The Reconstruction of the Prague Crossroads
The most demanding task of the VIZE97 Foundation has been the creation of the Prague Crossroads International Centre. In 1999, a 99-year lease was concluded with the National Theatre for the unconsecrated church. The preparatory work for the reconstruction work then followed. On 9th January 2002, the Municipal Authority of Prague 1 issued the VIZE 97 Foundation with a building permit and the Foundation was thus able to begin the construction work. The first stage was completed in the same year – the elimination of the dampness from the outer walls. The second stage, which mainly consisted of the restoration of the wall frescos, took place in the following year. In 2003, the third and most important stage of the reconstruction work commenced and it was completed in 2004. On 5th October 2004, the VIZE 97 Awards were ceremonially presented at the Prague Crossroads Centre and the centre thus entered into operation.
From the very beginning, the VIZE 97 Foundation has endeavoured to approach the renewal of the Prague Crossroads using a highly sensitive and at the same time modern approach. This has enabled the creation of a unique cultural area for a seated audience of 440 members which is able to provide comfort comparable to other similarly oriented venues. The Prague Crossroads Centre now has a heated floor and a comprehensive electrical sound system and the church has been newly lighted inside and out. The English architect of Czech origin, Eva Jiřičná, who is the author of the architectural solution, has played a significant role in the overall success of the project. The site of the former altar painting now houses the work “Ecstatic Figure” by the well-known Czech painter, Adriena Šimotová. Other artists whose works have also contributed to the interior of the Prague Crossroads include Kurt Gebauer and Bořek Šípek.
Thanks to a grant from the World Monument Fund, the windows in the Prague Crossroads will be completely reconstructed in mid 2007. The VIZE 97 Foundation is now trying to acquire further funds for the highly expensive reconstruction of the roof and the church facade.