Dancing House, Prague
The Dancing House is the nickname given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building in Prague, Czech Republic. It was designed by Croatian architect Vlado Milunic in collaboration with Frank Gehry to resemble two people dancing. When it was completed in 1996, it caused controversy for the way its deconstructivist form purposefully failed to integrate with its Baroque, Gothic and Art Nouveau surroundings.
The building was commissioned by the then-President Vaclav Havel to represent the recent liberation of Czechoslovakia from the collapsing Soviet Union, a moment of national transition and celebration.
The inspirations for the design were the dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Astaire is represented by a concrete cylinder with pop-out windows topped with a bird’s nest-shaped mesh sculpture. Rogers is represented by a billowing glass structure that curves away from Astaire with spindly concrete legs fixed to the pavement.
The building currently hosts conference rooms, a restaurant and a bar on the top two floors. Today it is regarded as a classic example of the postmodernist architecture of the late-20th century.
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