Czech Philharmonic and Arcona Capital Announce Project to Open Up the Rudolfinum Roof Terrace for Public Use
The Czech Philharmonic and corporate sponsor Arcona Capital have announced a major development project at the Rudolfinum in Prague. Works to improve the safety and accessibility of the Rudolfinum’s roof terrace will open up a special space at one of the Czech Republic’s most famous buildings to the general public.
The roof terrace, providing unrivalled views of Prague and lined with sixteen statues of famous composers, is one of the Rudolfinum’s most striking features. Yet although visible from ground level, the terrace remains unknown to most visitors, with access impeded by narrow doorways, uneven surfaces and a lack of safety provisions.
Czech Philharmonic partner Arcona Capital, a privately-owned real estate fund manager, has now instigated and spearheaded a project to open up the terrace for public use. The plans include significant works to improve ingress and egress, floor levelling and resurfacing, and the installation of modern safety features. The provision of services such as water, drainage, power and lighting, and a lift allowing step-free access from ground level, will enable full use of the 850 m² space for both public and private events.
“The first time I stood on the Rudolfinum terrace, my breath was taken away,” says Guy Barker, Principal at Arcona Capital. “We were captivated by the possibility of turning this extraordinarily beautiful – but hitherto underappreciated – part of one of Prague’s best-loved buildings into an accessible space for events and for public use. The project is very exciting – and a great responsibility”.
With the Rudolfinum currently lacking any significant outdoor events space, the renewed terrace will provide a host of exciting new possibilities for the Czech Philharmonic, its sponsors, and the general public.
Building permits have been secured and the works have been approved by the National Heritage Institute, the Department of Monument Care, and the Building Authority of Prague 1 Municipal District, with Arcona Capital meeting all associated costs to date. A fundraising appeal will be launched later this year, aiming to raise CZK 23 million for the project.
“The history of the Rudolfinum proves that the idea of giving has a long tradition in our country,” says David Mareček, CEO of the Czech Philharmonic. “The building was donated to the Czech people by Česká spořitelna 136 years ago, and it has been a home to the arts ever since. During the pandemic, we saw that this tradition of giving is still alive, as many of our subscribers donated their tickets to the Czech Philharmonic to help the orchestra through difficult times. We are extremely grateful for their generosity, and now, together with our donors and supporters, we look forward to welcoming them to the Rudolfinum terrace, where they will be able to enjoy stunning views of Prague and take part in various social events. Arcona Capital’s passion for the project has been an inspiration, and we look forward to discussing our vision with all interested parties.”
The Rudolfinum was designed by architects Josef Schulz and Josef Zítek and was first opened in 1885. It has been home to the Czech Philharmonic since 1896. Now, in the orchestra’s 125th anniversary year, the terrace project promises to open a new chapter in the illustrious history of one of the nation’s favourite buildings.