Buildings

Planned Skyscrapers at Pankrac again centre of dispute

The topic, which is a grateful subject for many articles returns every few months to be in the centre of attention again. What is it about? Pankrac is a fast developing part of Prague which is going to became the new business centre of the metropolis. In the context of a lot of business decisions taking place right there ECM developers decided to build a twin skyscraper building. These have thirty levels and are more than 100 metres tall. And, after the last week, are even closer to being build.

The Town hall of Prague denied appeal against the territorial decision, by which giving the developers the chance of finally getting their building licence. Now, the protesting association Arnica probably have the last instance to call to – the UNESCO, that doesn’t like the idea Prague would have any skyscrapers, and raises a warning finger to Prague: if you build it, you will be crossed out from the list of historical cities.

The locals are afraid especially of the traffic being thickened, with more noise and worse air. The flats in the planned building are from bigger part already reserved, and housing in the centre will always be something of an interest. The building is probably going to be build, becoming the first in the new wave which will change Pankrac from the ground up.

The Wing of Palace at Prague Exhibition Ground is Back

About three months have passed from the devastating fire at the Prague Exhibition ground, and the left wing is back on its place already. Or at least it seems to be back on the first sight. But there is more than meets the eye – not even prince Potemkin wouldn’t be ashamed of this creation. It is only an imitation, as the speed with which the object was ‘repaired’ is only due to large assembled hall, which was covered with sheets, on which the Industrial Palace Facade is printed out.

The provisional hall is going to stand at the place of the destroyed part of the palace until the real works of repairs will be initiated. Those, because of negotiations among Prague Town hall and the object’s renter, Incheba company, which probably not going to start until the next year, are to start quite later.

The left wing of the industrial palace was destroyed in the half of the October by fire, which was, according to police, caused by a technical failure. At one of the stances were stored explosive spray tins, which exploded.

Prague Refuses to penalise itself for Charles Bridge Repair

A reconstruction, which is according to specialists messed up, but an outsider can’t recognise there is anything wrong. That is the centre of the dispute, that has been going for half a year now. The reason for reconstruction was the stones were damaged by salting and needed replacement, the reasons for complaint was that too much stones were replaced, also that they have been replaced in a wrong way photos.

The peculiar thing about the case is, the payer of a fine should be the reconstructor, which is the city of Prague, and the receiver of the fine money is the owner of the building, which is Prague city again. Is Prague going to pay itself? We will see. The city took time to think. That the submitter deserves a fine decided the inspection of ministry of culture. According to it, the Prague town hall broke the law, when they didn’t make the necessary documentation for the repair.

Prague Industrial Palace Fire Source? Still Unknown

The source of the fire at the Prague Exhibition Ground, which reduced the left wing of the Industrial Palace into ashes, is still uncertain. After two months, the source is still uncertain and investigation still continues. To find the fire source is nevertheless decisive for the policy, which will be paid to Incheba company, the renter. And that can be also a problem, as media informed.

The city can suffer from the disadvantages contract, which the town hall made with Incheba company at the time of big coalition of ODS and CSSD. There is the unfortunate sentence, that the insurance money won’t go to the owner, the town, but to the renter, Incheba. The city now struggles for weeks, to make Incheba promise they are going to use the policy for repair of the Industrial hall.

Not so long ago, it appeared the plans of the burned building were lost. But then, a person who wished to stay incognito brought them to Pavel Bem.

How to repair Charles Bridge

The dispute among two conservationist units in Prague continue. Up to now, it seems like the biggest problem of the Charles Bridge reconstruction is missing documents. “To work up the construction-historical research is the basic presumption of a quality sight repair.” said Lenka Svobodova, the representative of The Inspection of the Ministry of Culture, the main criticizing institution.

For instance – the stone railing doesn’t have the necessary documentation, which was supposed to be tip-top before the works started. The Inspection finds the railing to be harmed, however it is hardly visible by an eye. Another opinion has the Old Prague Club – according to them the problem is on the side of the Capital itself, because the Charles Bridge should have a specialized group of experts who would take care of it permanently.

The Mott MacDonald company, which works at the reconstruction, feel the name of the company was harmed by the preservationist inspection, who let it all to the media, even when half of their points are highly discussable.

Prague Industrial Palace Plans lost & found

The Right wing of the Prague Industrial Palace, which burned down a month ago, got into unexpected problems, but the story ends well. It was found out the National Archive doesn’t have the plans of the building. Such situation was quite surprising, if we consider that the Industrial Palace is one of National heritage buildings. It was neither in the City Hall, nor in the National or Technical Museums.

The plans suddenly appeared – somebody gave them to Prague Mayor Bem, however the person doesn’t wish to be named, and so are probably not going to find, who helped to rebuild it the original way. The discovery puzzles also the family of the original architect Bedrich Munzberger, who are confused, that the plans are owned by someone else than their family. It seems a little bit, like if somebody stole them.

