April 05 2013

Open House Thessaloniki 2013 – A Great Success

Logo and sign of the Open House Thessaloniki program in 2012

A few months ago, I was walking in Thessaloniki, Greece when I noticed some really eye-catching “Open House Thessaloniki” posters all over the city. I wasn’t familiar with this particular project, so as soon as I returned home, I started looking for more information about it. Ten minutes later, and I had already sent in my application for a volunteer.

What is Open House, you ask?

Open House is a program aiming to make citizens more aware of the history and architecture behind their city. It showcases noteworthy buildings for free, giving the opportunity to anyone interested to explore the intricate urban environment of a city. It is definitely a really powerful, resident-friendly project with great promise!

This year, the Open House program was organized for the first time in Thessaloniki. For 2 days (November 24th and 25th), 56 buildings were open to the public. Houses you would never otherwise get a chance to visit, architectural offices, churches and many other public buildings were supported by appropriately trained stuff and guides, most of them volunteers, who provided helpful information regarding the history and architecture of each building.

Building that participated in Open House Thessaloniki 2012

Open House Thessaloniki was organized by a team of 10 young people, most of them architects, with great expertise and potential.

There are many cities worldwide that already have their own Open House (e.g. London, New York, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Barcelona, etc.) and more are being added to the list each year.

Map showing the worldwide network of the Open House Progrram

If I could find any flaw in this otherwise brilliant project, I would suggest that it should, perhaps, be a bit longer. Two days is unfortunately too short, especially if you intend to visit many venues.

Open House Thessaloniki was definitely a huge success this year, with more than 10,000 visitors. Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, have already confirmed that there is going to be an Open House Thessaloniki in 2013.

Does your city have its Open House? Would you get behind such an initiative?

Credits : Images and data linked to sources.

Dafni Dimitriadi

Dafni Dimitriadi is a student of Architecture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her numerous experiences in participating in architectural competitions have helped her understand the importance of research and design. She is interested in building and urban design restoration and aims to continue her studies in order to gain more knowledge related to these fields. She is an active volunteer and has participated in many interesting projects, including Open House Thessaloniki. She currently lives in Thessaloniki and through her blogs aims to explore developments associated with architecture and urban design.

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 5th, 2013 at 9:39 am and is filed under Architecture, Branding, Environment, History/Preservation, Housing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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