Andrea Deng, architect in Andy Costa’s team at Ryder, gives an insight into a recent team trip to Prague.
Having arrived in a brilliantly warm Prague, we wasted no time beginning our journey in the northern half of the city with the National Library of Technology first on our hit list. Characterised by the contrasting external curved glass façade alongside the internal exposed concrete finishes, it’s most definitely a bold and unmissable building.
We were lucky enough to have our own personal tour guides – two good friends of Ryder partner, Andy. We were welcomed to their offices with glasses of whiskey and a brief project presentation. Though most exciting about this was the app showcasing the projects, an interactive model used to extract plans and sections by simply touching the 3D model – admittedly not the best time to test out technology combined with alcohol.
Despite being incredibly intrigued, we stepped away from the innovative technologies in favour of Czech beer tasting in a local pub, a truly amazing experience. This was followed by an equally traditional Czech restaurant featuring Goulash and other delightful local delicacies.
Our second day began on a relaxed note at the Museum of Cubism as we each appreciated the flamboyant cubist style of the beautifully decorated café. We continued, moving to the charming Old Town which hosts fantastic views over the River Vltava from the Charles Bridge. Crossing over to the east part of the river and castle, we were joined by another of Andy’s friends whose practice is located in the tranquil and leafy neighbourhood of the Castle Parc and offered another vibrant insight to the city.
Overwhelmed by the history, we passed by Frank Gehry’s Dancing House as we headed back to the Old Town allowing us a brief break to be charmed by its eccentricity.
We enjoyed our last evening visiting Mlynek, a superb restaurant by the Charles Bridge arches, where we enjoyed finely decorated dishes and live jazz music.
Thank you to Ryder for the wonderful opportunity, time flies as you travel through this beautiful city, its uniqueness so distinctive in the heart of Europe. History is predominant, but modern interventions intertwine.