Octopus-shaped bus station: tribute to Jan Kaplický

by Michal Kašpárek on September 20, 2011

The new bus stop shelter got a huge attention.

The new bus stop shelter got a huge attention.

Bus stop Loosova st. at Lesná quarter got a new ass-kicking shelter. It resembles an unrealised, controversial project of a new Czech National Library building for Prague, designed five years ago by world-famous Czech architect Jan Kaplický.

The new National library building was supposed to be the first new important public building built after the fall of communism twenty years ago. Jan Kaplický won the international competition with his radical futurist project in 2006, however the construction was blocked by conservative politicians ruling Prague. Kaplický died three years later, on the very day his daughter was born. (Read The Independent obituary and see some visualizations of the new library.)

The shelter is covered with a special anti-graffiti coating.

The shelter is covered with a special anti-graffiti coating.

The project was not forgotten. The idea of building a bus station shelter resembling the iconic “octopus” shape originates from Pepsi: Refresh Your World campaign and was sponsored by the beverage maker. The new shelter is a second controversial object in the streets of Brno in the last year, after the famous Brno cock clock an Náměstí svobody Sq. Locals are worried that it may face the same fate as the old shelter, which was destroyed by drunkyards, and some Kaplicky’s admirers think that the shape was inspired by the architecture of old Prague and can not “work” as a shelter in rather modernist Brno.

This eye was supposed to look over Prague. Now it is observing a suburb of Brno.

This eye was supposed to look over Prague. Now it is observing a suburb of Brno.

The placement of the station is kind of ironic, as it can be found at Loosova st. Adolf Loos was a Brno-born architect who famously claimed that “an ornament is a crime” and is admired for his simple, functionalist buildings. Also, the original library was supposed to be built at Letná hill in Prague, while in Brno it is located at Lesná quarter.

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