Exhibit Examines Legacy of Functionalist Architecture in Prague
Prague may be famous for its Gothic and Baroque architecture, but the interwar period also gave rise to a new signature style. Functionalism, which emerged in the 1920s, was influenced by the Bauhaus and strove to strip away superfluous ornamentation in favor of simple, clean lines.
Prague Functionalism: Tradition and Contemporary Echoes, which was originally presented at the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague, opens at the Center for Architecture in New York City on February 12 and runs through May 23. It marks the U.S. premiere of the exhibition and the first time that the Center for Architecture has devoted a major exhibition to Eastern European design.
Functionalism was effectively over by the time of the communist putsch in 1948, but a new generation of architects has revived the style, modifying and updating it through a series of new structures that have remade Prague’s urban landscape. Through photographs, drawings, and models, Prague Functionalism explores both the original movement and the bold, new buildings that it inspired.
Will Lamb is a writer and editor based in Jersey City, New Jersey. He served as a senior editor at Dwell from 2013 to 2015.