The Charles Bridge dispute goes to Court

Whether the Charles Bridge reconstruction goes well or not will soon be decided by the court. The Mott MacDonald company, which works at the reconstruction, feel the name of the company was harmed by the preservationist inspection of the Ministry of Culture, that came with information the reconstruction is sloppy.

The reconstruction was criticized at the beginning of November by the inspection. According to them the contemporary reconstruction has ‘significantly harmed the sight appearance’.

The Town council and the National Preservationist Office reject the critique, even when they accept there were mistakes made during the repair. Various groups met yesterday to go through the document, but the inspection, from which it started, didn’t show up.

Prague Houses by Incomers, Imported Architecture

The Czech Metropolis has become after 1989 a favorite destination of architects abroad.

1.Dancing House
Can’t stress enough how good Dancing House is. The masterpiece of Vlado Milunic and Frank Ghery is indeed a jewel, accompanying a line from 19th century. When build, people were shocked, as this could very well have been the first innovative building after years of communist grayness.

2.Golden Angel
Smichov was traditionally an industrial quarter typical with its black-scale facades. When the factories went to the other world, Andel became one of the most rush crossroads in Prague, with business and shopping centre by Jena Nouvel.

The rest of the Article at Imported Architecture

Prague National theatre Celebrates 125 years from its re-opening

The building also opens unique spaces for the public, namely the presidential saloon. It doesn’t belong to the theatre, though, but directly the Prague Castle Management. The National Theatre shows how successful the first part of the Golden Chapel reconstruction was. The Restoration works of the Golden Chapel of the historic building were finished this year in spring, when the golden crown atop of the roof returned. It was regilded with 24 title gold in total value if 2,7 millions czk.

Reconstruction works will have to continue, though. The next year in March the general repair continues with the facade. The last big repair took place 25 years ago, none the less the facade is quite damaged. Pieces fall off string courses and embossments, the repair works are very much needed. The reconstruction counts with budget of 170 million czk.

Representatives of no-close-narodni-metro-station petition met politicians.

The new building construction on Narodni Trida violates the law? Representatives of about 8000 citizen who subscribed under the petition against blocking of the metro station because of the new house Copa Center, with Maj shopping mall, offices, flats, have met with the Prague part mayor Hejma.

Signers demand a new access would be made from Lazarska street. When the station Narodni was build, there was plan for two vestibules, at the time only one was build. The signers demand building the second one so the station wouldn’t have to close. The investors however know it would prolong the construction for at least a year.

The group around the petition are ready to file an action in the case the station would close for the time of construction, which would be at least two years. They also demand Metrostav company would adhere the law and build a barrier-less entrance during the reconstruction.

Czech National Building in New York re-opens

The Czech National Building in New York was build in 1896 in neo-renaissance style according to the design of the German architect William C. Frohne. The Czech centre is placed in the Yorkville district, in the residential Upper East Side at 73rd street. The original building was financed by collected money of local Czechs.

The building fell into decay in the last years, so the Czech government decided to buy it and reconstruct it. Now, it will be re-opened ceremonially on 30th October with presence of representatives of the Czech government. And what does the house do?

The Czech National building in NY aim is mostly to present the Czech Republic and its culture. For example there will be exhibitions made in cooperation with Leica Gallery, for example Lenka K. Galerioni or Petr Ulrych, but also concerts with music of Antonin Dvorak and various congresses.

Seaworld at letna finally denited!

After eight years of debates, the plan of building a huge seaworld with sea creatures at the place where giant Stalin statue used to stand, ends. It lost suppot of the Prague City Hall. Resons are mainly aversion of Prague citizens, political parties, and individuals; for example Vaclav Havel stood at the side of citizens. Prague City hall has declared they stopped the project this week.

The petition, under which about 7 thousand people signed, was initiated by the Greens. They celebrate now: “A seaworld in the centre of a city is an absurd project” the semi-chief of the Greens stated. Letna is a place where constructions fail, like in the case of Blob. Most probably it is going to stay the way it is – a peaceful zone of relax. The surrounding area of the Stalin’s place is a training ground for street skaters, a very good one.

New Space Lagoon in Prague Seaworld

The Sea World in Holesovice opened a new giant transparent pool. Together with it, the public was introduced to the unique project of mental relaxation called Vesmirna Laguna – The Space Lagoon, which author is an artist and a psychologist Zdenek Hajny. Both the novelties were ceremonially introduced during the sixth Morsky Svet (Sea World) opening anniversary.

The Sea world in Prague is not as huge as the Californian ones, but still 4,5 thousand aquatics in 1200 square meters of specially adjusted ocean water is creditable. The exhibition has even its own mechanism that simulates the movement of the Moon and its phases during the night. Every year, the Seaworld is visited by about 80 thousand visitors.

Prague court came between developer and Pankrac

Further development of Pankrac into new business centre of Prague has many opposers. Prague court now belongs to them. According to it the administrative procedures leading to approval of the new expressways and streets were not legal and full of flaws. Pankrac is very close to the main highway in the CR.

The ECM company, the investor at Pankrac site is not, according to their speaker, going to change the plan, not going to take the decision into consideration.

