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Trienal de Arquitectura de Lisboa



Open House Lisboa (OHL) offers the wider public free access to the city’s architecture. Over a weekend, and through a new itinerary every year, OHL celebrates the best examples of architecture all over the city, from private to public spaces, contemporary or historic. It promotes a dialogue and an approach to reference architecture and design of spaces that sustain a vibrant city to live, work and learn, through visits to spaces usually inaccessible to the public eye, urban itineraries unveiled by specialists and even sound walks you can do at any time. With a wide variety of spaces and the Junior and Plus programmes, and accessible tours, you can choose what appeals most to your curiosity, interest or convenience. It’s in your hands!

The 11th edition is curated by Aurora Arquitectos studio

A city is defined by architectural icons, but also by the anonymous built mass. A ‘trivial’ street can immediately be recognised as belonging to a city by the features of light, colour, scale, materials or doors and windows, patterns that have geographical, social, cultural and symbolic origins. This identity is constantly changing and each new project is a contribution to this collective heritage. Some propose new readings and interpretations, others are apparently more conservative and favour the architecture from the past.

Whereas on the outside buildings are limited by urban regulations to preserve collective identity, interiors belong to the private realm, an invisible heritage that evolves more freely. They form a second line, a more expressive field of creativity and transformation of space, generating buildings that are gradually more ambiguous, as a result of this duality between interior and exterior intervention.

Which city do all these interior transformations reflect, when seen together? Which invisible identity is that? If we removed the facades, which Lisbon would be visible? Where does the city’s identity begin and end?

How it works

OHL is a programme of visits, with variable duration, over a weekend. The emphasis is placed on contemporary projects, and the itinerary covers various types of spaces with different uses and functions.

In addition to visits inside buildings, the programme also includes:

  • urban walking itineraries accompanied by experts
  • narrated sound walks, sometimes with a more historical or poetic nature, which you can download to your mobile device and go whenever it suits you best

The visits are free, some with pre-booking, and in three formats to choose from: on your own, accompanied by an expert or accompanied by the volunteers who are the face of this annual event.

On the OHL website you can see:

  • the list of spaces available to visit, know the schedule for each of them, and make your booking (when necessary), a week before the event starts
  • the Atlas with the collection of participating spaces throughout all the editions that have already taken place

In selected spaces, Plus events are held to enrich the visit experience with concerts, projections, performances, exhibitions, installations or workshops. The Junior programme offers challenges and activities for the younger ones, and an accessibility programme adapted to people who are blind or have low vision, deaf people or people with cognitive disabilities.


Founded in 1992 by Victoria Thornton, the Open House Worldwide network is now in 50 cities around the world, such as London, New York, Buenos Aires, Lagos ou Seoul, with about two million visitors in 2019 alone. In Lisbon, the Triennale has made spaces of different natures accessible to the public since 2012: monuments, theatres, private houses, schools or churches, creating opportunities to discover places that demonstrate the decisive role of architecture in people’s lives and illustrate the value of built heritage. In 2015 and 2016, the Triennale also launched Open House Porto involving Casa da Arquitectura. Always looking for new ways to capture more people to the tourist experience in your own city, OHL 2020 debuted a new format adapted to the pandemic context, proposing a reinterpretation of the capital with sound walks guided by the imagery of some very special Lisboners. In 2021 the Open House sails to the south bank of the Tagus and expands its territory to Almada, with spaces and itineraries that follow the water lines of the two urban areas highlighting the role of the river.

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