Is Prague Ready for the Blob?
I've seen some pretty strange architectural renderings but the one above definitely ranks high on the wackiness scale. It's the Czech National Library by Jan Kaplicky, a new major building project set to go up in Prague. But is it too modern for the beautiful old city? The Guardian reports that the Mayor doesn't like it, the current President of the Republic doesn't like it, and the director of Prague's National Gallery believes it is too strong for the historic quarter in which the library will be situated.
The new plan for the library was the result of an international design competition in which 350 entries competed to built the £50m structure. Kaplicky's winning design is a 48 meter tall globular structure that has been likened to both a jellyfish and an octopus. Above ground are public spaces, reading rooms, and other public spaces while the 10 million books will be located down below and available via an automated retrieval system.
So far, the public seems to be on his side. In October, Kaplicky went on Czech television to debate the merits of the building wit the Mayor of Prague. And 12,000 people have signed a petition saying it should be built. Before Christmas Kaplicky presented the design to the Deputies and he is determined to get the project pushed through.