Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa

The successful debut of Open House Lisboa

For the first time, Lisbon hosted on 6 and 7 October 2012, the international Open House event. During an unprecedented weekend, a careful selection of spaces in the capital was visited by thousands of people, with free admission. With the collaboration of visitors, volunteers and owners, it gained a strong support in the year of its premiere. There were 13,918 visits exploring some of the 54 spaces. These two days of guided tours were totally full, a proof to the expressive number of visitors that justified an increase in the maximum number of visitors per space during the event, in order to give an opportunity to all those who came to experience this new programme organised by the Lisbon Architecture Triennale, with the consultancy of the British Architecture critic Herbert Wright.

The initial and optimistic forecast of 10,000 visits was exceeded by 39%, with a large number of non-specialised visitors. In this way, one of the main focus of the event, which is to bring architecture to everyone, was fulfilled, as also to stimulate the appreciation of the general public for the built environment of the city, through direct experience and information sharing. From different ages and interests, the heterogeneous public of the Open House Lisboa also included the presence of tourists as well as architecture students from different parts of the country. Given the success of this premiere and the reactions on the ground, among visitors and owners, the Lisbon Architecture Triennale is planning to maintain and consolidate this programme that returns in 2013. The research for new spaces and sponsorship is already underway.  

As part of this initiative and the Open House Worldwide, the Portuguese capital was the 13th member of this international network that praises local architecture and invites the public to a weekend of immersion in buildings and spaces that usually cannot be visited.