Feb 17, 2024

Glass-Covered Building in Prague’s Historic Center Faces Opposition

The company R2G, currently renovating Prague’s Intercontinental Hotel, unveiled plans to transform the adjacent Miloš Forman Square, sparking concerns about a proposed commercial building.

Previously, R2G proposed a 17-meter glass building with the working name “Brand Store,” triggering local opposition and an online petition signed by over 2,000 people.

While construction was approved in 2020, it faced opposition from the Institute of Planning and Development and Prague 1 district management.

The InterContinental Hotel and the plaza are currently owned by the group WIC Prague, a part of investment fund R2G.

The group is currently renovating the hotel and is also changing its name to Golden Prague Hotel managed by Fairmont. R2G is run by Czech billionaires Oldřich Šlemr, Pavel Baudiš, and Eduard Kučera.

The modification of the area around the hotel, including the square, is called Staroměstská brána (Old Town Gate).

Opponents of Brand Store say it destroys the character of the area and also blocks the view of the hotel and other significant landmarks.

Za starou Prahu (Club for Old Prague) has clearly expressed its disagreement with the planned shopping center. Club chairwoman Kateřina Bečková and vice chairman Richard Biegel, said the open space should be preserved as part of the overall concept of the Brutalist-style hotel.

The former mayor of Prague 1, Pavel Čižinský, is one of the opponents. He said a petition against the project got 500 signatures in five days, despite anti-COVID measures.

Čižinský claims the opinion of Prague’s Monuments Department is in conflict with the expert opinion of the NPÚ, which wants to declare the InterContinental Hotel and its surroundings, including náměstí Miloše Formana, as a cultural monument.

The debate between development and preservation in Prague’s historic center continues. Will this modern glass structure revitalize the square or overshadow its charm?

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