The Dancing House

dancing houseThe Dancing House is the popular name given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building located in downtown Prague in the Czech Republic. This unique building follows a very non-traditional design in that it does not have the typical shape of an ordinary building. While looking at the Dancing House, one would likened it to a building seemingly melting down on its foundations as it seems to fall out of form towards the base.

The Dancing House was designed by Czech architect Vlado Milunic in collaboration with notable Canadian architect Frank Gehry. The Dancing house stands on a vacant riverfront lot which was previously occupied by a Neo-Renaissance building that was destroyed by a bombing raid during 1945.

The lot only occupied 491 square meters which pretty much seems limited space for which a building can be constructed. But both Milunic and Gehry took the challenge of designing a building fit to become an icon in Prague, as was the wish of Dutch bank ING, the owner of the said building.

The building was designed in 1992 and was constructed and completed in 1996. The main design, according to its architects, vaguely depicts a couple dancing.

In fact, the building was originally named Fred and Ginger, after famed classic Hollywood dancing couple Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The Dancing house is a prime example of deconstructivist architecture with its unusual shape. The structure is made up of 99 concrete panels, each one of different shape and dimension.

The Dancing House stands apart from the various Neo-Gothic, Neo-Baroque and Art Noveau buildings that Prague became known for. This unique building even invited controversy and caused a big public debate due to its unusual design and shape. But since then, the city has come to embrace the Dancing House and has since become one of the city’s main tourist attractions.

 
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