Over a week ago, an international jury announced in Prague the winner of a tender for the project of the Czech National Library's new building. The jury decided unanimously that the project will be realised by the Czech-born, London-based architect Jan Kaplicky. The new library is expected to welcome the first readers in 2011 and the costs are estimated at over 2 billion crowns (93 million dollars).
Prague is famous for its mix of architectural styles, and you can sometimes meet centuries of different architecture in just one street. The city is not particularly well-known for modern architecture - but that should change in a few years, with the completion of an extremely unusual building by the Czech-born, London-based architect Jan Kaplicky.
One of the most controversial buildings in Prague, the futuristic Zizkov TV Tower, is this week celebrating its 15th anniversary. Long before that date, many people in Prague opposed the idea of such a tall and out-of-place building being erected in a largely residential area. But 15 years later, it now seems that Praguers are slowly but surely getting used to it.
In today's One on One Jan's guest is Zdenek Lukes, one of the country's most respected architectural historians, employed at the Office of the President's heritage section overseeing Prague Castle. Mr Lukes first began working there in 1990 and in our interview recalls changes that he's seen, the fate of a secret atomic bunker, and a famous visit by the "world's greatest rock n' roll band". Jan began by asking him first what coming to the Castle was like.
Looking at old photos of quaint parts of downtown Prague that were demolished at the turn of the 19th century to make way for fashionable apartment blocks, one easily gets nostalgic. But thanks to modern technologies, one day soon it will be possible to walk through the streets and lanes of the old Jewish quarter of Prague - but of course, only in virtual reality.
Culture Minister Vaclav Jehlicka visited the Moravian town of Prerov on Monday to support local officials who are trying to halt demolition work on a historical building. The Culture Ministry wants to put the early 20th century building back on the list of cultural monuments after having removed it six months ago. In the meantime, however, a local building firm had begun work on demolishing the building despite protests from architectural experts and the Culture Ministry.
The Villa Tugendhat, a functionalist family home designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is the Czech Republic's only 20th century UNESCO site. The city of Brno is considering whether or not to return the valuable architectural treasure to the children of the original owners. The Tugendhat family, who are Jewish, lost possession of the house in the late 1930s, after only eight years living there.
The 330th anniversary of the birth of architect Jan Blazej Santini-Aichel was marked on Sunday at a church in Zdar nad Sazavou, on the border of Bohemia and Moravia. The Prague-born architect of Italian origin is known for his Baroque Gothic style. Among his most famous works is the church of St John of Nepomuk in Zelena Hora, which is on the UNESCO world heritage list.
The Czech Republic has many claims to fame but one of its greatest and most curious regarding the arts is the country's unique history of Cubist architecture, celebrated in an exhibition and recent new book named "Czech Architectural Cubism". Both book and exhibit provide a comprehensive and fascinating overview of the brief periods before and after World War I, which saw notable Czech architects inspired by Cubist principles. In fact, Czech architects were the first and only ones in the world to ever design original Cubist buildings. A look at
The Art Nouveau "Slav Epic" is considered the magnum opus of the artist Alfons Mucha. But for decades the paintings have been housed "temporarily" in a chateau in a small Moravian village which is difficult to reach. The city of Prague has long wished to build a home for the paintings, and a spokesman now says construction of a permanent gallery could start in a little more than a year.
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