Monday, 21 December 2009

The Old Pavilion and Bowling Alley

As promised, a photograph of the new café in the reconstructed pavilion of the Grébovka. The three interconnecting wings of the wooden pavilion were designed in the 1870s by Josef Shulz, who was also the architect of the villa itself, to contain a bowling alley and indoor shooting gallery. With a style strongly influenced by the Italian renaissance, Schulz was one of Prague's leading architects, also responsible for the Rudolfinum concert hall on the banks of the Vltava.


One wing has now been re-built in a modern style, although its gable end is original. In this shot of the cafe interior, we can see the wooden bowling alley, which has also been restored, across the snowy garden courtyard. The third side of the pavilion, which links these two, is to be used for wedding receptions.

The total cost of the project - including the refurbishment of some beautifully painted lunette-shaped panels -was 70m crowns, or £2.4m. The restoration was a condition of the purchase of the villa and its associated buildings by the US-based CEELI Institute, a non-profit organization specializing in legal training. They use the villa as their global headquarters, but had to agree to provide public benefit in the form of a place for me to have my cappuccino. I raise my cup to them.

More photos of the reconstruction tomorrow

2 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

Wow - what a wonderful, glass spot to relax with a friend and some treats! The outside comes inside with that design!

Tulsa Gentleman said...

Bravo! Let us raise our cups to cappuccino diplomacy. Bravo!

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