Once-popular concert venue KD Eden may be beyond repair, Prague 10 plans next steps

KD Eden has been sitting empty since 2004, and Prague 10 wants to make it a useful space again

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 03.09.2019 07:00:42 (updated on 03.09.2019) Reading time: 3 minutes

What should be a piece of prime real estate, a cultural center sitting next to the Eden shopping mall in Prague 10, has been sitting abandoned since 2004. The Prague 10 district has a new report on the condition of the building and is planning the next steps.

Kulturní dům Eden was built in 1980, shortly after the adjacent Vlasta housing project was completed. KD Eden featured a 291 seat cinema, 300 seat restaurant and main hall for 1,500 people. It was designed by architects Hana Pešková and Dalibor Peška.

After the Velvet Revolution, it was a popular venue for visiting music acts. Rammstein played there in 1995. Recently Rammstein was back in Prague, but a bigger venue: Eden Stadium across the street for two days.

Other acts to play
KD Eden included the Cardigans, Laibach, Chick Corea Elektric Band II
and New Model Army. The Young Gods and the Sugarcubes featuring Björk
both played there in 1990.

kd eden
Fifteen-year-old sign on KD Eden. via Raymond Johnston

Now, signs on the
front advertise a weekend disco, but that hasn’t taken place in a
decade and a half.

Prague 10 Mayor
Filip Humplík (ODS) said the building in its current state is quite
rightly called “ulcer of Vršovice,” but the situation can’t

“The town hall
finally has a static assessment of the building. It is the first of
the intermediate steps in the overall solution what to do with KD
Eden,” Humplík said on Facebook.

“I’m happy that we
have finally moved a step further in this not-so-positive story,”
he added.

kd eden
View from inside KD Eden. via Koalice Vlasta / Facebook

The report says the
building is not a current danger to its surroundings. But that was
the extent of the good news.

“[The report] is
neither nice nor positive reading. Although the building itself does
not directly threaten anyone, it is impossible to allow concerts,
exhibitions or social events in it without major reconstruction,”
Humplík said.

“But thanks to this report, we will finally be able to decide how to deal with KD Eden to best serve Prague 10. And, of course, we have to solve who pays for the whole thing,” he added.

Humplík has long
been concerned with the fate of the building, and say he saw his
first western rock concert there, the Young Gods. He ended his
Facebook comment with a riff on Neil Armstrong’s words from the
moon. “A small step for me, but a big leap for Prague 10,” he
said, adding a smiley emoticon.

kd eden
Mosaic above the entry to KD Eden. via Raymond Johnston

He gave more details to public broadcaster Czech Television.

“There is bad
parking, it does not meet fire regulations, it leaks. There are
terrible heat leaks due to the connection of glass to metal. The
report speaks very brutally. Height parameters are low. The building
according to current standards is actually unrenovatable,” Humplík
told Czech Television.

A decision is likely
not to be reached until autumn. Many people would like to see it
restored, but the costs might outweigh the benefits. Repairs would
cost up to 500 million CZK. Demolition and building something new is
another option.

“But it also costs
money to tear it down. We don’t want to solve it by having offices
there. But we don’t want to make rash decisions. It will take a few
weeks, months,” Humplík said. Prague 10 Mayor Renata Chmelová
(Vlasta) also considers the fate of the building a priority.

kd eden
Current state of the cinema. via Koalice Vlasta / Facebook

Options mentioned
include renovating it with the help of an outside investor, turning
the land into a new park linking the Eden shopping mall to the
adjacent paneláks, and making new offices for the
Prague 10 administration.

Though the building can’t be used by the public it was recently used by filmmakers for scenes in a new version of The Kids from Zoo Station to represent Berlin in the 1960 to ’80s.

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