Open House Maputo: A journey to the city's ?inaccessible? iconic buildings

Open House Maputo: Uma viagem aos ?inacessíveis? edifícios icónicos da cidade

The city of Maputo is beautiful, for everything but nothing, in particular for the architectural splendor that surprises everyone. The secular and modern buildings give it uniqueness among the world's metropolises, blending stories (and histories). Those who visit it return to their city wanting to return to Maputo, for it is open to the whole world?

By the way, for the first time, the Mozambican capital will host the Open House (OH), a guided touristic journey to iconic infrastructures normally inaccessible to most people. This is a concept worldwide created in 1992 in London (England) to enable citizens to contemplate the "great houses" that represent the historical and cultural heritage of that society.

?Open House allows many of these restricted infrastructures, where even public institutions function, to be open to common people? said architect and OH Maputo ambassador Carla Cortês.

The event, scheduled for October 29 and 30, will allow you to absorb ?with the eyes of an architect? the urban landscape of Maputo through 20 buildings, including the world-famous Hotel Polana; Bank of Mozambique; American Embassy; Ferreira dos Santos Family House and the Portuguese Ambassador's Residence.

Carla Cortês studied the national architecture produced between 1950 and 1975 and has already contributed to the construction of several buildings in the country. She recounted, with joy and emotion, the fact that people from other continents admire and recognize the genius of colonial constructions in Mozambique.

?What is also interesting is the fact that in Mozambique [Maputo and other cities] there is a model of spectacular constructions that are not allowed in Portugal, making it unique and irreverent. There we often see how the colonies were more advanced than the metropolises. We need this recognition to be among us as well?, he said.

Open House Maputo will also serve to revive the public's desire to build beautiful and innovative buildings in the colonies, for example the Iron House, which could be applicable in Europe but not in Africa because of the climate.

I say, from experience, that those who have visited Maputo have a special affection for the city. Some African cities economically better than Maputo do not have the same beauty," said Carla Cortês.

The OH Maputo ambassador considers the event an opportunity for public heritage managers to look at and reflect on the country's existing wealth.

I don't know if they have that awareness. What we are trying to do is to awaken the eye for quality. We understand that there are architectural qualities that need to be discussed. This opportunity to visit is going to bring an awakening?, he said.

Maputo will be the second African city, after Lagos, in Nigeria, to receive this tourist-cultural travel model, implemented in more than 50 countries in all latitudes.

As Carla Cortês said, another of the event's purposes is to create mobility for city dwellers to have another experience of being in the city.

The front line of OH Maputo had only three months to organize the event. The action plan has already earned praise from the Open House Worldwide board, and in Maputo it will be loaded with innovations.

In this edition, participants will be able to immerse themselves in the virtual world through an application that, among other things, will allow them to hear the story narrated about the building they were visiting at the time. They will also be able to do the same through a link? available on the portal openhousemaputo, through which those interested in participating in OH Maputo must register.

This is interesting because even if you know a certain building, a narration will incite a new look, leading to an appreciation of things that are often ignored, such as the floor, the lock, the details of a door or window, etc. This is what will generate wealth? he mentioned.

In the ?land to land? world, the work involves about 150 volunteers properly trained about the history of each building. They are architecture students from some national universities who will serve as guides for the visits?

In certain buildings the visits will be guided by the architects who designed them. And here there will be a field for exchanging impressions and giving feedback about the building?

As an architect, my biggest expectation is to create this "awakening" and to raise the level of criteria about building finishes, etc., because it is all this experience that will validate the work of an architect," said Cortês, stressing that ?this will even inspire people to have a taste for well-made constructions and implement them in their private projects?

The idea is also to put the Open House Maputo in the Mozambican tourist-cultural calendar and create a value chain where companies and individuals can profit. ?and, for now, three more editions are guaranteed in the next three years, where we will be able to add other festivals in the city?

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