A new exhibition currently on display at Prague’s Centre for Contemporary Art presents an experimental project by architecture students from Prague and Bratislava, who created a so-called parallel membrane city. Urbo Kune, which means a common city in Esperanto, was designed for an old quarry in Prague’s Zbraslav. The laid-out model of the utopian city can be seen at DOX until mid-January.
An appeals court has upheld an earlier ruling ordering the Czech National Library to pay compensation to an architecture studio which argued that a design by the late Jan Kaplický should not have won a tender to build a new building for the institution. According to the court, the National Library will have to pay HŠH architecti 1.6 million crowns (the difference in financial rewards for third and second place finishers) for choosing Mr Kaplický’s design even though it did not meet the requirements of the competition in 2007. The latter’s futuristic design, nicknamed “the Blob”, divided public opinion and was never built. Overall, the sum to be paid out, with interest and legal fees, totals almost 3 million crowns.
A group of architects is seeking damages of around 3 million crowns over the controversial competition for a new national library in Prague. The competition was eventually won by world renowned architect Jan Kaplický with a design dubbed ‘the Octopus’. Rival studio HŠH still maintain that Kaplický’s bid should have been disallowed. Their right to complain has already been upheld by a Prague court.
People in fifty Czech towns and cities can take part in a series of events entitled Days of Architecture which focus on city planning and interesting architectural buildings in the given locality. The Days of Architecture, organized by the civic association Kruh, aim to raise public awareness of decisions impacting people’s surroundings, insensitive reconstructions, co-existence of historic and modern architectural styles, public spaces and the revitalization of communist-era housing estates. The program includes lectures, forums, film screenings, and excursions in search of architecture and interesting exhibitions that are dedicated to new trends in architecture.
Moves to sell off one of Pardubíce’s most prized pieces of industrial heritage have created a stir with the municipal council under attack for not having stepped in earlier to safeguard its future. The rumpus has been caused by the decision of the Austrian owner of the Automatic Mills, an historic building designed by famed architect Josef Gočár, to sell the building for a target price of 25 million crowns. Pardubice city council had wanted to buy the site and to turn it into an arts and culture centre but attempts to do so broke down. The town will now have to see what the intentions of a new owner are.
Prague is no doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, but how exactly will the city develop in the future? Should the new buildings respect the historical skyline? How many cars should be allowed to park in the city centre? And should Prague be allowed to sprawl outwards or make better use of the space in the centre? These are just some of the issues addressed by the new building regulations plan, which has recently became the subject of a political battle at Prague City Hall. In fact, the plan put together by a team of experts around former
he Ministry of Regional Development will apparently be asked to intervene in the case of the so-called ‘Marshmallow,’ a controversial building project in the centre of Prague which has sparked opposition from local residents and heritage organisations. The project, given its name because of its pastel colours and shape, was originally approved by Prague one district. But Prague City Hall has since started to probe the zoning approval. The project developer regards this as illegal and is now seeking an intervention from the ministry, the Czech News Agency reported.
The fourth edition of the reSite festival and conference, focusing on urbanism and the rethinking of public space, has just gotten underway in Prague. Over the course of Thursday and Friday, the festival will be hosting dozens of guests from all around the world who will be debating the use of shared space in the city. I spoke to Milota Sidorová, one of the festival’s organizers:
A controversial building project in the centre of Prague has been given planning approval. The so-called “Marshmallow” a six story apartment building in pastel shades of pink, grey, and white near the St Agnes 13th century convent in Prague’s Old Town has been approved by the local authority according to public broadcaster Czech Television. Construction work cannot, however, start before an appeals are heard. The striking building has been the subject of opposition and public demonstrations by a series of protest groups.
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