The Architecture, in the Middle of Time and Space Perception: The Dancing House

Culture Tourism

Read Time: 5 min 47 sec

Translation by YAVAS, Gamze


We proceed swiftly in the age of rush. We are exposed to thousands of contents, news, videos, and photographs. We lose our perception of time, as technology continues to be indispensable in our lives. In fact, when we are trying to capture many of the things that are normal to miss, we are losing the place we are in, the people we are with and the memories we are living, in other words, we are losing everything that we have. We are quickly in new expectations. We can't enjoy what we consume. That's why we can't get enough of anything. We want to travel a lot, but we can't go beyond superficial trips. These reasons, which we will see as the problems of our age, are affecting us all.

Despite all these negativities, I want to take those who want to enjoy the taste of time-space perception to Prague wherein the heart of Central Europe. I take you to the building known as Dancing House, where Located on the edge of the Vltava River passing through Prague city center, that literally visual, intuitive, and sensory image elements meeting amazing architecture.

(The Dancing House, Prague City Center)

Actually, Dancing House immediately attracts your attention with its difference in a region where there are baroque and gothic style elegant buildings and structures that dominate the entire city of Prague. The reason for this difference is the reason for building construction. Dancing House is a structure that Nationale-Nederlanden, a Dutch-based insurance company, brought to the city of Prague in collaboration with architect Vlado Milunić and architect Frank Gehry. It is in a place on the riverside of the Vltava River in 1996, in the area that devastated by the Czech Bombing in 1945.

(Vltava River and Dancing House)

This structure has a design in the style of deconstructivism (postmodern architectural trend), not in accordance with traditional architectural trends. It is also called Fred and Ginger because it is originally dedicated to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (Hollywood's famous dancing couple in the 1930s) and symbolizing the two dancing partners. The structure consists of 99 concrete panels that each one of them located differently. The materials used in the structure are precast concrete, steel, and glass. On the top of the building, there is a twisted metal structure nicknamed 'Medusa'. This dome structure was created by covering the metal bars with a metal mesh layer. 

(1945 and 2010)

The Dancing House is formed of two blocks. The first block is a glass tower supported by inclined columns. The second block has a wavy structure running parallel to the river. These wavy shapes and windows formed with molds do not line up linearly so that it was giving the building the effect of moving. On the ground floor of the building, there are cafes directly connected by the river and the square in front of it. There are offices from the second floor to the seventh floor of the building. On the top floor, there is a restaurant where panoramic views of the city can also be seen. 

(Street View)

Architecture communicates visually with the human mind by means of the products it objectified. This architectural structure makes your track of time lost when you stand directly opposite the Dancing House. Personally I say, when the first time I saw it, I remembered the last dance scene of the 1987 movie "Dirty Dancing" which is a very classic work of American cinema (Hollywood). I started to hear the song named "The Time of My Life" of that scene, which received the Oscar award for the best song in 1988. The visual dimension of architecture had come alive in my mind leaving some traces. Those who have a passion for architecture know this thought very well that the architectural work of art has the ability and flexibility to shape human perceptions and to act perception. I'm sure when you are at this point, Dancing House will leave traces in your mind.

(Dirty Dancing Film)

Feeling the different projections left by architecture in every person makes this work immortal that was made many years ago. The way of perception of space shifts according to each person, it can also create differences in the mind according to the time. The Dancing House should be visited as a great visit point for those who want to turn their passion for architecture into the memory in the curves of their mind.




© Photos by Ulman, Erkan R.

* Except '1945 and 2020' and 'Dirty Dancing Film'

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