Must-visit Design Destinations
While in Prague, every design enthusiast should visit at least these four places.
Museum of Decorative Arts
17. listopadu 2, Prague 1 – Old Town, www.upm.cz
The Museum’s glass collection, one of two most notable in all of Europe, is in a fine reason to visit in and of itself, but the newly-renovated Museum of Decorative Arts has much more to offer: ceramics and porcelain, textile and fashion, toys, jewellery, and even graphic design and photography items, plus a beautiful interior. The local shop is well worth a visit, too.
Ovocný trh 19, Prague 1 – Old Town, www.czkubismus.cz
The long-term exhibition by the Museum of Decorative Arts in the landmark House at the Black Madonna provides a cross-section of works by early 20th century Czech architects and artists who took the principles of Cubism beyond visual art – to architecture and applied arts, namely ceramics, furniture, lighting, and more. (Don’t forget to take a photo of the stunning staircase.) You can conclude the visit with a coffee and pastry at the Cubist-style Grand Café Orient on the second floor, or acquire a Cubist artefact or two in the Kubista store downstairs.
Obecní dům (Municipal House)
nám. Republiky 5, Prague 1 – Old Town, www.obecnidum.cz
This late Art Nouveau blossom, which wasn’t finished until 1911, deserves to be seen on a guided tour. Guided tours (bookable in advance) are the only way you can gain access into the Municipal House’s many breathtaking interiors. Decorated with mosaics, frescoes, ceramic tile, sumptuous chandeliers, hand-embroidered drapes, and other fine details, the whole impresses with its harmony of shapes and colours, as well as stellar craftsmanship throughout.
The Müller Villa
Nad Hradním vodojemem 14, Prague 6 – Střešovice, www.mullerovavila.cz
The spare external form of the famous villa by architect Adolf Loos gives no hint of what’s inside: without a doubt, one of Prague’s most stunning interiors. Its dynamic arrangement, modelled after Loos’ revolutionary Raumplan theory, luxury materials, colour scheme and one-of-a-kind furniture designed by the architect himself combine to make a visit to the villa a visual feast. Please note: a tour of the villa must be booked in advance via the abovementioned web site.