New Stage at Prague's National Theatre celebrates 40 years with Lego model

The Czech brutalist landmark turns 40 years old this weekend, with visitors invited to help build a model of the building using 25,000 Legos. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 26.11.2023 14:21:00 (updated on 26.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The National Theater's New Stage (Nová scéna) is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend, commemorating the occasion with a diverse program of tours, dance performances, concerts, and more. Visitors and actors also worked together to construct a Lego model of the iconic New Stage, with up to 25,000 Lego bricks available for stacking.

The New Stage, designed by acclaimed Czech architect Karel Prager, opened its doors to audiences for the first time in 1983. This year marks both the fortieth anniversary of its creation and the 100th anniversary of Prager's birth. To honor these milestones, the National Theater invited the public to participate in creating a symbolic Lego model of the historic building.

The Lego model serves as a metaphor for the foundation stones of the National Theatre's historical building, emphasizing a collective effort to build a remarkable space for national culture.

Michal Horáček and Marek Mencl, the winning team from Lego Masters Czech Republic & Slovakia, lead the construction. Visitors, including passers-by, Lego enthusiasts, theatergoers, and architecture students, also took part in the model's creation.

Horáček and Mencl estimated that 20 to 25 thousand Lego cubes will be needed for the entire structure, with around seven thousand cubes dedicated to the recreating the iconic glass cubes that make up the building's cladding. The model reflects a collaborative effort to recreate a Prague landmark using Lego building blocks.

The Lego construction, personally supervised by Horáček and Mencl, commenced on Friday and is set to conclude on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Following completion, the model will be exhibited in the building's foyer as a lasting testament to the collaborative spirit and creative celebration of the New Scene's 40-year legacy at the National Theatre.

This weekend festivities also included dance performances, guided tours, and appearances by Laterna Magica dancers. The celebrations culminate with a stage concert of Josef Kajetán Tyl's Strakonický dudák (Strakonický Piper) on Sunday, connecting the present with the past as this play marked the beginning of Nová scéna's artistic journey four decades ago.

Designed by Karel Prager with an iconic glass facade, Nová scéna has been a cultural hub for four decades, hosting a range of performances, including drama, ballet, opera, and more. In 2021, the location was declared a national cultural monument by the Czech Ministry of Culture.

Despite undergoing significant renovations over the past two years, there are plans for an additional comprehensive reconstruction of the New Scene at Prague's National Theatre. Estimated to cost around two billion crowns, the reconstruction will address the evolving needs of this cultural landmark.

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