20 Sep 2014 - 21 Sep 2014
Open House London: Embassy of the Czech Republic
Following last year’s success, Czech Embassy will open its doors to the local communities and anyone interested during the popular Open House London weekend, the capital's greatest architectural showcase visited by over a quarter million people each year.
The Czech Embassy
was originally part of one complex – the Czechoslovak Embassy - designed by
Czech architects Jan Šrámek, Jan Bočan and Karel Štepánský in association with
Robert Matews of Johnson - Marshall and Partners. The realisation started in
1965 and finished in 1970.
In its time the complex of the Czechoslovak Embassy was considered an important modern architectural achievement. It was granted the prestigious RIBA Architecture Award in 1971. The jurors explained their decision by the following comment: "Unlike so many examples of precast concrete buildings which are weathering badly, this one is a refined example of its kind, skilfully detailed technically and aesthetically."
The aesthetic effect of the building lied in the creative combination of coarse concrete and glass surfaces, which makes the Czech Embassy a prime example of brutalist architecture, a style that spawned from the modernist architectural movement and flourished from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. Brutalist buildings are typically geometrical, blockish and predominantly concrete with key interest in the functionality of the construction.
In 1993, when the Czech Republic and Slovakia came into existence as two separate countries, the complex of the Czechoslovak Embassy was divided between them.
Entrance Free, open from 10 am to
Open House London celebrates all that is best about the capital’s buildings, places and neighbourhoods. Every September, it gives a unique opportunity to get out and under the skin of London’s amazing architecture, with over 700 buildings of all kinds opening their doors to everyone – all for free. The dates for 2014 are 21 & 22 September. http://www.londonopenhouse.org/
As part of
the Open House London 2014, the Czech Embassy is also hosting an exhibition War
Photographers, which presents the work of three
outstanding Czech photographers, soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Army, whose
collections of negatives and photographs have remained unknown for almost
ninety years. War Photographers exhibition is organised by The Czech Centre.
More information about the exhibition
Embassy of the Czech Republic, 26 - 30 Kensington Palace Gardens London W8 4QY
From: 20 Sep 2014
To: 21 Sep 2014
Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event