Welcome to the Arts. This year in June we spoke with Czech architects Martin Roubik and Regina Loukotova whose project for the Grand Egyptian Museum to be built in Giza won a High Honourable Mention in an architectural competition commissioned by the Egyptian government. While Egyptian authorities are still deciding which of the winning projects to chose, the National Gallery in Prague has put up an exhibition of almost two dozen Czech and Slovak projects which entered the competition, together with almost 3,000 other projects from more than 100 countries.
The projects are on display in the Trade Fair Palace in Prague and Petr Janda is the author of the exhibition:
"There are 22 projects by Czech and Slovak architects. The exhibition is composed in a way which is easy to understand for the broader public. There are photos and drawings, video projections of the winning projects and projections of the artefacts the museum will display. You can also see photos of the area and the surroundings of the future museum. Unfortunately, not all the Czech and Slovak projects are being displayed, only those whose authors were willing to exhibit their work. The exhibition should later move to Brno, possibly Zlin and then maybe to the Slovak capital Bratislava."
The project by Martin Roubik and Regina Loukotova placed among the twenty the international jury invited to further develop their design concepts. As it is not usual to exhibit competition entries once the competition is over, both Martin Roubik and Regina Loukotova say it is very good for architects to be able to compare their work with their colleagues. They also welcome the fact that the Czech public can see their work:
"I'm very happy about it."
...says Martin Roubik in his typical laconic way. His colleague Regina Loukotova:
"Yes, I think it's very for both the public and for the professionals and I think it's an interesting comparison - to compare 22 projects which are exhibited here."
I wondered what Martin and Regina are working on now and whether they are overwhelmed with commissions following their success in the Egyptian competition.
"We are now taking part in a competition for the Opera House in Stavanger in Norway which is supposed to be delivered by mid-October. We still keep working on different projects and competitions..."
Has anyone contacted you as a result of your success in the competition? Has anyone offered you any interesting contracts?
"No. No commissions, no contracts, but everybody is welcomed."
"I would say, I'm getting phone calls from my friends saying, my friend is going to build a house but you are probably not interested in such a small job. I think the public, or friends, or potential clients think that we just work on huge projects like the Egyptian Museum or the Alexandrian Library in Egypt. So it's kind of counterproductive."
The exhibition at the Trade Fair Palace in Prague is open until October 19th.