You’ve probably heard of the Charles Bridge, the famous historic bridge crossing the Vltava River to Prague Castle, as well as the Malá Strana district and Prague Old Town. However, do you know about the Dancing House in Prague?
There is a really unusual building in Prague called the “Dancing House” or “Ginger & Fred”. It is a fine example of deconstructivist (New-Baroque) architecture and was designed by Canadian-American architect Franck Gehry and Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunic. It all started when ING commissioned them to build an icon of the city of Prague and offered them almost unlimited funding to do so.
Built after the fall of communism, the Dancing Building symbolizes the renewal and change in the Czech society. At the beginning it wasn’t to everyone’s taste, however bit by bit this unusual building, nicknamed the “Drunk Building” by some, started to become part of the lovely Prague cityscape. When it was completed in 1996, it received the “Design of the Year” award by the American Time magazine.
The Dancing Building represents a woman, Ginger, and a man, Fred, inspired by the legendary dancing partners Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Fred is on the right with Ginger on the left, leaning towards him as if the house was dancing.
The idea was to highlight the flexibility of architecture, which can sometimes be harsh and rigid, as well as a touch of madness and the joy of a country that had long been deprived of their freedom. Consisting of office space, the Dancing Building has nine floors, however on the top floor there is a chic restaurant called the “Céleste” offering high quality French cuisine and looking out directly to Prague Castle for some fabulous views.
So, what do you think? Can you imagine living or working in a dancing house?