Czech industrial heritage is the focus of a new book that was presented in Prague on Tuesday. Published in both Czech and English by the Czech Technical University, the volume “Průmyslové dědictví – Industrial Heritage” is a collection of papers from the international conference “Vestiges of Industry”, held in the Czech Republic’s largest industrial centres every two years.
This Wednesday marks exactly 35 years since the opening of one of the country’s most notable works of architecture, hotel Ještěd. The conical spaceship-like building with an integrated TV tower is built on top of a hill above the town of Liberec and dominates the surrounding skyline. The design of the building, which was completed in 1973, remains unique to this day.
A memorial is being held in New York on Thursday for Jan Hird Pokorny, a renowned Czech-born architect who died last month at the age of 93. He was a member of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, while his firm Jan Hird Pokorny Associates won admiration for restoring and adapting historic buildings. Speaking to Radio Prague three years ago, he outlined his view of preservation:
A corner of Prague Castle's grounds long hidden and possibly forgotten by many has been restored and opened to the public for the first time this month. The Saint Wenceslas' Vineyard and the Villa Richter, a summer house on the same site, were long closed off to the public. But now, after careful reconstruction, visitors will be able to take in a tour of the Villa and Vineyards whilst visiting Prague's world famous castle.
Martin Rajniš is a renowned Czech architect, who along with Johnny Eisler and Miroslav Masák, authored the famous Máj building (now Tesco) in the centre of Prague. Designed in the high tech style Máj was one of Czechoslovakia’s first department stores and is now a cultural heritage site. But that is only one of the architect’s achievements: in the 1990s after the fall of Communism, he was involved in the extensive redesigning of the area around Anděl in Prague’s Smíchov district. Since, the architect has also concentrated more and more on designs
This Tuesday sees the opening of a new exhibition at Prague’s Jaroslav Fragner gallery featuring the work of renowned Czech architect Martin Rajniš. He is one of the co-authors of the famous Máj building, now Tesco, on Prague’s Narodní Street as well as the architect who designed a famous wood and glass post office, on the Czech Republic’s Sněžka Mountain. Increasingly, the architect has focused on the incorporation of natural materials. The aim of exhibition, in many ways, is to show visitors they don’t have to accept the status quo.
In the first half of the 20th century the Česká národní budova (Bohemian National Hall) was THE Czech social centre in New York, before later sinking into disrepair. Now the building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is receiving a major facelift, and should again be the pride of Czech New York when it reopens its doors later this year. In this edition of Panorama, we’ll be hearing about the past – and future – of the Česká národní budova.
In Mailbox today: the planned controversial National Library building; the rising status of Czech cuisine; the “dancing king” of Cambodia; May competition question – correction; a listener’s complaint about alleged discrimination in Radio Prague’s monthly quizzes. Listeners quoted: Lipa from Prague, Tony Prescott, Erin Slattery, Ian Morrison.
Last year a design for the new national library by architect Jan Kaplický promised to bring an unprecedented architectural edge to the centre of Prague. But almost from day one, the project has been dogged by controversy. After initial support from the city’s mayor, the gelatinous-like structure nicknamed the Blob or the Octopus, to be situated on Prague’s Letná Plain, drew increasing criticism, including sharp words by Václav Klaus. The project was also challenged by architects who argued the project failed to respect prerequisites of the original
Our guest for One on One this week is Jakub Cigler, one half of the duo behind Cigler-Marani – an award-winning firm of architects whose elegant designs have helped them become one of the leaders in their field in this country. Cigler-Marani have been in the news of late because their design has been chosen by the city of Prague to revamp the Czech capital’s somewhat jaded main thoroughfare Wenceslas Square.
New flats in Prague increasingly out of reach
“I believe this is the last nail in the PM’s coffin”, says head of Czech Transparency International after EU Audit
Lidice – the tragic fate of a village that became a powerful symbol
Largest protest since 1989 on Prague’s Wenceslas square as battle rages on for the PM’s political future
Czech politicians condemn draft Russian bill as attempt to rewrite history