Transgas

Location

Prague, Czech Republic

50.0783808, 14.4330656

Author

Military Project Institute*

Architects

Built in

1976

The unusual shape of the Transgas building was dictated by specific criteria for housing the super computers, but it also shows a newly acquired sense of artistic freedoom by the architects. Unfortunately, this gem of Czechoslovakian architecture is awaiting demolition.

In 1970, Czechoslovakia was responsible for the transportation of gas from the USSR to Western Europe. Czechoslovakia had been commissioned to build a 1,030 kilometres long transit pipeline across its territory. In order to secure its operation, the Transgas Gas Transit Control Centre was constructed between 1966 and 1976.

Four architects worked on the design: Ivo Loos, Jindřich Malátka, Václav Aulický and Jan Eisenreich from the Military Project Institute. The architect Jan Fišer also participated in the design of the interiors. The first part of the build to be completed was the central dispatching complex; Václav Aulický’s technical approach is most visible in this aspect of the design. The construction of the project originated at a time when the political atmosphere in Czechoslovakia seemed to have eased. These political conditions allowed the architects to show off the qualities they possessed in full, just like their Western European colleagues, setting this creation free from the suppression of society, as it had been before this period.

A financially demanding part of the entire build was the construction of a telemetric control panel, which needed to accommodate the state-of-the-art computing technology equipment. Isolating the pair of General Electric PAC 4010 computers from vibration and noise required space. This condition had to be incorporated into the structure, which in turn dictated the unusual shape of the building. These adaptations to the design created a unique result.

The Old Prague Club (Klub Za starou Prahu) attempted to preserve the building, but their proposal to declare it a cultural monument was rejected by the Ministry of Culture. There is nothing to prevent its private owner, HB Reavis, from taking the building down. A new project, designed by architect Jakub Cigler, will be built on the site once the Transgas building has been demolished.

*Transgas was planned by architects Václav Aulický, Jiří Eisenreich, Ivo Loos and Jindřich Malátek.

Text by Barbora Slavíčková

Function

1976Dispatching complex

2018 None

Ownership

1976 State

2018 Phibell s.r.o.

Condition

1976

2018 Abandoned, earmarked for demolition

Property Management

1976

2018 Herbis Reavis Property Management CZ, s.r.o.

Form of government

1976 Socialist Federative Republic

2018 Parliamentary Democracy

Spatial Planning Agency

1976

2018

Type of heritage and protection

1976

2018 None