The building dates back to 1911 – 1912 and was designed by the architect Josef Gočár. It is located at the luxury Prague address Ovocný trh 569/34, Prague 1. This is one of the most important works of Czech cubism and the oldest cubist building in Prague which takes its name from the sculptures decorating the façade of the building.
The original plan was to build a department store subject to request by the esteemed merchant František Herbst. The basement housed a wine bar, the first floor was home to a café and the second floor had a textile shop. The third floor was used as offices and the 4th floor was supposed to house flats.
At the time it was built, it was not regarded as being modern enough. Simply put, nobody thought in the 1920s that the building would one day take pride in its uniqueness and that it would be entered in the national cultural heritage list, which it has been included in since 2010.
If you think that the luxury café where you can nowadays enjoy a delicious coffee is the one which stood here during the last century, you are mistaken. Unfortunately, the original building was not preserved and the whole building was remodelled in the 1950s and used solely as office space.
Luckily the building underwent fundamental reconstruction, returning the beautiful original cubist appearance to this luxury building. The architect Karel Prager was responsible for this in the 1990s. It was thanks to his design that part of the glass roof was also completed using the original design by Josef Gočár.
You can admire the uniqueness of the cubist style at the entrance portal and on the wrought-iron grilles at the entrance. The dormers and luxury railings of the staircase in the interior bear features of this unique style too. The interior of the café was also completely designed by Josef Gočár, this including the luxurious furniture and wooden bar counter.
The opening ceremony was held in 1994 and was even attended by the then president Václav Havel. The café was opened in 2002.
The four floors above the café are rented by the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, which offers a permanent exhibition of Czech cubism on the 2nd and 3rd floor. Short-term exhibitions on the topic are held one floor higher and the last floor is set aside for creative workshops.