• Richard Jones

Ever seen a House Dancing? If not you need to visit Prague 🇨🇿

Updated: Jul 20

General Info 📚

Location: Prague, 🇨🇿

Construction dates: 1992-1996

Architects: Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić in cooperation with Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry on a vacant riverfront plot.

Awards: The Dancing House won Time Magazine's design contest in 1997. The Dancing House was also named one of the 5 most important buildings in the 1990s by Architekt Magazine.

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Design 🏗

The inspirations for the design were the dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Astaire is represented by a concrete cylinder with pop-out windows topped with a bird’s nest-shaped mesh sculpture.

Rogers is represented by a billowing glass structure that curves away from Astaire with spindly concrete legs fixed to the pavement.

The "Dancing House" is set on a property of great historical significance. Its site was the location of a house destroyed by the U.S. bombing of Prague in 1945

The style is known as deconstructivist ("new-baroque" to the designers) architecture due to its unusual shape. The "dancing" shape is supported by 99 concrete panels, each a different shape and dimension. On the top of the building is a large twisted structure of metal nicknamed Mary'.

The Ultimate tour guide for Prague

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In the middle of a square of buildings from the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the Dancing House has two main parts. The first is a glass tower that narrows at half its height and is supported by carved pillars; the second runs parallel to the river and is characterized by undulating mouldings and unaligned windows.

This design was driven mainly by aesthetic considerations: aligned windows would make evident that the building has two more floors, although it is the same height as the two adjacent nineteenth-century buildings.

The windows have protruding frames, such as those of paintings, as the designer intended for them to have a three-dimensional effect. The winding mouldings on the façade also serve to confuse perspective and diminish contrast with the surrounding buildings.

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