Prague’s Ship Wreck Tower


Skyscrapers can be controversial for many reasons, whether they alter a beloved cityscape or have a negative impact on local communities.

But sometimes one comes along that simply offends people’s visual sensibilities.

Hot on the heels of the strikingly phallic London tower known as the Tulip comes the Top Tower, a planned project that looks like an oil tanker crashed into a office block.

The 135-meter tower will become the tallest building in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, if it is approved by planning authorities.

Designed by sculptor David Černý and architect Tomáš Císař, the Top Tower will offer views over the city from a public viewing point accessible via exterior lifts, according to statement from developer Trigema.

It will primarily be used for rental housing, with offices and a cultural center on lower levels. There will also be a publicly accessible roof garden, and shops on the ground floor.

Černý is famed for his controversial works including Entropa, a sculpture commissioned to mark the Czech Republic’s presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2009 that depicts each EU country using a national stereotype.

France can be seen covered in a banner which reads “Greve!” (Strike!), while Belgium is a box of half eaten chocolates and Sweden is an IKEA box.

Černý’s proposed tower will be situated near the Nové Butovice metro stop in the city suburbs.

Prague’s historic downtown is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and high-rise buildings are completely banned in the city center.

“We have been preparing the Top Tower project for more than two years and the final version was preceded by eight other alternative proposals,” said Marcel Soural, Chairman of the Board of Trigema.

“During this time, we have collected and are still collecting input from experts, affected national and local authorities, and of course the local public, whose representatives have already been and will continue to participate in a number of participatory negotiations.”

If approved, construction could start in 2021 and take three years, according to Trigema.

The project will cost 2 billion Czech Crowns ($84.5 million).

By Jack Guy


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