Open House has been organized to take place in Athens. However, the issue is why it took so long. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence. During the crisis, people finally realized the lack of urban awareness and turned to initiatives, like Open House. In the present case, the twice successful Open House in Thessaloniki played an especially prominent role.
But let us look at things a little closer. What is Open House? It is one of the most important international institutions that aims to highlight and promote architecture of cities. Numerous buildings, both public and private, are open to the public for a weekend. This whole project is free for everyone, and thus the whole city becomes a museum. The first Open House took place in 1992 in London, and soon the idea spread to more than twenty-one cities, including New York, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Melbourne, Barcelona, Chicago, Rome, and Lisbon.
The first Open House that was organized in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2012, with great success, and included fifty-six buildings and more than 12,000 visitors. The following year, the project, once again in Thessaloniki, attracted nearly 22,000 visitors with sixty-seven buildings open to the public. Volunteers play a really important, decisive role in this kind of project. In the first Open House Athens, people will be able to visit fifty buildings and spaces, including homes, cultural and educational buildings, premises and hotels. The majority of the buildings will be in the Athens Municipality, with only a few exceptions. People can visit the Averof Building of NTUA, the Benaki Museum, the Onassis Cultural Centre, the Acropolis Museum, the General State Archives, the New Hotel, the Fresh Hotel, the listed building ATOPOS and many more.
In order to schedule your weekend in Open House, you should visit the official website (it occurred April 4-7, 2014). There one can find all the needed information, such as specific hours that buildings are open to visitors and where the buildings are situated.
Periodically, groups are created and tours given. You don’t have to make any reservations in order to visit the participating buildings and it is absolutely free.
At the end of every Open House, a party takes place for all volunteers and visitors.
Has an Open House been organized in the your city? Which buildings and places would you like to visit during this project?
The original article, published in Greek, can be found here.
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.