48H OpenHouse 2021 shows off Mediterranean architecture in Catalonia

Majority of hundreds of activities available for Oct 23-24 event require no prior booking

An entrance to Gaudì's Casa Vicens in Barcelona on October 30 2017 (by Andreu Rubert)
An entrance to Gaudì's Casa Vicens in Barcelona on October 30 2017 (by Andreu Rubert) / Cillian Shields

Cillian Shields | Barcelona

October 16, 2021 02:14 PM

Barcelona’s biggest architecture festival returns this month with a special focus on Mediterranean design

48H OpenHouse gives people the chance to discover hundreds of different buildings that normally aren’t open to the public on the weekend of October 23-24. 

The festival is centered on Barcelona but also includes buildings from the surrounding towns of Sitges, Badalona, Vilassar de Dalt, Sant Joan Despí, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, and Santa Coloma de Gramenet. 

Among the jewels that will open their doors are Gaudí’s Casa Vicens, the Arc de Triomf, the Joan Miró Foundation in Montjuïc, the MNAC, and FC Barcelona’s training ground

All in all, there are some 270 activities on offer, between buildings opening their doors to architecture fans and various walking routes following different themes. 

Only 25 of the 220 activities over the weekend require prior booking. Reservations and time slots will be available to choose from on the festival website from October 19. 

Guided tours are available from both volunteers in some buildings and architects in others, while podcasts are available on the festival website to allow people to follow along in their own time. 

This year, the festival is honouring the work of Josep Antoni Coderch i de Sentmenat (1913-1984) who modernized Mediterranean architecture, adapting its parameters to the modern movements. Coderch fused the functionality of rural architecture with modern construction techniques. 

Some of his most outstanding works include Casa de la Marina, Barcelona, Casa Güell, Barcelona, and Casa Gili, Sitges. 


Accompanying this year’s 48H OpenHouse festival is an exhibition in Casa SEAT in Barcelona, at the top of Passeig de Gràcia. 

The exhibit is titled ‘Barcelona, a pioneer in mobility and architecture’ and is free to visit from October 13-24. 

The spectacle presents a retrospective of architecture in the Catalan capital, with a focus on the industrial innovation that arrived to the city in the middle of the 20th century.