Dancing House in Prague
Every fan of modern architecture knows the famous building by architects Frank Gehry
and Vlado Milunić
. The house has been standing on the bank of the Vltava in Prague
for more than twenty years, looking towards Prague Castle
. The house was originally named Fred and Ginger,
as the two towers resemble the dancers Ginger Rogers (the glass tower) and Fred Astaire (the stone tower). At the top of the Fred tower, there is a cupola with a structure made from metal pipes, covered with a mesh. The Dancing House was opened in 1996 and it received the prestigious Time award
in the category of Design of the Year
in the same year. In the building, there is an exhibition gallery, a restaurant and a bar with a terrace from where you can admire a 360-degree view of Prague.
Quadrio in Prague
The multi-purpose complex offering diverse shopping, work and leisure capacities is located in the centre of Prague
. Its modern architecture
and high quality of services
meet the contemporary demands for a work environment and lifestyle. The Quadrio complex of buildings between St. Wenceslas Square
and the National Theatre
was completed in 2014. Quadrio includes six buildings, five office towers and a separately standing residential house.
The Gulliver Airship in Prague
The wooden airship seems to be landing on the roof of the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art
. The rare structure that is almost invisible from the street is used as a place where contemporary art and literature meet
. Literary debates and author’s readings are held there but visitors can also come to the airship with their own books. The structure, resembling a torpedo, a cigar, but mainly the legendary Hindenburg airship, refers to the desire to travel to unknown lands and worlds. Therefore, it is called Gulliver after the fantastic traveller
. When you look carefully, you will see that its nose is pointing down: it is not taking off, it is landing.
National Technical Library in Prague
The National Technical Library close to Prague Castle
is the largest library of technical literature
in the Czech Republic, with more than one million volumes. The unique monumental library building has a distinct
but simple floor plan
, in the shape of a spherical square. The abstract cladding has two layers – the internal transparent glazing with black frames is covered with a solid, unbroken “curtain” made of a transparent glass channel unit. The resulting ethereal look of the building is underlined by the distorted and fuzzy reflection of the surrounding buildings and sky. You might notice two quotas on the façade: 263 and 21. They look as if someone forgot to remove them from the fragile-looking façade but they were left behind intentionally: 263 is the circumference of the building and 21 is the height. The interior is full of colours that the floor is painted with. The colours show the weight that the floor bears. The building is almost always open and it is definitely worth a visit!
Swimming Pool in Litomyšl
A few years ago, a new swimming pool was opened in Litomyšl
, a town in East Bohemia
, registered on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage. The pool was designed by top Czech architects, thanks to which it is not only an oasis for the body, but also for the soul and the eyes that can appreciate quality architecture. The experts value the modern minimalist pool for its perfect setting in the landscape
as well as the structure of the space
and the integration of the structural system with the whole building. The pool received the 2011 Grand Prix Award
of the Society of Czech Architects
. If you spend a few days in Litomyšl, make sure you visit the pool and the wellness centre!
The Church of Brethren in Litomyšl
Let’s stay in Litomyšl
a bit longer. The city is called the spa of the spirit
and the locals have a soft spot for good architecture. That is why they invited leading Czech architect Zdeněk Fránek
when they were building the new church, simply called the New Church
. Fránek designed a simple but functional concrete building
that is also used as a community centre. The building is interesting because it is partially sunk in the ground which makes it look as if it is rising to the skies.
Library of the Faculty of Philosophy at Masaryk University in Brno
Modern structures can also be found in the Moravian
. For example, the new building of the library that serves the needs of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Masaryk University in Brno is valued highly by architects. In 2002, it received the Grand Prix Award
of the Society of Czech Architects
. The building is located inside the faculty premises and it is made of concrete, oak wood, glass and metal. The vertical oak lamellas on the cladding of the building create an imaginary screen between the study rooms and the outside world. The dominant feature of the interior is the double-flight stairs in a circular shape
that run through all the floors in the building.
The unusual museum in South Moravia
, near Mikulov
, is built four or five metres under the ground in a place that once revealed the most valuable Palaeolithic findings
in the world, including the famous Venus of Věstonice
. Archeopark Pavlov
was created in cooperation of the Archaeological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences and architects Radek Květ and Pavel Pijáček. The result is an exposition that draws visitors into the life of the first modern Europeans
with spectacular architectonical and multimedia features. The building was awarded in the Czech competitions Museum Initiative of the Year
and 2016 Building of the Year