This Friday marks 140 years since the birth of the pioneering Czech architect and designer Josef Gočár. His legacy includes iconic works in a range of styles, most famously The House of the Black Madonna, in a Cubist tradition inspired by Picasso, and the “national” Rondocubist Legiobanka, born of independent Czechoslovakia.
A bridge in the form of a locomotive crashing from one building to another is the latest project by Czech artist David Černý, known for the black sculptures of babies crawling up Žižkov’s TV Tower or a statue of St. Wenceslas riding a dead horse in Prague’s Lucerna passage. The design of the bridge was inspired by a real incident -the derailment of a train in Paris in 1895.
The Bohemian town of Kladruby is famous worldwide for its horse stud farm, founded by the Habsburg emperor Rudolf II. It is also home to a spectacular 12th century Benedictine monastery where the martyred saint of Bohemia, John of Nepomuk, was tried and tortured. An effort is now afoot to have the cloister and Czech Baroque Gothic style church named a European Heritage site.
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.
The new Czech Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will be built according to
a proposal by students of the Faculty of Architecture at the Slovak
University of Technology (STU) in Bratislava.
Jana Hájková and Kristína Boháčová, both 23, won an international competition announced by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Civil Engineering (ČVUT) in Prague.
The students’ concept used exterior materials that are in harmony with the Ethiopian environment and connected both Czech and Ethiopian culture. The new embassy should be built by 2025.
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.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Coronavirus: Czech scientists focus on role proteins play in spreading COVID-19