Credit: Marty Morrissey

Open House Brno Festival Reveals Normally Hidden Spaces To The Public

This year’s Open House Brno festival will take place on the weekend of 18-19 May. This annual event allows visitors unique access to dozens of buildings that are not typically open to the public. 

Open House Brno is part of a worldwide network of Open House events in more than 50 cities, though not all of them take place during the same weekend. These events reach more than two million people around the world every year.

The first Open House Brno occurred in 2018, involving 23 locations, but as the years passed, it has become a larger event, and this year will involve 116 buildings and spaces.

The themes of this 7th edition will focus on inclusion and accessibility of the city as a single architectural unit, and will therefore include assistance services and special tours for disadvantaged people.

The two-day event will also include musical performances at selected locations, special offers from the Brno gastro scene, and an accompanying program for families and children.

Credit: Pavel Gurka

“Together with the partner cities of the Open House Europe project, we dedicated this year’s festival to people for whom using the city can be complicated,” explained the creative director of Open House Brno 2024, Lucie Pešl Šilerová from the Culture & Management Association. “Whether it’s fellow citizens with a handicap, seniors, or economically disadvantaged groups, they have to overcome barriers that are often literally invisible to other people. In addition to guided tours for people with disabilities, we include an assistance service for selected regular tours. Our goal is to revive the discussion about whether our cities are really for everyone, what kind of data we have for this and to what extent they are used in urban planning.”

The Brno festival offers content all year round in the form of video tours on YouTube; from this year, this service will be augmented with a set of podcasts. 

“The video presentation of the location is not enough for everyone, because in it the spoken word takes into account the fact that people are watching the image as well,” said festival curator Šárka Bahounková. “We teamed up with Barbora Kroutilíková, with whom we prepared a series of podcasts that discuss individual locations in such a way that visual material is not needed. It is a step to make the content of the festival accessible not only to the blind, but to everyone who wants to listen to audio during other activities.” 

Credit: Marty Morrissey

On Wednesday, 1 May, the team will broadcast a podcast directly from the Holedná viewing tower about the tower and its history.

A large part of the preparation for the festival is carried out by volunteers, made possible by financial assistance from public and private sources. The Mayor of Brno, Marketa Vankova, is a patron of the festival, and additional support is provided by the City of Brno and the individual city districts.

Reservations for tours of specific buildings start on 9 May, at midday. More information and the gradually revealed full program can be found here.

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