At this time of year, Czech gardens are a hive of activity. Driving through any Czech town you’ll spot at least a couple of barbecues smouldering away, and a handful of odd types digging and sweating in the midday sun. Certain garden chores - the weeding, the watering, the pruning - remain the same, year-in year-out, but are Czechs using their gardens in a different way now than say, ten years ago?
Prague is one of the best preserved cities in Europe, and it is not unusual to come across a striking variety of architectural styles – from Baroque to functionalism – in the space of a few minutes. But how has the Czech capital fared when it comes to contemporary architecture? It is the subject of a new exhibition entitled The New Face of Prague, which has just opened at the city’s Czech Centre.
South Moravia is a region in the Czech Republic known for many things – a sunny climate, interesting folklore and reasonably good wine. Being the most visited region of the country outside Prague, many people come for historic sights, chateaus and mediaeval castles. But few visitors realize the region along the borders with Austria and Slovakia boats a number of Jewish monuments from times long gone. Most of them now belong to the Jewish Community in Brno which has one man to take care of them – architect Jaroslav Klenovský.
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.
Lidice – the tragic fate of a village that became a powerful symbol
Embattled Czech PM launches counter-offensive to win over public in Agrofert dispute
“Let’s not hide the good places – let’s turn the bad places into good ones”: The Honest Guide guys discuss their new book and lots more
Preservationists slam Jiřičná design for new Prague high rise development
PwC report: Prague increasingly attractive for real estate investors