In 1996 a really unusual office building was opened in Prague, the “Dancing House”. It was built in the deconstructivist style and was designed by Vlado Milunić and Frank O. Gehry.
Till 1945, the office complex was a residential building. Unfortunately, the Americans accidentally destroyed the building during an attack in World War II. After the surface was cleared, it lay idle for a while.
Various plans were developed and initially, everything looked like a cultural centre with a library, theatre and café were to be built. But no investor could be found.
A bank finally acquired the land and financed the construction of the “Dancing House”.
The building is located directly on the river Vltava and next to a bridge. Concrete piers were driven into the ground and the house was erected on a concrete slab resting on them. Specially designed façade elements form the structure of the nine-storey building. One side of the structure carries stainless steel tubes at the top of the tower, which are to represent the head of the Medusa. According to the ideas of architects Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry, the building is intended to symbolize a dialogue between the static concepts and the dynamic changes in society.
Others see a dancer in a pleated dress of glass, leaning on a gentleman with a hat. The people of Prague affectionately call the ensemble “Ginger and Fred”. A homage to the famous dance couple Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.
The building was controversially discussed when it opened. The modern building stood out from the old structures surrounding it, destroying the harmonious overall image of the city. Today, it attracts visitors in Prague just as much as the Charles Bridge or Prague Castle.