US studio Steven Holl Architects + Architecture Acts has won an international architectural and urbanistic competition for a concert hall in Ostrava, the city’s mayor Zdeněk Macura announced on Thursday. The cost of the building, which is to be located in the city centre, is estimated at 1.5 billion crowns. The construction works should begin in 2022 and should be completed by the end of 2023. The winning proposal was supported by six out of seven members of the jury.
Czech municipalities have become adept at managing their finances, suggests a study carried out by credit rating agency CRIF and cited by the news website iDnes.cz. The country’s local authorities as a whole have been in the black for the last eight years and no less than CZK 125 billion crowns lies in their collective bank accounts.
Demolition work will begin on the Prague centre Transgas building at the
turn of March and April, a representative of the company that owns it said.
Campaigners had fought in vain to preserve the Brutalist structure, which
is located between the National Museum and Czech Radio. The demolition work
will last for several months.
The owners of Transgas said last month that they were planning to either sell the building or the empty site that remains after its demolition, depending on how soon they could complete a sale.
The 18th century Villa Bertramka in Prague, notable for its connection to
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, has been declared a national cultural monument,
the Ministry of Culture announced on Monday.
The villa, which was turned into a museum dedicated to the famous composer several years ago, has been closed for over two years for reconstruction. The Mozart Society running the museum has had problems revitalizing the property and making it attractive for visitors.
According to the ministry, the status of a national cultural monument would help the society in its endeavour.
Mozart stayed in this villa on his visits to Prague in 1787 and 1791. The museum has acquired some of the composer’s valuable manuscripts, his harpsichord and a lock of his hair.
There is a magical place in South Bohemia. You walk or drive along a river and suddenly you feel like you are in England, more precisely at Windsor. You check the map, make sure that the river is the Vltava and you are still in Bohemia. Yet the outlines of the castle you see before you look remarkably like the Royal Castle of Windsor near London! That’s because you have arrived at Hluboká, where the aristocratic Schwarzenberg family built one of their family seats in the neo-Gothic style.
Prague is the second most sustainable city in Central and Eastern Europe after Vienna, suggests the Sustainable Cities Index, put together by international consultancy company Arcadis. In comparison with major cities around the world, it has placed 23rd. The index, which is put together every two years, describes the Czech capital as a “balanced innovator.” I asked Jan Jurčíček, head of marketing at Arcadis, to explain what that means in more detail:
The so-called proletarian palaces from the early 1950s, looked grand from the outside, even if in fact they concealed rather small flats within. The municipality of Poruba became the site of largescale construction, in the Soviet socialist realist style, before it became a new part of the larger city of Ostrava in 1957.
An elegant building designed in the post-war functionalist style. Clean lines, strip windows without pillars, a tiled facade and the historical inscription Czechoslovak Radio in the original lettering. This building was the first in the country to be designed specifically for the needs of radio broadcasting. The team of architects led by Karel Tausenau had to meet numerous requirements, especially when it came to acoustics.