Centre of Home Design, 1971–1981
Věra Machoninová, Vladimír Machonin
black-and-white photograph, photographic paper
National Gallery Prague, photo Kamil Wartha

NO DEMOLITIONS! Forms of brutalism in Prague

5/3—22/11 2020

The architecture built in Czechoslovakia throughout the 1960s⁠–⁠1980s, both glorified and deplored, is a heatedly discussed and highly controversial subject. The public may still regard it negatively, owing to a lack of information or an adverse experience with the country’s regime before the Velvet Revolution. The exhibition NO DEMOLITIONS! Forms of Brutalism in Prague presents buildings in Prague (including projects in preparation but never realized) influenced to a lesser or greater extent by Brutalism and progressive influences from the West that was forbidden, yet highly inspiring for creators.

Step by step, the exhibition reveals the spatial, compositional and constructional values of the architecture. The display shows buildings that prominently enter (or were to enter) the urban scene and that significantly influence/d the quality of the communal space around them. Such structures as the Kotva Department Store, the former Central Telecommunications Building at Žižkov (currently earmarked for demolition), the former Federal Assembly, Hotel Intercontinental and Barrandov Bridge, as well as the recently demolished Transgas complex were and continue to be examples of what in their day were the most progressive architectural feats and boldest aesthetic conceptions.

The nearly two hundred and fifty superb, original architectural plans, photographs and models, of which many are exhibited for the very first time, mostly come from the Architecture Collection of the National Gallery Prague. Other important works have been kindly loaned by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, the Gallery of Fine Arts in Cheb, the National Museum in Prague and a number of private collectors.

Place: Trade Fair Palace ⁠–⁠ 3rd floor

Curator: Helena Doudová

Collaborating experts / co-curators: Klára Brůhová (FA CTU in Prague), Radomíra Sedláková (NGP), Petr Vorlík (FA CTU in Prague)


Helena Huber-Doudová
Curator of the Collection of Architecture