In 2017, Open House Lisbon return during the cultural rentrée with a new itinerary so you can discover inside out and up close the best architecture in town. Annually, each edition proposes a new and careful selection of buildings that lets us see emblematic works in the city, their stories and authors.
Open House Lisbon 2017
September 23 – 24, 2017
Open House is an international event with more than 35 participant cities in the world. During one weekend, you can discover inside out and up close the best architecture in Lisbon through free guided tours with no booking required. Visits are on a first come first served basis to allow access to the largest number of people and facilitate the entrance flow. A few spaces require booking: those are duly marked on the itinerary, letting you know how to proceed concerning reservation, which is done exclusively online.
We have three visit formats: Open Visit — with no monitoring, within the designated timetable; Regular Visit — get to know the space in detail through an accompanied visit made by our team of volunteers present at the location; Tour — a guided tour made by the author of the architectural project himself or by an invited specialist. For each edition, we have an enthusiastic team of volunteers that welcomes visitors, gives them an overview of the itinerary, suggestions and recommendations tailored for you.
Lisbon Architecture Triennale’s invitation to curate the Open House event of 2017 was received with surprise and enthusiasm. For us, architects, this challenge reflects itself in drawing “a two-day map”, a kind of treasure map of our city. It can seem like a paradox, the idea of drawing an “ephemeral map” but in reality, it is always ephemeral, setting the territory in a specific moment, in this case, a weekend in September 2017.
In the maps of Rome of Bufalini (1551) and Gianbatista Nolli (1748), it is possible to “go into buildings”. They are represented, not by the plan of their roof, as it is common, but by the plan of the ground floor. Many of these spaces are public but with restrictive access. When observing it, you manage to get a different perception of the city, and fell it as more permeable. Open House relates to this representation of the city. A map of the city that is more accessible, that lets places be seen, most of them not open to the general public, a map of wide open doors.
The choice is obviously subjective and this selection is born from a Lisbon “self-portrait”. The new spaces are an optimistic mirror of the city, a city going through a profound transformation. In our view, despite its historical weight, Lisbon is looking to reinvent itself:
By recovering and discovering new uses for its spaces
By creating new structures that answer to the city’s growing demands
By looking for other centres
By responding to the immense touristic demand
There is a new sensibility concerning the reuse of spaces and as a result architecture is also changing. The simply alteration of use can profoundly transform a place without destroying it. In the last few years, architecture has learned to “recycle” and to become “more invisible”. It has learned that tasks as invisible as treating a space acoustically or altering its lighting, can have regenerating effects.
But, because there is no perfect (city) without flaws, it has become also inevitable that our map contains spaces that we would like not to lose; some spaces or buildings that are under threat, they might not survive the impact strength of the market; a strength that brings to life, builds, recycles, but also destroys. A city’s transformation that is done too fast, can lead to losing places, inhabitants and, in the end, identity. This will be the part of the map where the treasures that we wouldn’t like to lose are represented.
— Catarina Almada Negreiros e Rita Almada Negreiros