1 NOT a Cultural Monument Head of Club of Old Prague, has publically stated it is a good building but does not have the quality to be necessarily listed as a cultural monument MofC decided the building does not meet the conditions for declaring an object as a cultural monument in the sense of the provision 2 of the law no. 20/1987 Coll., on state monumental care in the later rules VN47 is not of exceptional artistic or historical value as law on monumental care requires of cultural monuments City of Prague Report dated 2007 highlights valuable buildings in Prague 1 VN47 is not included in this list Other buildings on VN not protected are highlighted as valuable in this report City of Prague report from 2007 identified four valuable buildings on Wenceslas square (in green frame) in addition to current listed cultural monuments (in red). VN47 was not been included in either of the groups. original neo-renaissance façade designed by author of the National Museum Josef Schulz, was destroyed in 1922 alleged authorship of Bohumír Kozák of the 1922 works cannot be proven Kozák never mentioned the building in his works Proven Kozák buildings that he completely designed are not listed (e.g. Avion Palace (LUXOR), Palace Broadway) 1922 rebuilding was not artistic but utilitarian 2 floors added Original neo-renaissance façade ripped off numerous construction and statics imperfections and faults identified (damp, structural cracks) Well-respected experts on VN47: JUDr., PhDr. Jiří Plos describes the building as average already when build, then deteriorated with re-buildings Arch. Zdeněk Lukeš describes the building as second league theoretician of architecture Adam Gebrian says the architecture of the building is neither unique, nor exceptional in the context of Prague
2 Myths explained Myth: The architects have, at the beginning of the 20th century began to realize the dominance of the National Museum on Wenceslas Square and have therefore retreated from the use of a corner tower motif. Truth: No other VN building can compete with the National Museum whether it has the corner accent or not. Any other argumentation, as noble as it may sound, is absurd. It was at the end of the 19th century and until the year 1920 that most of the VN buildings with corner or height features were constructed ( Palác Koruna, Palác Ligna, Hotel Evropa etc.). In the 1920s two floors were added and the original façade was ripped off Myth: The architectural values of the building lie especially in the implementation of the current facade. Truth: The 1922 alteration was utilitarian and economical, neo-renaissance windows were kept in the first three floors, for example. The technical execution of the façade from 1922 onto the older masonry shows new damages all the time and despite maximum efforts the owner cannot stop the deterioration. Repair is impossible due to the technology used and the impossibility in matching the original colour (since the original material is unavailable), texture and grain of the original surface. Myth: The harmonious interplay of these styles of the building exhibit in the whole and in detail and thus synthesizes the best of what contemporary architecture offered. Truth: The design is rather typical for architecture of the period, which reflects the economic impulse in the post war period. The style corresponds to the period and is in no way the synthesis of the best that contemporary architecture offered. Myth: The concept of the house is based on measured height and regulation of the deliberate suppression of corner dominants. Truth: Integration (suppression) of the corner feature or tower into the mass of the new two storeys indisputably increased the mass of the building. In 1920, when the extra floors were added, a regulation was in effect for the VN buildings stating they must have a height feature. Architect Kozák had great difficulties with approval of his solution since it was breaking this regulation.
3 Myths explained Myth: Cubism is manifested mainly in the details; the corner is created very imaginatively, in the form of which are used two polygonal bays and the interplay of their bevelled surfaces. Truth: The corner bays do not bear any signs of cubist morphology. This solution of the corner bays is traditional and does not represent anything exceptional. The position of the bays is defined by the original position of the balconies on the building from Building from 1880 The current building from Myth: The building has high artistic, architectural and urban values. Truth: In comparison with other VN buildings it is an average building (second league) as Zdeněk Lukeš, prominent historian of architecture, also stated. These alleged values have not been pointed out by anyone for the past 80 years. Information of the building s architectural values started appearing only when demolition was proposed. Myth: This building has a unique place in the works of Bohumír Kozák. Truth: If we compare this building with other works by architect Kozák such as the Thomayerova hospital, telephone and telegraph centre, which are both cultural monuments and with Palác Avion with the Luxor passage or the building in Pevnostní 565/4 that are not listed as cultural monuments, it is obvious that this was an ordinary commercial commission for this architect. The main argument that denies this untrue statement is the fact that architect Kozák himself never listed this building among his works. A work of Kozak, Vaclavske namesti 41, valuable and not listed
4 Detailní historie Valuable architectural elements of the original building are not preserved in the current building old vn47 The original building was constructed for the Benes family, as a residential building. It was sold to Česká chmelárská společnost a.s. in 1920 and extended and converted into offices for the by the construction company Dušek, Kozák, Máca (DKM). It is possible that Josef Schulz, Muzeum architect of National Museum, designed the original neorenaissance facades in In spite of Schulz s reputation his façade was destroyed and replaced after 40 years by the current one following the DKM design. The aim of the changes were utilitarian to increase the volume by adding two floors and reduce the stucco finishes of the façade as part of so-called purisation. The neorenaissance façade by Schulz was replaced by a new, at that time modern one with teraco surface. Corner tower, which was very typical for the Prague panorama and corner buildings was removed. The composition of the 1920 façade and the aestheticism of ornaments used on the building, applied, however, on the older neorenaissance masonry is of only average quality mainly neoclassicist. The technical execution of the façade from 1920 onto the older masonry shows new damages all the time and cracks on façade the deterioration process cannot be stopped despite maximum attempts from the owner. The 1920 reconstruction corner bays do not bear any signs of cubist morphology. This solution of the corner bays is traditional and does not represent anyting exceptional.
