Open House Lisboa 2018 – Inhabiting an Ever-changing Lisbon

This next weekend, September 22 and 23, the 7th edition of Open House Lisboa will take place. With the organization of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, in partnership with EGEAC, the map includes 84 spaces, 38 of which are new to this event.

Inhabiting an Everchanging Lisbon is the proposal of the commissioners of the 2018 edition: Luís Santiago Baptista and Maria Rita Pais invite us to know the city, this time with the challenge of “proposing an urban dimension. The Open House is an international structure, conceived through a set of different points in the city. We try to find an answer between these points, with different ways of inhabiting the city, the different forms and issues of its organization, looking at the challenges, dilemmas and opportunities of each of the selected areas”.

Among the excellent proposals, this year displayed in a brand-new website, the children’s programming shares the spotlight now, as well as an effort to make the whole event as inclusive as possible, making specific programming for the mobility impaired.

This year’s top news is the 9 urban routes. As Luís Santiago Baptista tells us: “These 9 routes complement each other. Usually we start from the house itself and then we set school, cultural equipment or infrastructures, as if we were to inhabit the neighbourhood. The visits of the experts to these areas are a key element of the current edition, where they don’t need to pave the way to a reading of the selected buildings, instead they actually visit them right from the public space. The invited experts were given absolute freedom on what they wanted to integrate into this visit. Here the “open house” will be the “house-city”, seen from the city space that mediates the different points.

Considering the idea that the Open House is conceived for everyone who inhabits and visits the city, and not just those who belong to the architecture realm, the commissioners need to provide the citizens with proper tools to read and have their say in the city. Luís Santiago Baptista explains that it is interesting to “understand that the city has different inhabiting models. Living in Olivais is different from living in Restelo or Alvalade, and those readings allow us to understand with which we identify more and perceive the city better. An important idea for us is to integrate all social strata. All the works included in the map have been designed by architects and the role that architects have in the city is not restricted to a specific social stratum. We have chosen single-family homes in “wealthier” areas, as well as social housing, the idea of ​​a city for all. What matters the most to us is not a historical map, but taking a look at a city that is changing itself. Above anything else, we shift the gears towards the modern, industrial city, the one that gives us the idea of ​​a metropolis, still influencing our lives to this day”.

As an opportunity to look at the city on a global scale, this moment should consubstantiate an opportunity reflect on the city that is constantly changing and what we want for its future. To achieve that, the commissioner adds that “The guide offered this year is based on the idea of a collectable item. There is a map of visits, but this guide is a book with texts about each of the urban areas and their buildings, with a simple and straightforward language, not disciplinary. It gathers the information needed to see how each of these areas is read”.

Everyone can download the guide here and we experience these two days as an important moment to celebrate the city.

Fabrícia Valente holds a degree in Architecture from the University of Évora (pre-Bologna) and has training in complementary areas such as video, photography and the production of temporary exhibitions. She is an active curator (eg KAIROS Pavilion), Critic (she is the editor of the online section of Architecture of the Umbigo Magazine and is part of the J–A editorial team) and works in Cultural Mediation (Museu Colecção Berardo and MAAT) on more than 90 exhibitions. She collaborates with several entities in the search for multidisciplinarity between Architecture, Plastic Arts and Music, areas where she develops research works.

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