Department store Kotva

Architect: Věra a Vladimír Machoninovi

Year of completion: 1975

The Kotva department store was planned as the first modern department store in Prague at the time. Together with the later Máj department store on Národní třída, it responded to a changing market demand and the inadequate commercial network in the capital city. The architectural competition selected the couple Machonin from the Alfa studio, who came up with a design that integrated well into the diverse historical structure of the city and offered significant retail space. The architects achieved this through a sophisticated system of 28 reinforced concrete columns with inclined braces, supporting a set of hexagonal slabs across the floors. The open floor plan, resembling a honeycomb, had an area of 22,160 square meters at the time of its opening and was designed to serve 75,000 customers daily. Although the Machonins were instrumental in one of the most elaborate projects of the 1970s, they were eventually deemed undesirable by the regime, and their authorship rights to the Kotva department store were taken away. They were not invited to the opening of the building and were not recognized as the architects anywhere. After the revolution, they even had to prove their association with the design of Kotva.

Náměstí Republiky 8, 110 00 Praha 1 – Staré Město
Náměstí Republiky 8, 110 00 Praha 1 – Staré Město

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