Sunday, January 24, 2016

DANCING HOUSE : From Prague, with Love

Dancing House
 (Tančící dům)
Rašínovo nábřeží 80
120 00  Praha 2 (Prague)
Czech Republic

Frank Gehry 1996
The site of Gehry's Dancing House was originally occupied by a house inthe Neo-renaissance style from the end of the 19th century. That house was destroyed during bombing in 1945, its remains finally removed in 1960. The neighboring house (with small globe on the roof) was co-owned by Czech ex-president Vaclav Havel, who lived there from his childhood untilthe mid-1990s. He ordered the first architectural study from Vlado Milunic (who has been involved in re-building Havel's appartment in the neighboring house). Afterwards the Dutch bank ING agreed to build a house there, and asked Milunic to invite world-renowned architect. Milunic first asked Jean Nouvel, who rejected the invitation because of the small size of the site(491 square meters); he then asked Frank Gehry, who and he accepted the challenge. Gehry had an almost unlimited budget, because ING wanted to create an icon in Prague. The construction started in 1994 and the housewas finished in 1996.

The building is an example of deconstructivist architecture, with an unusual shape. It reflects a woman and man (Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair) dancing together. Construction is from 99 concrete panels each of different shape and dimension, each therefore requiring a unique wooden form.


Its unusual shape and technical solutions caused a big public debate. Afterten years emotions are over, and the house has its place in modern Prague. In 2005 the Czech National Bank issued a gold coin with the motifof the Dancing House, as the final coin of the series "10 Centuries of Architecture."
Pavel Sobol 2005
Additional photography Simon Glynn 2005

How to visit
The house is located on the corner of the embankment Rasinovo nabrezi and the street Resslova, within walking distance from the underground station Karlovo namesti.
The house is used as an office building and it is not open to public. However, you can visit the restaurant La Perle de Prague, located on 7thfloor, with nice view of the river and Prague Castle panorama. Visit the restaurant's web site at or call +420 221 984 160.

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