Serra Henriques Foundation is the institutional partner of Open House
Lisboa and Open House Porto in collaboration with, respectively,
Lisbon's Architecture Triennale and Casa da Arquitectura. These are two
major cultural happenings in Portugal.
Founded in London by UK born Victoria Thornton, Open House takes place all over the world, in cities such as Barcelona, New York, Rome or Buenos Aires.
The idea is simple: to grant free access to hundreds of spaces throughout the cities - buildings from different periods and typologies - by means of programmes with guided tours or the so-called neighbourhood strolls. This way, the audiences have the opportunity of uncovering classics such as Lisbon's Rectory, the National Library or cultural patrimony that is normally off-limits, such as the interior area of the Água Livres aqueduct.
Understanding cities always implies a distant and global look but through these initiatives it is possible to have a complete insight into some of the city's key areas that left a mark in the history of its architectonic creation and urban planning.
On a different level, if the visit to the buildings encompasses an enlarged time period, the typologies are selected among the most significant, decisively leaving a mark on the city, whether they're renovations or interventions from scratch: palaces, public buildings, infrastructures, engineering work, private houses, churches or gardens.
From 2017 onwards, the Serra Henriques Foundation will, in parallel, develop a set of initiatives together with Open House Worldwide and energize the collaboration between that entity and the network of European Cities and Regions for Culture, represented in Portugal by the Foundation.