Zdeněk Lukeš is one of the country’s best known architects. During the 1990s he was part of Václav Havel’s team revitalising Prague Castle and he still works in its monuments department, while as an author and journalist he has done a great deal to popularise architecture in the Czech Republic. Our tour of “Zdeněk Lukeš’s Prague” is in fact a tour of his Letná, the leafy area he has always called home. We begin with a coffee at Café Alchymista, specifically in the lovely garden in the back.
With the start of the tourist season in April hundreds of castles and chateaus around the Czech Republic open their doors to visitors. The National Heritage Institute which administers over 100 castles and chateaus selects a special theme every year to highlight some of the country’s architectural gems. This year it is Renaissance Nobility Year, focusing on the lives, homes and art collections of country’s leading aristocratic families of the time. I asked the spokesperson for the National Heritage Institute Jan Cieslar to tell me more about what
Construction plans for a controversial six-story apartment building in Prague 1 dubbed "the Marshmallow House" have gotten the green light, spokeswoman for the local city council Veronika Blažková confirmed. The project first received approval in 2015, but then stalled after Prague City Hall and the Culture Ministry got involved. Some critics opposed construction of the design on the grounds that the building looked like marshmallow faces and the fact that individual units were depicted in pastel colours. Investor Praga Progetti e Investimenti will have to launch construction by June of this year, as a two-year deadline has been running uninterrupted since the project was initially approved.
Fifteen buildings were just recently added to the list of Czech Cultural Monuments, including an early 20th century power station in Poděbrady and Prague’s famous Lucerna Palace. The list also includes buildings from earlier periods, such as the Invalidovna complex, which featured prominently in Miloš Forman’s Amadeus.
A new exhibition mapping the vanishing architectural legacy of Iraqi’s Mosul got under way on Friday at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. A team of experts from the Oriental Institute have been documenting the unique architecture in Mosul since 2015 from earlier records. The exhibition Monuments of Mosul presents the findings of archaeological and historical research as well as digitally recreated versions of some of the monuments, which have been destroyed by ISIS. It will be on display until the end of March.
British architectural historian Barbara Peacock was recently honoured with a Point of Light Award by Prime Minister Teresa May for her work in helping to repair, preserve and enhance the Czech Republic’s rich architectural heritage. Following a visit to the Czech Republic in the early 1990s, Ms. Peacock set up The Friends of Czech Heritage fund, winning over British and Czech volunteers to help restore historic buildings, gardens and landmarks around the country. Jiří Hošek, Czech Radio’s correspondent in the UK, met up with Barbara Peacock to talk
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