The lawyer Ondrej Tosner, who wrote the charges, evaluates the sentence as a breakthrough; “According to it the whole process of finishing the Pankrac design is practically illegal”

This is just one of the voices speaking against the planned construction. One of the most influential vices came from UNESCO, which considers the design as harmful to Prague scenery.

Tesla Arena: The New Name of T-Mobile arena

The hockey hall at the Prague Exhibition Ground changed its name again. Ten years ago the Arena HC Sparta, than T-Mobile Arena is now called Tesla Arena. The sponsoring contract was signed for three years.

Viliam Slivek, the president of HC Sparta Paha commendes he “… is glad our Arena will bear the name of the Czech brand, which historical roots date back to the same period, when our club originated.”

Tesla Arena opened in 1962 as Sportovní hala and can hold up to 12,950 people. The first concert to cebrate the newly renamed arena will be the show of the rapper Snoop Dogg on 8th September.

Pankrac Skyscrapers are going to be there

Not even the recommendation of UNESCO is going to change the plans of the future highest building in Prague, MF Dnes informed. “In the case of both buildings, the verdict of Ministry of Culture from the last years speaks clearly- it supports the Prague Town Council, which licenses the building.”

Monuments preservation in Prague was on program of the recent UNESCO conference in Quebec, the result – it shouldn’t be build larger than 60-70 metres. The plans, however, counts with the higher twin having 104 metres.

The Arnika association, protesting against the planned post-modern dominant was quite ignored by Czech offices, so they have chosen to contact UNESCO. They decided in their favor, however the ECM company who builds it have the contract for the area, and also, they have already sold 150 flats in advance.

The situation reminds of the case of the Blob library, but this time, the protester is not the president, so the V twins are probably going to be build as planned.

UNESCO: Prague shouldn't build skyscrapers taller 70m

The skyscrapers planned for Pankrac district in Prague have a problem; According to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee the buildings must be lowered, otherwise they would damage one of Europe’s best preserved historical city panoramas.

UNESCO set the limit for the new buildings at 60 to 70 metres, but according to the current plans, the ‘V’ shaped twin building reaches 100metres, by which it would became the highest skyscraper in Prague.

The initiator who called in UNESCO was the Arnika association, who have been criticising the height of such tall buildings on Pankrac for many years, but neither the local Town Hall, nor the Culture Ministry reacted. Then, they turned to UNESCO. Its officials came to inspect the situation in Prague, with the result – if the buildings exceed 70 metres, UNESCO quite probably cuts Prague out of their list.

Brothels in Prague are Camouflaged. They have to be.

the typical picture - is it a pension, a restaurant, or a brothel? you can guess... As the Czech state acts like the fancyhouses do not exist, they exist as bars or clubs. Even when it is completely obvious from the external signs the enterprises server primarily for sex, according to construction administration those are bars, wellness centres or massage salons.

It is the way it works in the Czech Republic – if there is forbidden something clearly natural, people find their own way to it. A lot of prostitutes moved away from the streets, but they haven’t vanished. Brothels in Prague have their way of survival, the appearance can be regular, but their papers state they are some other business premises.

The building office can approve of a restaurant, fitness centre or bar, but there are no hygiene regulations for an erotic saloon, nobody simply defined them. The main reason the places have to be masked as ‘Massage Salon Red Light’ or something similar is they simply need a permit for the place. The proposals of legalization can be hear quite often nowadays.

Zizkov transmitter prepares for its 'air show'

ka-32 LN brought an insight of how the action-movie-like upgrading of the Zizkov broadcasting tower will look like. The problem is the 216m tower is so high it is necessary to use some kind of flying device for taking the old antenna off the tower tip and replacing it with a digital one.

For the action was chosen the Russian helicopter Ka-32, which has two machines consuming 800 litres of gas per hour and can carry 12700 kg. It will fly above the transmitter and technicians will rope the top of the tower to it. Then, they will demount it, and the pilot will fly with it away.

The pilot of the Ka-32 will be one of the very important persons of the process, as hew will decide the day and hour of the whole operation. The most important factor is the weather, as e.g. gust wind could send the helicopter with the antenna to the nearby apartments.

Prague Main Bus Station Florenc Reconstruction

Florenc in its present form of 2008 looks very similar to the way it looked back in 1970’s and 1980’s so when you accidentally appear there, you are contrasted with the reality of a communist country: zero services, concrete falling apart, dirt and homeless people everywhere, unfriendly and dangerous. design of new florenc station. Luckily, someone finally took a notice of it, so the Florenc bus station will get reconstructed. The main railway station reconstruction is going just fine, so let’s hope this will be the case as well.

At the place of former Vietnamese marketplace grows a new terminal building, which should be, according to CSAD Praha Holding, pleasant to passengers and should fit into the location architecturally. So Florenc will get a gift for its birthday – it was instituted exactly 60 years ago. How many hundreds of millions people travelled through the station is not easy to find, but hopefully the next year those who use it will travel with dignity.

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