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Initiated 23 years ago in London, Open House is an event that looks to inform a wide audience about a great diversity of buildings and infrastructures that deserve attention, either by their architectural value, specific function or privileged location.Open House offers a unique (and free!) opportunity to visit spaces that normally are closed to the public, this way providing the construction of new forms of seeing and thinking the city.

Covering three cities – Porto, Matosinhos and Vila Nova de Gaia – Open House offers a list of about 40 buildings, whose guided visits will be made, whenever possible, by the authors of the projects and other guests that are familiar with the works. Including projects by Álvaro Siza, Souto de Moura or Rem Koolhaas, Open House is also an opportunity to raise awareness of lesser well-known buildings of equal interest.

From private houses to public buildings, Open House encourages a historical framework of the city, looking in the past for lessons on transformation and adaptability to respond to the demands of the present. Historical buildings, recoveries, renovations or new buildings were in the basis of the selection criteria but also infrastructures, like the Matosinhos refinery, that even though was not designed by architects, is nevertheless food for thought on how energy makes cities move.

Pedro Bandeira, Curator Open House Porto 2015

The Event

The 1st edition of Open House Porto marks the premiere of a second Portuguese city in the itinerary of this international event that covers 30 cities all over the world. On the 4th and 5th of July, architecture will have its doors open. All are invited to discover, a totally free itinerary that ranges from private houses to theatres, monasteries, industrial spaces, and more. The public is invited to create their own itinerary and explore architecture and the city through new eyes. What distinguishes this event and makes the experience special is the possibility to visit the spaces in different ways: see for yourself, accompanied by assistants or through the guided visits by authors and specialists of various areas

In total there are 42 spaces that illustrate the richness and architectural diversity of the Porto Atlantic Front, this way promoting the proximity between citizens and architectural professionals.

After London, New York, Prague or Lisbon, now is the turn of Porto to join the Open House Family and open the doors of extraordinary spaces that range from classics to contemporary architecture.

Open House Porto is a co-production between the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and Casa da Arquitectura and it’s the first cultural event to gather the Atlantic Front association, in a strategic partnership with the Municipalities of Porto, Gaia and Matosinhos. This cooperation between five entities allows the gathering of the ideal conditions to bring forth an event that we intend to repeat every year.

How it works

During the weekend of the 4th and 5th of July the entry of every space of the itinerary is free of charge

The 42 spaces have different opening hours that can be found on the website, guide or map.

There are three types of visits:

Open Visit — visit the space without being accompanied, within the opening hours.;

Regular Visit — visit the space with the commentary of our Open House Porto team of volunteers;

Tour — visit to the space accompanied by the authors of the project or by an invited specialist

Most spaces don’t require booking, so visits are organized by order of arrival. However, because of their characteristics, some spaces demand pre-booking.

In each space, the team of volunteers present at the location will offer a guide and map of Open House Porto so you can have information, advice and help with regular visits.

Architecture will have its doors open: so come in and be part of this experience!


Pedro Bandeira
Inês Marques
(Lisbon Architecture Triennale)
Carla Barros (coord.)
Gilson Fernandes
(Casa da Arquitectura)
Sara Battesti (coord.)
Dóra Karácsony
Raquel Guerreiro
(Lisbon Architecture Triennale)
Press Officer:
Cláudia Duarte
(Lisbon Architecture Triennale)
Carla Barros
(Casa da Arquitectura)
Joana Salvado
(Lisbon Architecture Triennale)
Volunteering Programme:
Susana Gaudêncio
Susana Pomba
Communication Design:
Alfaiataria – Rui Silva
Bit Basement
Van Condensed by Ricardo Santos