Chest of Drawers
Zbyněk Hřivnáč for the Hotel Praha, 1970s
A chest of draws designed by Czechoslovak designer, Zbyněk Hřivnáč, during the 1970s for the Hotel Praha.
Commissioned by the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia, construction began on the Hotel Praha in 1975. Beyond hosting the communist delegation, one of the salient aims of the Hotel was to entertain and impress foreign visitors.
Amidst a backdrop of austerity in the years prior to the Velvet Revolution, the Hotel was an architectural emblem created by some of the leading architects and designers in the former communist state. The colossal, curved building covered 9800 square-meters and comprised 136 rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool, and bowling alley, before being demolished in 2014.
This chest of draws was designed by Zbyněk Hřivnáč, one of the salient contributors to the Gesamtkunstwerk that was the Hotel Praha. A sticker inside one of the draws tell us that this chest of draws was originally a ‘laundry cabinet’ created for one of the many bathrooms of the 136 rooms at the Hotel Praha. The low unit stands atop four brass footed, legs, imbuing the piece with a quiet monumentality, a trait indicative of much of the furniture designed for the hotel, even in smaller pieces such as this cabinet. The draws are finished with flat-topped, wooden pulls with a stepped detail which is repeated throughout the piece. The tactile edges of these turned draw pulls subtly recall the lathed forms of Czech designer, Antonín Hepnar, who also worked on several wood elements within the Praha interiors.
Specifications:Designer: Zbyněk Hřivnáč (b.1932)
Design Period: 1970-1980
Materials: Beech and brass