Open House was started in 1992 as a small, not-for-profit organisation to promote public awareness and appreciation of the capital's building design and architecture. The intention was to open up London's splendid buildings to the general public who don't otherwise have access. We saw this as a way of helping the wider community to become more knowledgeable, engage in dialogue and make informed judgements on architecture.
Buildings surround us in a city but the one thing we do not learn about in schools is the fabric of a place, such as the structure, framework or composition. The urban fabric of our community has such a strong impact on us on an everyday basis, but we never learn about it in schools.
Core to our beliefs and values is having direct experience. You can't make an informed decision merely through abstract images, such as photos and illustrations. You need to be engaged with the space in question to know what the reality is.
Perceptions of the city have changed over the past 20 years. Public space, including landscape architecture, are now recognised as essential parts of a city. Open-City has taken the original initiative one step further by including public spaces and infrastructure. While the public may already have access to these areas, the point of Open-City is to draw attention to the value that public space offers to the community, broadening dialogue further.