The American Institute of Architects, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Jaroslav Frágner Gallery Prague, present the exhibition Prague Functionalism: Tradition and Contemporary Echoes.
The exhibition presents Prague’s functionalist buildings, projects, and drawings. Functionalist projects from the 1920s and 1930s, and contemporary projects influenced by Czech Functionalist tradition will be displayed.
The American Institute of Architects
1735 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006
Curators: Zdeněk Lukeš and Dan Merta
Graphic Design: Tomáš Brichcín (Studio Novák & Balihar)
Exhibition Architect: Jiří Příhoda
Purism, constructivism, rationalism, or functionalism — these are terms seeking to give a name to various aspects of the notable phenomenon that literally obsessed the European architectural scene in the 1920s.
Prague had been one of the main art centres where the new approach to architecture has developed. Functionalism was not just passively accepted here but further evolved practically and theoretically. Thanks to the talent and enthusiasm of an entire generation of young architects, Prague, aside from Brno and Zlín, became an architectural laboratory whose importance by far exceeded Czechoslovak borders and Prague functionalistic buildings and houses belong among the jewels of world modern architecture.
The austere line of Czech architecture that represented its most outstanding stream in the past two decades is undoubtedly affected by the heritage of pre-war functionalism.
The exhibition presents the most famous inter-war modern buildings in Prague: the Muller Villa by Adolf Loos, a masterpiece of Czech functionalism; the Mánes Union of Fine Arts building by Otakar Novotný; the Catholic church of St. Wenceslaus by Josef Gočár; the Baba Villa Colony and other outstanding projects and buildings. Contemporary architecture is represented by the Euro Palace by DaM, Muzo Centre (Stanislav Fiala, D3a), the puristic Kolbenova metro station (DUM Architects), the Slavia Praha Rowing club by ADR Architects, a.o.
The exhibition was prepared by the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague, professionally assisted by the leading Czech theoreticians of architecture Mr. Zdeněk Lukeš and Dan Merta. Graphic design by Tomáš Brichcín (Studio Novák & Balihar).
Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague (GJF) focuses on contemporary and historical architecture where the aim is to present profiles of important individuals or groups from the Czech Republic and abroad. Founded by the architect Jaroslav Fragner it is located in the Prague historical center right next to the famous Bethlehem Chapel which was rebuilt according to a Fragner’s project during the years 1949 -1953. Lately, GJF focuses also on public space, sustainable architecture, as well as on conversion of the industrial heritage.
Zdeněk Lukeš is an architect, historian, and professor of architecture at the New York University in Prague. He is the author and co-author of about 50 books on modern architecture as well as hundreds of articles in Czech newspapers and magazines. He has contributed to the Czech Public TV series, Ten Centuries of Architecture, as well as to Czech Public Radio and BBC. He graduated from the Czech Technical University in Prague. He was actively involved in the Velvet Revolution in 1989, and was part of the Civic Forum movement founded by Václav Havel. After the Revolution, Lukeš worked in the Presidential Office during Václav Havel's presidency, helping to revitalize the Prague Castle. In 2014, he was awarded the Medal of Merit by the President of Slovenia.
About the Embassy:
The mission of the Embassy of the Czech Republic’s Public Diplomacy Department is to bring the vibrancy and richness of Czech culture and heritage to Washington, DC and the international community. Through collaborations with artists, professors, innovators, and leaders, the Embassy strives to build lasting and fruitful collaborations between the Czech Republic and the United States. For more information about the Embassy’s programming, please visit:
Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. With nearly 234 chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public well-being. Members adhere to a code of ethics to ensure the highest professional standards. AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and businesses as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and the world. Learn more at aia.org.
The exhibition will be on display until June 28, 2017.
This event is part of the European Month of Culture (EUMC). Now in its fifth year, EUMC is a month-long festival of innovative and creative events for the American public highlighting the diverse cultures of all 28 European Union Member countries. Enjoy film, dance, music, theatre, exhibits, language classes, workshops and more in great venues throughout Washington DC. Most events are free! To see all EUMC events, click here.