Paloma Gómez Marín: “When people feel proud of their city, they take care of it and respect it” lifestyle
The architect and cultural manager is leading an edition of Open House Madrid, a festival which makes architecture accessible to citizens. More than 800 volunteers will act as a cultural guide for an event which opens about 100 urban spaces to the public in Madrid; it is attended by more than 60.000 people every year.
Paloma Gómez Marín says that the biggest turning point in her career was the Open House Madrid foundation. After holding positions such as the Higher Sports Council Project manager and the COAM competition office manager, among others; in 2015, the architect and cultural manager undertook a new and exciting challenge: to help people love and value the city where they live. Open House Madrid has been much more than an architecture festival for four years. Together with the journalist and businesswoman, Pati Nuñez, Gómez Marín co-directs this non-profit association which connects citizens with the surrounding buildings. Because, she says, only “when people feel proud of their city, do they care for it and respect it“.
“People do not know the architecture which surrounds them. People go along the same street 27 times and they don`t know who has done the school next door, or if the building opposite is good. “If people begin to feel proud of everything which surrounds them, they begin to value what design is, what architecture is through a physical experience; they will begin to value it and start being demanding”.
All about Open House Madrid
Following in the wake of other cities such as London and New York, Open House Madrid promotes and supports the local architectural heritage through a festival which took place in the last week of September. For two days, the doors were open for the most interesting and inaccessible buildings in the city that can be visited for free. The 2019 edition will feature a list of more than 100 urban spaces, among which there are buildings under construction such as: the Canalejas Center, or the Manoteras Office building (Polaris North) by the b720 architecture studio. New spaces are included in the festival, namely: the School of Musicality by the architect Manuel Collado, the exclusive Hyatt Centric Gran Vía hotels and VP Plaza España, or the salvaged Duque de Alba cinema, today it is Sala Equis. For those classical architecture enthusiasts, the entrance to Mate Sanz House, Villa House or Velázquez’s House can be viewed; private homes such as the Hemeroscopium House by Ensamble Studio or the Blas House by Alberto Campo Baeza can be visited.
800 volunteer students are responsible for leading the various guided tours of the Open House Madrid buildings. These Tours make it possible to understand the value of each space, as well as experiencing the uniqueness of buildings usually inaccessible to the generic public. “Excellence means that all those people who are involved go on to train others. It is a knowledge chain”. Paloma Gómez Marín says.
This new event will also include a special program in tribute to the architect, Miguel Fisac (1913-2006), considered the greatest icon of Spanish architecture in the post-war period; as well as the City Awards, aimed at publicising the most innovative, social and committed designs which will define the future of cities.
Throughout its different editions, 250.000 people have visited one of the 500 “open” buildings during Open House Madrid. A new way to showcase the architectural richness of the capital and the quality of its contemporary architecture.
Open House Madrid
September 28 and 29, and throughout the month of October
If you want to know more about Open House Madrid and how its co-creator sees the future of architecture in terms of innovation, technology and sustainability, watch the full interview.