5 Support within the Media Zdeněk Lukeš: I only think that it is not exceptional architectural foto: Lidové noviny Praze bych p ál osvícené investory, špi kové architekty z r zných zemí a více mezinárodních sout ží, ekl v on-line rozhovoru serveru Lidovky.cz historik architektury Zden k Lukeš. Zde ka Lukeše se tená i ptali zejména na osud konkrétních staveb. Dále je zajímalo, pro se v hlavním m st narozdíl od ostatních sv tových metropolí neda í snoubit staré s novým? "Cesta zp t od totality k demokracii je, jak vidno, dlouhá a klikatá," odpov d l architekt. Václavské nám stí? Dokonalá galerie všech styl A co íká demolici domu na rohu Václavského nám stí a Opletalovy ulice? "Myslím si jen, že nejde o n jaké špi kové architektonické dílo. P vodní cenný neorenesan ní d m byl ve dvacátých letech zbaven dekorace a navýšen o dv patra. Stavba je zajímavá, ale za památku bych ji neozna il," tvrdí architekt. Václavské nám stí je podle architekta Lukeše dokonalá galerie všech architektonických styl od baroka p es klasicismus, historismus, secesi, art déco, konstruktivismus a funkcionalismus, sorelu až po sou asné styly. To je pro n j typické. A docela mu to sluší. "Snad se do káme i revitalizace podle nám stí dle projektu Jakuba Ciglera," uzavírá architekt. work. The original neo-renaissance building was rid of decoration and had two extra floors added in the 1920s. The building is interesting but I would not call it a monument. (Lidové noviny, 9 May 2012 rozhovor Richard Doležal: I think that the Wenceslas square is unlike the Old Town - a place where new buildings should be built. This building is not exceptional in any way and therefore could be replaced by a construction representing this era. (Lidové noviny Esprit, 2 May 2012) (8) A c itekt ric a d D ležal, akladatel kanceláře DaM, se na dil ost a ě, ystud al e Š ýca sku a Česku sbí á cenění. E15 > ZPRÁVY > NÁZORY > ROZHOVORY > JAKUB CIGLER: KRIZE ÚPLN ZM NILA Jakub Cigler: Buildings on Wenceslas square have been continuously changing since the times of Chatles IV. Even though the space is exactly defined. Prague * E15: Podívejme se na sou asné projekty v centru Prahy, které kv li bourání starších dom vyvolávají vášn. Vám osobn se líbí zamýšlená novostavba takzvaného Kv tinového domu na rohu Václavského nám stí a Opletalovy ulice nebo Novomlýnské brány na konci Revolu ní? Jako architekt bych objekty navrhl jinak. Ale na druhé stran by bylo nefér hlasovat proti. Oba projekty leží vzhledem ke své poloze na neuv iteln citlivé misce vah. Na Václavském nám stí se budovy neustále m nily už od dob Karla IV. I když prostor je stále p esn daný. Praha se vyvíjí. A te je otázka, kde je ta hranice. Která budova má takovou hodnotu, že má právo další desítky let z stat netknuta. A jaký objekt už do této kategorie nepat í, navíc když jeho majitel na zbourání intenzivn tla í. I když ada odborník, s nimiž si b žn rozumím, tvrdí, že by se tyto objekty bourat nem ly, tak jsem spíš lehce pro jejich zbourání. Ale je pravda, že když slyším opa nou argumentaci n koho, koho si vážím, tak znejistím. P estože obdivuji Prahu kv li tomu, co nám tady zachovali naši p edci, tak si myslím, že bychom si n jaký posun mohli dovolit. Nem li bychom zaujímat postoj, že každá zm na je k horšímu, a radikáln konzervovat. Je pot eba dívat se na Prahu novýma o ima. is developing. And now the question stands where is the line. Which building is of such a value that it has a right to remain untouched for more decades and which building no belongs to that category even when its owner is pushing for demolition. Even if a number of experts with whom I usually agree claim these buildings should not be demolished I am slightly more in favour of the demolition. (E15, 1 March 2012)
6 Changing Decisions June 2010 Expert Committee of Prague City Hall allows for VN47 replacement with new building VN47 current Head of Club of Old Prague: The Ministry of Culture do not question the qualities of this building, they say that it is a good building but does not have the quality to be necessarily listed as a cultural monument, I guess we all agree with this in the end. June 2010 Prague City Hall confirmed demolition possible in statement January 2011 Ministry of Culture In Prague 3 September 2012 No. MK 59673/2012 OPP File mark: MK-S 5052/2012 OPP withdrew June 2010 statement May Ministry of Culture cancelled their withdrawal April Ministry of Culture initiates review for potential of listing building a monument September Ministry of Culture declares the building should not be a cultural monument November Ministry of Culture asks for legal review of their September decision DECISION The Ministry of Culture as an authorised state administration body on the level of state monumental care determined by the regulation 2 par. 1 of the law no. 20/1987 Coll., on state monumental care in the later rules, does not declare building no. 1601/II on the plot no. 27, together with the plot no. 27, cadastral office Nové M sto, Prague 1, Opletalova 1, Václavské nám stí 47, as cultural monument. Conclusion Due to the above-mentioned reasons the Ministry of Culture did not declare the building in question as a cultural monument because it does not meet the conditions for declaring an object as a cultural monument in the sense of the provision 2of the law no. 20/1987 Coll., on state monumental care in the later rules. Mgr. Petra Ulbrichova Head of the Department of Cultural monument protection at the department of monumental care of the Minisitry of Culture. Degradation of buildings due to delays in administrative process.