Prague’s Dancing House, an unexpected surprise among neo-Classical buildings If there is one building that places Prague on the map of avant-garde architecture , it is the Dancing House. Shifting, whimsical, and unexpected, it is in complete contrast to its surroundings.
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 plot and structure lay decrepit until 1960 when the area was cleared. The neighboring plot was co-owned by the family of Václav Havel who spent most of his life there.
Designed by Frank Gehry in Prague’s city center, Dancing House was built between 1992-1996. Called the Dancing House because it resembles Hollywood’s famous dancing couple Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1930s, the building is an important example of postmodern architecture. In the area where the Dancing House is located, stood a 19th century […]
The art gallery located in the Dancing House presents exhibitions of the best contemporary Czech and world art. It focuses especially on promoting young talented artists and helps them to gain recognition in the local art scene, as well as putting them in the spotlight.
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What is the Dancing House in Prague?
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Where is the Dancing House set?
Dancing House Prague was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996. It was designed by an architect called “Frank Gehry”. Representing the US bombing on Prague in 1945, the Dancing House holds a lot of historical significance. The plot remained vacant till the area was cleared in 1960.
The Dancing House is the nickname given to a building designed by Croatian-born Czech architect Vlado Milunic in a co-operation with Canadian architect Frank Gehry. Built between 1994-1996, Dancing House is a strikingly modern contrast to Prague’s historic attractions. The building is an example of a deconstructivist architecture, with an unusual shape – you can actually see a couple – woman and man dancing together, holding their hands, with a skirt that sways to the music.
- Dancing House History
- Architecture & Structure
- Where It is? Location & Map
- Opening Hours, Tickets & Entrance Fee
- Restaurant and Gallery
Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is rich in a variety of sights, especially historical ones. But there are also a great number of modern places of interest. One of them is the Prague Dancing House, a highly original building resembling and also inspired by two dancers – the immortally famous duo of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The Nationale Nederlanden building, known as the “Dancing House” or sometimes “Fred and Ginger”, is one of the most significant landmarks in Prague and definitely the most internationally renowned piece of post-1989 Czech architecture. It is home to almost 3000 square meters of office premises, a restaurant, a gallery, and a conference centre. Most importantly, there is a sightseeing terrace on top of it, from which you can overlook the breathtaking panorama of Prague.
The story of the Dancing house reaches back to the end of World War II, when the previous building standing on the site was destroyed during the bombing of Prague by the Allies. During the Communist era (1948 – 1989), nothing was built there, and it was only after the “Velvet revolution” when Václav Havel came with a vision. The world renowned Czech dissident, writer, philosopher, and later the last president of Czechoslovakia and first president of the Czech Republic (after the Czech Republic and the Slovakian Republic split in 1993) wished the site to be used for building up a new centre of cultural and social life. It would symbolise the arrival of democracy to Bohemia after 1989, an exciting era full of hope. Havel contacted his neighbor from the house next door, a renowned Yugoslav-born architect called Vlado Milunić. His design already involved the idea of leaning the building out over the crossroads. However, later on (in 1992) the piece of land was bought by the Nationale-Ne...
The unusually shaped building, an example of the deconstructivist architectural style, is based on a reinforced concrete construction with 99 differently shaped adjoined facade panels. The frontispiece consists of two towers, resembling a dancing couple. On the top of the Dancing House, there is a dome, called “Medusa” for its shape. The building has 9 floors and the rooms in it are asymmetrical. The house reaches over the street line onto the pavement.
Nowadays, the Dancing House is considered one of the most valuable postmodern buildings in Prague and an important part of the Czech capital’s architecture, but there were times when it sparked a lot of controversy. The opponents of the building were convinced that the Dancing House would not fit into its surroundings, since most of the buildings in its neighbourhood are in the Art Noveau style. There was also a great dispute about the highly unusual shape of the building, with the impression of the towers leaning. However, the Dancing House proved itself to be a true architectural gem of Prague, and today you would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like or at least accept it.
You should definitely visit the Dancing House for the fact, among other things, that this unmistakable gem of Prague’s postmodern architecture also offers a rare view of the Vltava River and Prague Castle. Full address is Jiraskovo namesti 1981/6, 12000 Prague 2. You can get there by tram; the “Jiraskovo namesti” station is right next to the building. If you prefer the metro, you can walk just a bit from the “Karlovo namesti” station.
There is of course no entrance fee to the building itself, and the building is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.The terrace with its amazing view is accessible via the Glass Bar. 1. Galleryis open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the entrance fee is 190 CZK. 2. Restaurantis open everyday from 11 a.m. to midnight. 3. Glass Baris open everyday from 10 a.m. to midnight.
As mentioned above, the Dancing House primarily contains offices, but you don’t need to rent an office space to go inside. On the uppermost floor of the house, there is a restaurant called – what else – “Ginger & Fred”. The modern-looking, high cuisine restaurant with artistic elements offers French and international dishes and offers an amazing view of Prague’s panorama. The restaurant is open every day from 11:30 till midnight, and the kitchen operates till 23:00. To see the menu, pictures, and more info on the restaurant, visit its web page. Yet another public space of the Dancing House is the Dancing House Gallery. Located on the ground floor, the Gallery focuses mainly on the top of the contemporary world and Czech art. It also supports young talent and, as the representatives declare, “The Dancing House Gallery seeks to connect the everyday world of people with the world of art through guided tours, lectures, discussions and other professional activities and by raising awarene...
- Story behind the name. Aptly called ‘The Dancing House’, the two parts of the building clearly resemble a pair of dancers. Named as an honour to dancers Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair (legendary dancing couple from the 1930s), the building was developed as an analogy of a feminine Ying, which balances a masculine Yang’ and is even nicknamed as ‘Fred and Ginger’.
- Original site, original plans. The Dancing House today stands over the ruins of a house damaged by the US Bombing, in 1945. The initial ideas for a building to be erected on such significant historic site, revolved around creation of a cultural hub for the fragile post-war society.
- Changing Plans, And Architect. The idea of the cultural centre was dropped, when the Dutch Bank, wanting a commercial space decided to sponsor the project.
- Design Style and Concept. Sensitively designed, considering the city’s contrasting political scenario at that time, the architects envisioned the building required two opposing, and dramatic elements.
Jun 08, 2009 · The Dancing House is the common name for the Nationale-Nederlanden Building in downtown Prague. Also referred to as The Fred and Ginger Building as it vaguely resembles the 1930's Hollywood dancers Fred Astair and Ginger Rodgers, the whimsical structure was designed by Canadian-American Frank Gehry in cooperation with Czech architect Vlado Milunic in 1992.