Documenting Prague’s maligned socialist architecture — one photo at a time

Documenting Prague’s maligned socialist architecture — one photo at a time
The New Stage of the National Theatre. Image: Matouš Pudil

28 July 2021

If you think you don’t have enough socialist modernist architecture in your Instagram feed, @prgbrut is the compendium you need to get to grips with the built heritage of Prague.

Wander through the Czech capital, stopping by a 1980s futuristic information centre, which today houses the headquarters of the EU space programme, or the 1960s steep concrete spires of the Emmaus Monastery, which had its roof destroyed in the 1945 air raids on Prague.

The account curator and photographer, Matouš Pudil, says his experience living abroad in Vienna, Milan, and London helped him see the value of the brutalist and socialist modernist architecture in his hometown. “This is my way of showing locals that the architecture that Czechs connect with the detested communist regime is really diverse, valuable, and that we should respect it more,” he told The Calvert Journal.

In the past few years, Prague lost two brutalist landmarks: Hotel Praha and Transgas. However, Pudil says that the attitude to Prague’s socialist heritage is slowly changing. One positive example is the recent listing of the New Stage of the National Theatre. “I hope that more buildings will be listed, so that we can be sure that the past will be preserved,” the 25-year-old says.

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