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Author: Pavel Karous
Release year: 2019
An exceptional building with an eventful history and a tragic end. The legendary Dejvic Hotel Prague comes to life again - in the extensive monograph of the same name by the sculptor, publicist and tireless defender of art in the public space by Pavel Karous and his co-authors. The 250-page book maps the history of the creation, operation and shameful demise of this unique building by the quartet of architects Paroubek, Navrátil, Černé and Sedláček from the late 1970s.
The hotel, originally built for the communist elite, became a showcase of the best that was architecturally and designally possible at the time - perhaps paradoxically without ideological coloration. Lighting was designed by the brilliant Stanislav Libenský or Pavel Hlava, designer lamps by Karel Volf, sculptural decoration by Břetislav Benda and Miloš Krátký. The furniture was designed by Zbyněk Hřivnáč, among others.
Over the years, such friends of socialism as Yasser Arafat and Muammar Gaddafi have enjoyed the luxury of rooms and apartments with a view of the Prague Castle (at that time completely equipped with color televisions and refrigerators, as well as standard surveillance by the StB secret police). The luxurious and highly refined premises of the hotel were transferred to Prague after the fall of the regime and served not only VIP guests (e.g. musician BBKing or Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Nicol Kidman), but also the general public. Unfortunately, at the dawn of the new millennium, the hotel was privatized by controversial companies, and the Ministry of Culture subsequently, despite numerous interventions by architects and historians, refused to grant it monument status. In the tragic finale, the billionaire Kellner eventually sent the entire building to the ground. Hotel Praha – this is not only the story of unique architecture, but also the transformation of Czech society from real socialism to real capitalism.
The monograph is published as the missing and overdue epitaph of this exceptional building this May by BiggBoss publishing house in cooperation with UMPRUM . The provocative cover was created by Vladimir 518, the graphic form of the book was printed by Tereza Hejmová and Terezie Štindlová. Together with Pavlo Karous (author of the project and the book of the same name, Intruders Volavky, mapping art in public space before 1989), art historians Ladislav Zikmund-Lender and Milena Bartlová and documentarian Martin Kohout participated in the publication.
Concept of the book and editor: Pavel Karous
Texts: Milena Bartlová, Pavel Karous, Martin Kohout, Ladislav Zikmund-Lender, Markéta Žáčková
Graphic editing and typesetting: Tereza Hejmová, Terezie Štindlová
Cover illustration: Vladimir 518
Floor plan illustration: Bára Růžičková
Prepress preparation: Radek Typovský
Photographs: Jaroslav Bejvl Jr., Jiří Benák, Patrik Borecký, Tomáš Brabec, Radek Brousil, Marie Foltýnov., Anton.n Hepnar, Pavel Karous, Kateřina Krejčov., Tomáš Lahoda, Martin Mádl, Pavel Matela, NANOVO , National Monument Institute, Jiří Pink, Prague Auctions, B.ra Pr.šilov., Profimedia, Květoslav Přibyl, Tomáš Rasl, Jan Sedláček, Pavel Šimáček, Filip Šlapal, Philip Topolovac, Ondřej Tylčer, Gabriel Urb.nek, Aliens and Herons, Zdeněk Wasserbauer, Jaroslav Zahradník, Martin Zet, Jiří Zikmund, Ladislav Zikmund-Lender