Major renovation work has begun on the Thermal hotel in Karlovy Vary. The
building will be closed from January until mid-March because of the
renovations, which will cost CZK 580 million.
Work on some parts of Thermal was launched in November. The building, which dates from the 1970s and hosts the Karlovy Vary film festival every year, belongs to the Czech state.
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 demolition of the Transgas building behind the National Museum in
Prague will proceed as no formal appeal to save the brutalist-style complex
Conservationists and architects had tried to save the Transgas building by having it declared a cultural heritage site. Others consider it an ugly yet otherwise unremarkable building typical of the late seventies.
Current owner HB Reavis plans to construct a new administrative centre on the site a couple hundred metres from Wenceslas Square, as well as to free up some space for public use.
Protesters this week braved freezing temperatures to protest the pending demolition of what they regard as one of the best examples of so-called Brutalist architecture from the 1970s in the then Czechoslovakia. They argue that the latest episode is one of many recent ones and epitomises the failure of local and national heritage authorities to properly protect a broad swathe of monuments in Prague and the rest of the country.
The Transgas building in Prague, described by some historians as an
exceptional example of Brutalist architecture, will not be added to the
list of cultural heritage sites, the dailies Hospodářské noviny and
Právo report, citing information from the Culture Ministry, which
allegedly stopped a preliminary evaluation over the matter.
The news has not officially been confirmed by the ministry as not all relevant parties have been informed in writing; until then, the ministry has declined to comment. Without heritage status, the site can be cleared for demolition to make room for new flats.
The planned renovation of the Czech embassy building at Wilhelmstrasse 44
in Berlin, Germany, is expected to cost around half a billion crowns (the
equivalent of around 19 million euros) the Czech News Agency reports. The
planned renovation, discussed for several years, would be completed by
The government is due to take a decision on the renovation in September. The building, which housed some 500 employees during the Cold War, was built in the 1970s. It was designed by the architects Věra and Vladimír Machonin and is an example of Brutalist architecture. The Machonins also designed the famous Kotva and DBK department stores in Prague.
The Ministry of Finance has announced that work on reconstruction of Karlovy Vary’s famous Thermal Hotel will be delayed. Reconstruction of the hotel should have originally started at the end of the ongoing film festival, where the hotel is the main focus for events. Now, however, it looks likely to start at the end of the year. The ministry says that complications have occurred due to the designation of the hotel as a cultural site which means that the tender procedures for work must change. The hotel complex is owned by the finance ministry.
The Ministry of Culture has decided not to declare Karlovy Vary’s Thermal Hotel as a cultural monument. The decision was announced by the spa city’s mayor, Petr Kulhanek. The decision means that the hotel, the focus for the annual film festival in the West Bohemian city, will not have to abide by stricter conditions during reconstruction due to take place later this year. The ministry’s move has been contested by the family of the architect Věra Machinová who was behind the so-called brutalist style construction in the 1970s. An appeal can be launched against the ministry decision.