The three fountains located in the Republic Square of Pilsen were designed by Ondřej Císler and constructed in 2010 following a 2004 two-stage competition. It took five years for local authorities to accept the design that jurors of the competition very positively received. When in 2010 Pilsen was announced to be a European City of Culture in 2015, the decision to finally construct the fountains was approved.
More on the project after the break.
The Republic Square is defined by the Gothic Cathedral of St. Bartholomew towers and a Baroque Plague Pole located in one corner of the Square. The three fountains defined by Císler’s proposal were designed to compliment the remaining three empty corners. The inspiration for the distinct forms of the fountains were derived from the city’s coat-of-arms. The figures of the camel, gray-hound and angel were the initial idea points.
The massive fountains border between sculpture and architecture, allowing passersby to interact with the figures. Each fountain piece creates its own spatiality around which visitors to the square must navigate, sparking imagination. The monumentality of the fountains is intentional in corresponding to the proportions of the space, by creating a presence without dominating the square or the existing architecture. The materials chosen for the fountains also correspond to the elements, colors and materials in the pre-existing conditions.
The fountains enrich the open space by adding the element of water, recalling the historic practice of “wasserkasten” which were large basins of water left for public usage. Today the fountains await their final finishing touch. In 2015 the poems of Petr Borkovec will be inscribed in gold on the surface of the fountains.
Architect: Ondřej Císler Location: Republic Square, Pilsen, Czech Republic Team: David Blahout (gilding), Jakub Vlček, Pavel Hošek, Michal Blažek (sculptors), Juraj Smoleň, Ondřej Dušek (architects) Project: 2004 (winner of a two stage competition) Completion: 2010 General Contractor: Swietelsky Stavební Ltd., subdivision Dopravní Stavby Západ, Plzeň Height: 4.5 m Material: gilded bronze, black Fuian granite, patinated bronze Bronze: Aleš Svojtka, Stará Huť s.r.o. Technology: KTS AME Hradec Králové Stone: Pražský kámen s.r.o. Investor: City of Plzeň Costs: 21.5 mil. CZK Photography: Vasil Stanko, Karel Kocourek