Sculpture Installation at Royal Riding Stables, Prague Castle

Sculpture Installation at Royal Riding Stables, Prague Castle

CZ, Praha


The site specific installation that will change the viewers perception of his architectural context, not only through the pyshical dimensions of the piece. but through its optical effect as well.

The most important task towards the realization of our concept is to find the most suitable location. The terrace garden of the Jízdárna at Prague castle presents an ideal site. The Castle is a unique because it pulsates with life, under a continual state of change from one generation to the next. In spite of its significance as the seat of the Czech nation. it has not become a museum relic like other capital buildings around the world. This is because two kinds Of spaces exist there. One is the space loaded with meaning, where any structural addition can destroy its integrity of which Zlatá ulička is one good example. But there are also places in the Castle where structure can add integrity by bringing people closer to existing architecture. The terrace garden is such a place. The garden itself is situated in a fascinating location for three pricipal reasons:

  1. It is located on the edge of a deep ravine that looks out onto a spectacular View of the Prague Castle.
  2. The other side of the terrace is formed by the Jizdarna's L-shaped structure which creates a dynamic contrast in scale to the panorama of the Castle.
  3. The strong rythm of the Jizdarna's facade establishes a unique scale to Terrace itself.

However, the area where people actually walk and view these dynamic features is almost barren. Aside from the trimmed bushes, the garden is falt and undynamic. Ail interest in this space lies on the periphery. not on the site itself. Our installation will unite aspects of the periphery and bring them into the garden physically. The viewer will not only be surrounded by rythm, scale and panorama, he will interact with them as well. Thus the addition of structure will add integrity to this space.

We propose to create and temporarily exihibit a series of fifteen identical freestanding sculptures. roughly two-and-a-meters tall, by one, meter square, spread linearly over an area of seventy-one meters. They will be situated between the Jizdarna, and the area of trimmed bushes and fountains, essentially dividing the garden into two poles. This will allow the objects to be seen from all points of the garden. Each sculpture will be formed by a glass core, roughly ten centimeters in diameter running vertically through the center of the structure. Adjacent to the glass will be four steel Wings that will form across around the core, making both the glass core and iťs steel enclosure visible from all sides. Optically, the contrast between the transparent glass and the opaque Steel Wings will create a unique rythm and dialog within the parameters of the garden. This will establish a foundation for the differing perceptions Oĺ space and structure in and around the site. Before the viewer can interact with sculptures physically, he must percieve the installation's optical and in conjunction with the garden's plan and structure. After this recognition it becomes obvious that the space and distance between each object are as important as the objects themselves. Therefore every physical change in position the viewer makes in the garden changes the relationship to both the installation and to his architectural environment. Thus the garden becomes not not only a platform for seeing the obvious, but a machine for perceiving the subtleties that exist beteen architecture and space. In conclusion, we feel that this project will not only add to the landscape of Prague Castle, but Will be an important public sculpture for the city of Prague. We hope that after our installation has been exhibited the terrace garden will continue to be a place where artists and architects can create and exhibit new works. This is an innovative and significant opportunity to continue the evolution of the Castle, by adding our generation's voice to those of generations past. As Josip Plečnik understood so well, the true beauty of the Castle is its capacity not only to serve as a symbol of the Czech nation politically, but culturally as well. The transformation of the terrace garden from a simple vantage point to a vibrant space for art will maintain the tradition of Plečnik and others Who have left their architectural and artistic legacy for us to apprecia;te.

Thomas Kotík
Marek Topič
Marcel Turic


DAM 20

CZ, Praha 06/2009
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