The Center for Architecture is presenting its first major exhibition focusing on Eastern European design, Prague Functionalism: Tradition and Contemporary Echoes. First shown at Prague’s Jaroslav Fragner Gallery, this is the exhibition’s U.S. premiere.
The exhibition focuses on the architecture of interwar Czechoslovakia, and contemporary projects that take inspiration from this period. Functionalist structures built in the 1920s and 1930s contrast with the more recognized Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings in Prague. Patrons will be able to see photographs and drawings of structures both built and not built, alongside texts provided by architectural scholars and researchers.
Block of flats with OKO cinema, J.Stockar-Bernkopf, J. Solc. Copyright National Technical Museum.
“Prague was one of the most important centers of modern architecture and design in Europe during the interwar period, comparable with the Bauhaus in Germany or the architecture of the Dutch De Stijl group,” said exhibition curator Zdenek Lukes.
The Functionalist style was pioneered by the middle class and used for a wide variety of pubic structures, including tenement houses, administrative buildings, schools and churches. The modern revival of the avant-garde by contemporary architects adapted the style to emphasize austerity, elementary shapes and structural logic.
Euro Palace, DaM. Copyright Filip Slapal.
To highlight the legacy of this style, the exhibition includes models of historic and contemporary buildings and reproductions of furniture designs by Jindrich Halabala, made exclusively by Modernista.
The exhibition has been curated by Zdenek Lukes, Petr Kratochvíl, Dan Merta, Dominik Herzan, Josef Vomacka, and Petr Pistvek. It will run from Feb. 12, 2015 to May 23, 2015.