Karlovy Vary’s Hotel Thermal was recently, as it regularly is, the backdrop for Central Europe’s biggest film festival. The complex was designed, outside and in, specifically for the film festival in the West Bohemian spa town. But the controversial 1970s architectural work of the husband and wife team of Vladimír Machonin and Věra Machoninová is showing its age with its owner, the state, blowing hot and cold about its future. That has prompted the granddaughter and grandson of the architects to step in.
The construction of new high-rise buildings should in future be restricted to 14 selected localities in Prague, according to a proposed long-term city planning strategy which should go into effect in 2020, Czech Television reported. Among the selected areas, proposed by the Institute for Planning and Development, are Chodov, Roztyly, Vysočany and Liben. The plan is still undergoing debate and has met with opposition from both councilors and the mayors of individual districts.
A new exhibition in Prague is set to display previously unseen pictures of St. Vitus Cathedral by the great Czech photographer Josef Sudek. While Sudek’s photos of the cathedral taken in the 1920s during construction are well-known, the works on show date from the Nazi occupation of the city. The exhibition In the Shadows of the Cathedral runs from Wednesday until August 30.
The London Czech Centre was instrumental in a recent project highlighting the industrial and cultural heritage of Ostrava in the east of the country. Entitled Stories from Ostrava – From Industry to Culture, it includes a short film called D.O.V by two students of architecture and an exhibition of photographs by photographer Viktor Kolář. Together, the present a unique glimpse for British audiences into another side of the Czech Republic – one beyond the medieval bridge and castle of the Czech capital.
The 2016 Architecture Grand Prix has gone to the studio Chmelík and Partners for the reconstruction of the White Tower in Hradec Králové. An international jury headed by architect Eva Jiřičná selected the project from 51 entries in the competition, run by the Society of Czech Architects. The jury said the reconstruction of the 16th century tower combined sensitive approach to its historical values with active use of the object. The 16th century tower belongs among the most significant historical sites in the city.
Work on repairing and transforming the famous First Republic Barrandov Terrace, a site on the outskirts of Prague to be seen among the cream of society in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, is due to start in June, the ČTK agency reported citing the Dotyk news server. The main Functionalist building dating from 1928 will be converted into a luxury hotel. The complex, formerly owned by the Havel family including former president Václav Havel, has been owned by Liberec construction company Dzikos since 2001. The main buildings and famous swimming pool has been falling into ruin since the 1950s.
One of Prague’s most popular tourist attractions, the Palace gardens on the southern slope of Prague castle, have to undergo a major renovation due to an alarming state of disrepair. The National Heritage Institute plans to launch the reconstruction of the Baroque gardens, which should amount to 45 million crowns, in 2017. It is expected to last for five years but the gardens should remain open to visitors throughout the reconstruction.
Arches in Prague’s Negrelli Viaduct in the city’s Karlín district are to be converted into bars, galleries and even a cinema during the summer months, according to plans outlined by organisers the Centre for Central European Architecture. The iDnes.cz news site reported that arches that currently serve as car parks at the corner of Křižíkova and Sokolovská streets are to be refitted between June and October. The Negrelli Viaduct is the oldest rail bridge across the Vltava and was the longest viaduct in Europe until 1910.
The Czech-Slovak investment group Penta on Thursday unveiled a massive development project in the centre of Prague, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, a British architectural design firm launched by the recently deceased world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. The Central Business District should be built in the vicinity of Masaryk Station, where Penta acquired around 15000 square metres of land in January. The project includes eight administrative buildings with an area of over 90,000 square metres. The first building could be completed by the end of 2019, the spokesman for Penta, Ivo Mravinac has said.
The Moravian town of Příbor, the native town of Sigmund Freud, has been named Historic Town of the Year 2015. The prize, which comes with a one-million-crown cheque, honours towns and cities in the Czech Republic that have excelled in preserving and renewing their cultural and architectural heritage. Ruth Fraňková has more:
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