Designed by the architects Věra Machoninová and Vladimír Machonin, the building of the Czech embassy in Berlin is an architectural icon built at the heart of a divided city. Designed in 1972 and completed in 1978, the embassy was nicknamed “Raumschiﬀ Enterprise” – a spaceship that landed in the terrain vague in close proximity to the Berlin Wall. The embassy is an outstanding achievement of Brutalism in Berlin. Its unique features transcend the East-West diﬀerence in terms of creativity and style, expressed in the individual designs of the architects, their constructive abilities, art conceptions and craftsmanship. Despite these apparent qualities, the building’s contested reception as “communist” or “Eastern” and difficult maintenance continuously casts a shadow on its persistence as a cultural monument.
The exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the planning of the embassy, from the frst design in 1972 until today. It showcases a unique semi-staged photography series by renowned Berlin and Paris based photographers Simon Schnepp and Morgane Renou. The “archive” presents reproductions of historical plans from the National Gallery Prague, photography and a model from the Berlinische Galerie and original furniture designs by Věra Machoninová and Vladimír Machonin from the building.
Curator: Helena Huber-Doudová
Curator Czech Centre Berlin: Simona Binko
Photography: Schnepp Renou
Video: Nico Fritzenschaft
Architecture: Miroslav Pazdera
Graphics: Klára Kvízová, Matyáš Bartoň (KKGraphics)
Loans and archive material: Embassy of the Czech Republic in Berlin, Berlinische Galerie, Ministry of Foreign Aﬀairs of the Czech Republic, National Gallery Prague