Building Series: The Eccentric

18 November, 2021

Dancing House

Ah, the romance of dance, especially when legendary duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were in the house! The Dancing House, designed by Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry, is a blend of static and dynamic elements, inspired by the iconic American dancers. Enthusiastic Kansas City readers came up with titles for what came to be known as “The Community Bookshelf” project. The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees and City Council announced the final book selections on March 16, 2004. 

The Nationale-Nederlanden building, AKA the Dancing House, is intended to symbolize Czechoslovakia’s transition from communism to a parliamentary democracy.

The exterior
Called deconstructivism architecture because of its unusual curvy shape and fragmented feeling, the building consists of two distinct sections. The glass tower on the left (Ginger) narrows halfway up rather like a waistline and is supported by curved pillars. The second section (Fred) runs alongside the river and features undulating moldings and windows that don’t align neatly.
The interior
Inside—a relatively small 42,797 square feet—the esthetic adventure continues. Each floor’s layout differs because of the asymmetry of the building, so each room’s layout varies as well. 
Originally, the lobby and the seven floors above it housed retail and office space. The ninth floor was a restaurant.

In 2016, Luxury Suites created a 21-room hotel on two of the building’s floors. The renovation also included apartments in each of the towers, the Ginger & Fred Restaurant, a glass-enclosed bar, and an art gallery.
Time magazine recognized The Dancing House for its innovative design in 1997. And Architect Magazine named it one of the five most important buildings in the 1990s.
We hope you’ll join us on December 16th for our next installment.  if you’d like to provide feedback, we would welcome it.  You can choose to share your name or remain anonymous.

The Eccentric

Name and location: Dancing House, Prague, Czech Republic
Style: Deconstructivism
Year completed: 1996
Architects: Vlado MilunićFrank Gehr