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ARCHITECTURE TIPS

We are very happy to present our Art Concierge Martina's tips of architectural gems in Prague: 

House at the Black Madonna

Museum of Decorative Arts – House at the Black Madonna

Ovocný trh 19, Praha 1 - Staré Město, 110 00

A masterpiece of Czech Cubist architecture, the building was constructed from 1911–1912 according to designs by the Czech architect Josef Gočár. It's located in the Old Town between Celetná Street and Ovocný trh. Its name comes from the Baroque statue that is located on its corner. After a complete renovation the building has become home to a Museum of Decorative Arts exhibition about Cubism.

The sharp edges, intersecting planes, crystalline structures – the typical elements of Czech Cubism, make for a wholly original art movement in world terms, one that was born in Prague around 1910, when a group of young avant-garde architects and artists applied the revolutionary Cubist principles, as painted by Picasso and Braque, to architecture and applied art. Cubism was originally a movement in French painting, which went on to find its own niche in Czech architecture. It is based on the notion that the fundamental physical shape is a cube, and therefore any work of art composed of geometric shapes derived from a cube is more impressive and content-rich.

The “Czech Cubism” exhibition on two floors of the building shows a cross-section of Czech Cubism, focused on interior design and décor of the 1911–1914 period, up to the early 1920s. A representative selection of significant furniture suites and standalone pieces by Pavel Janák, Josef Gočár, Vlastislav Hofman, Josef Chochol, Otakar Novotný and Antonín Procházka is complemented by pottery, ironwork, ornamental wallpaper designs, posters and applied art. The conceptual interlinking of free and applied art in the Cubist period is represented by selected works of Cubist painting and sculpture – paintings by Emil Filla, Bohumil Kubišta, Josef Čapek, Václav Špála and Otokar Kubín and sculptures by Otto Gutfreund. The architecture is brought closer by projections derived from contemporary architecture, complemented by a selection of period photos and published architectural designs.

After your visit to the exhibition, you can indulge in an additional serving of Cubism. The Grand Café Orient on the first floor of the House at the Black Madonna is historically the first, and the only Cubist coffee house in the world!

 

Villa Müller

Prague City Museum – Villa Müller 

Nad Hradním vodojemem 14, Praha 6 – Strešovice

Visits must be booked well in advance (recommended booking time is 3 weeks, maximum of 7 people in one group), the Villa is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

The villa, built from 1928 to 1930 is a chef-d'oeuvre of world architectural avant-garde. František Müller was a prominent member of Czech society and he gave the project for his own representative home to one of the greatest architects of the time – Adolf Loos. The construction is superficially strictly functionalist; of primary interest is its internal layout, the Raumplan.

A permanent exhibition presenting a luxury home harking back to the First-Republic lifestyle of a family very much part of Prague’s social elite. The interiors, largely designed by Adolf Loos himself, are stunning in their ingenious use of space, choice of materials and variety of colours. All the facilities excel by their high-quality finishing. The blending of luxury, simplicity and functionality stands witness to how distinctive the Müller Villa is among works of modern architecture and design. From the outside the building seems curtly functionalist, but it has a fascinating internal layout, or ‘Raumplan“, as Adolf Loos called it.

Villa Rothmayer

The City of Prague Museum - Villa Rothmayer

U Páté baterie 50, Praha 6 - Břevnov

Visits must be booked well in advance (recommended booking time is 3 weeks, maximum of 7 people in one group), the Villa is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Villa Rothmayer is one of the gems of modern architecture of the 20th century. Two-storey house was built by architect Otto Rothmayer (1892-1966) for his family between 1928-1929. Inspiration arising from the Mediterranean style, which architect Josip Plečnik propagated in our lands, reflects in the design of Rothmayer’s villa. The villa has been completely renovated and is open to the public for the first time. It presents a permanent exhibition called “The Story of a House and a Family”. Presenting the original style of Otto Rothmayer’s piece of architecture, the exhibition aspires to evoke the atmosphere of a place full of life, work, and art that Otto Rothmayer created with his wife, Božena Rothmayerová, a renowned textile artist and promoter of modern lifestyle.

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