The following report was submitted by Eleanor Campion from Open-City (London).
Tel Aviv conference confirms international impact of Open House
An architectural showcase that started in London almost 20 years ago celebrated its growing global appeal with its first-ever international conference. Held in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 22, 2011, the Open House Worldwide conference welcomed delegates and Directors from Barcelona, Dublin, New York, and many other international cities that have become part of the hugely successful Open House concept.
The Open House initiative, which began in 1992 with Open House London, gives people free access to the most innovative, inspiring, and engaging examples of a city’s architecture, highlighting the value of good design in creating and sustaining a vibrant city. The inaugural Open House Worldwide Conference coincided with Tel Aviv’s own Open House Weekend or ‘Batim Mibifinim’ (Houses from Within), marking the fifth year the city has given people the opportunity to learn about architecture through experiencing and exploring hundreds of public buildings, interesting homes, and unique apartments.
This model of engagement between the architectural profession and the public is now sweeping cities across the globe, with its ability to foster a deeper understanding of urban design and spark widespread public interest. Mayor’s of cities showcasing Open House events are openly some of its biggest advocates for celebrating their city’s architecture.
Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv:
“Tel Aviv-Yafo’s blueprint is founded on the belief that proper planning can create a quality of life that not only has physical attributes, but also contributes to strengthening community ties”
More than 100 delegates attended the conference, discussing the continued development of the Open House concept, as well as the chance to bring this event to all parts of the world and other exciting opportunities for increased international collaboration.
Victoria Thornton, Founder of Open House:
“The intention was to open up London’s exemplary buildings to the general public who don’t otherwise have access. We saw direct experience as one of the key ways of helping the wider community to become more knowledgeable, engaged in dialogue, and confident they could make informed judgements on architecture.”