Dancing House: The Rhythm of Deconstruction

Located in Prague, Czech Republic today, Dancing House is undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous deconstructivist buildings. The structure, named after the famous dance duo Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, is a deep philosophical tradition that criticizes western rationalism. In other words, the name Dancing House is just an inadequate mention of looks. However, the building is one of Prague’s icons today, and it is hard to say that it does not resemble the silhouette of two dancing people.

Coming Change with Dancing House

Dancing House is being built in Prague between 1994-1996 in a corner with very classical style buildings. The company that owns the project is the world-famous ING Bank. The company purchases the location of a building that was damaged during WWII and then demolished. Their only wish for the new project to be made here is to make a real impression. For this reason, Frank Gehry accesses an opportunity that many architects had little in their careers; an almost unlimited budget.

When ING Bank’s desire to make a sound and Frank Gehry’s imagination come together, Dancing House emerges. Of course, it is clear at that time that the deconstructivist current inspired Gehry. An architectural understanding free from right angles and all rationalism shows itself in Dancing House.

Although this innovative project is accepted and loved worldwide today, it was not liked by the region’s people when Gehry built the building first. Prague residents claim that the building disrupts the historic fabric of the street and, on a large scale, Prague’s city. However, today, Dancing House symbolizes the modern world’s peculiarity on the corner of a street full of classical buildings.

The Cost of Strangeness

If we were to describe the Dancing House in one word, we think that word would be ‘strange.’ We believe it would be the only standard definition for many ‘strange’ deconstructivist structures. As we mentioned, these structures completely reject conventional forms. For them, there is no need for all joints to be ninety degrees or all windows to be in line.
In light of this information, when we examine Dancing House, we cannot find a point where we can say “proper.” From the columns to the façade, none of the building’s issues have connections as we used to do before.

The first mass is an inclined glass tower. There are cafes on the ground floor. The bearing columns of this tower, which are the points that should feel the most robust, rise inclined. Although this slope makes the tower seem unstable, it is evident that the building is stable and safe. That is what deconstructivist architects are trying to do. They take the structural elements of the buildings and distort them. In this way, they will surprise the user.

The second mass is a reinforced concrete building that stands parallel to the river across the street. The windows of this building do not continue in a single alignment. They are arranged to create an undulating movement. It is this sequence that gives the Dancing House the feeling of moving. Some comments say that the reinforced concrete second structure was designed to connect with the river’s dynamism. It is possible to see a flowing movement in the building and the river.

Creating flow motion and windows that are not in alignment with each other may seem easy at first glance. After all, if deconstructivism opposes order, one should complete all that needs to create chaos and take advantage of randomness. But of course, this is not the case. Dancing House is also proof of how delicate planning and conscious deconstruction is. Ninety-nine concrete panels, none of which are the same as the other, were produced to form the reinforced concrete structure’s facade.

These panels are carefully and, of course, placed in the structure in order. Briefly Dancing House; It is a project with a low error margin; each part has been carefully designed and thought over.

When talking about Dancing House, people generally mention the use of concrete, steel, and glass. It is not surprising to see these materials while creating an extraordinarily modern building. However, there is also a mesh metal dome called Medusa on the roof of Dancing House. The metal cover has no function. It is on the top of the building as a sculptural extension.

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