Vlado Milunic, designer of Prague’s iconic Dancing House, has died

Vlado Milunić

Vlado Milunic, the designer of Prague’s iconic Dancing House, has died at the age of 81. The Croatian architect, who spent most of his life in Czechia, co-designed the building with Frank Gehry in the mid-1990s.

The Dancing House | Photo: Radio Prague International

The unusual, curved structure, built on a vacant spot on the Rašín embankment, distinctly resembles a dancing couple. Indeed, it is sometimes referred to as Ginger & Fred, a nickname suggested by Gehry.

The Dancing House was completed in 1996, but the concept for the building was actually conceived much earlier. The idea emerged in discussions with the late Czech president and dissident Václav Havel, who for decades lived right next to the spot where the building was erected.

Today the Dancing House is considered to be the most distinctive modern building in Prague and one of the city’s most popular landmarks, which attracts thousands of tourists and architecture lovers.

Photo: Jedudedek,  Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY 3.0

However, at the time when it was completed, the Dancing House sparked a lot of controversy. Many people claimed that the unusual structure, standing close to the city’s historical centre, didn’t fit in with the surrounding buildings.

Milunic, who for years taught at the Czech Technical University in Prague, is also known for his quirky housing estate in the district of Petřiny.

The Dancing House / PRAHA