Behind a dignified early nineteenth-century facade in Prague is a new set of spaces. Like many other structures in the magically picturesque centre of the city, the building was brutally restructured in the 1950s; apart from the finely proportioned spaces, little remained internally. The outside was however relatively untouched, and it has been restored to what everyone thinks was its original appearance.
Since, as the architects explained, it is very difficult to find good builders in the Czech Republic at the moment, steel has been used wherever possible internally, continuing the great Czech tradition of fine work in metal. Billie Tsien was particularly impressed by the elegance and economy of means of the conversion, which puts two large flats, duplex and triplex, over two floors of shops and offices. Both exterior restoration and the steel and glass minimalist stairs were excellent, but we were worried about some of the other detailing: perhaps no fault of the architects, bearing in mind the history of the building and the local shortage of skilled craftsmen.
CLAUDIO LAZZARINI, CARL PICKERING
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|Title Annotation:||old Prague building restored|
|Publication:||The Architectural Review|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Dec 1, 1999|
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