the project and further explain its programme. The launch event will be available online via the Open House Europe Youtube channel on March 3 at 18:00 (GMT +2).
Project partners: Open House Athens, Open House Bilbao, Open House Brno, Open House Dublin, Open House Essen, Open House Lisboa, Open House Milano, Open House Slovenia, Open House Stockholm, Open House Tallinn, Open House Thessaloniki, Open House Vilnius.
Coordinator: Architektūros fondas
The project is co-funded by the European Union.