Czech: Tančící dům
Location: Rašínovo nábřeží 80, 120 00 Praha 2
Tram: 17, 21
The Dancing House is the nickname given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building in downtown Prague, Czech Republic. The junction where Resslova meets the river at Rašínovo nábřeží is dominated by the Dancing Building, built in 1996 by architects Yugoslavian-born Czech architect Vlado Milunić and Canadian architect Frank Gehry. The curved lines of the narrow-waisted glass tower clutched against its more upright and formal partner led to it being christened the ‘Fred & Ginger Building’, after legendary dancing duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It’s surprising how well it fits in with its ageing neighbours.
The very non-traditional design was controversial at the time. Czech president Václav Havel, who lived for decades next to the site, had supported it, hoping that the building would become a center of cultural activity. Originally named Fred and Ginger (after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – the house vaguely resembles a pair of dancers) the house stands out among the Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau buildings for which Prague is famous. Others have nicknamed it “Drunk House”.
The La Perle de Prague, housed on the top floor, is a French restaurant with magnificent views of the city and one of Prague’s top restaurants – and one of its most expensive. Locals and expats alike go La Perle de Prague to propose, to celebrate, or to show off. The building’s other tenants include several multinational firms.