Prague has obviously changed enormously over the last 30 years. But what have been the city’s most, and least, impressive construction projects since the Velvet Revolution? After the Dancing House, why did interest in audacious projects seem to cool? And how has Wenceslas Square fared? Who better to answer those questions than architect Jan Kasl, who is president of the Czech Chamber of Architects and served as mayor of Prague from 1998 to 2002. We chatted recently on Na příkopě St., in the very heart of the city centre.
Prague has a new attraction in the form of 17 circular units – with enormous glass doors – in the walls of riverside embankments on both sides of the Palacký Bridge. The cool spaces will open fully next month and are set to house cafés, galleries and other facilities. At a public presentation of the project on Wednesday I discussed it with architecture critic Adam Gebrian.
Architects Věra Machoninová and Vladimír Machonin designed some of the Czech Republic’s most distinctive modern buildings, including Prague’s Kotva department store and Hotel Thermal in Karlovy Vary. The couple’s legacy is being kept alive today by their granddaughter Marie Kordovská, who campaigns for Thermal in particular to receive sensitive treatment. The Machonins’ architecture is frequently described as Brutalist and when we met, at Kotva, I asked Kordovská if there was anything about their work that made it stand out from the genre, which
A remarkable-looking wooden church is to be built at Nesvačilka on the
outskirts of Brno, the news site Novinky.cz reported on Sunday. The
structure, which resembles a lighthouse, will be constructed without using
any nails. The plans earned architect Jan Říčný an award two years ago.
Parishioners began collecting money to erect a church on the site a century ago. The cornerstone was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI a decade ago and the local priest says the church should be completed and consecrated next year, or in 2021 at the latest.
The title of the city with the country’s tallest building could soon pass from Brno back to the capital, if plans for constructing a new skyscraper in Nové Butovice are given the green light. Top Tower, a project designed by the studio that features renowned sculptor David Černý, would be 135 metres tall and feature a massive, rusted out ship embedded in its structure.
Stanislav Fiala has been named Czech Architect of the Year for his
contribution to architecture over the last five years. He received the
award at Prague’s CAMP venue on Tuesday night.
Fiala has designed dozens of original buildings, including the Špork Palace on Hybernská in Prague and the DRN Palace on the city’s Národní.
The National Library and the Ministry of Culture have signed a memorandum
under which the state has taken control of the rights to “the Blob”, a
futuristic design for a new library building by the late Jan Kaplický.
Under the agreement inked on Tuesday, the architect’s widow has given up
the copyright on the design. However this does not mean that the project
will necessarily now be realised.
The Prague-born, internationally renowned architect Kaplický won an international competition to design a new National Library building in 2007. However, the project ran into objections and the then arts minister said it was too expensive.