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Oct 1, 2012 - Oct 2, 2012


The City of Brno will be presented in the Bohemian National Hall in Manhattan on October 1 – 2, 2012. The presentation will be sponsored by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic and organized in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York, American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic, and the Czech Center New York.

For more details click here



The first of the “Brno days in New York” will present the city of Brno in its historical context. This will involve a look at the modern construction culture of the 20th century in the city with its high level of education and remarkable social atmosphere.
During the period between the wars, the rapidly developing city experienced a remarkable number of realizations, the level of which and their purity of style making them comparable with the finest architecture world-wide.

Villa Tugendhat, a separate department of the Brno City Museum, has prepared a specialized seminar dedicated to the one of the most significant monuments of Modern architecture in the world, Villa Tugendhat, for visitors to the Czech Center in the afternoon of 1st October 2012. This iconic structure in Brno has been opened to the public as an installed monument of Modern architecture as of March 2012.
The seminar will focus on the history of Villa Tugendhat and the genius loci of the locale within the context of the international renown of the building. It will touch upon its unique character as a purely intimate space created primarily for family life.

The presentation of Villa Tugendhat will also include an exhibition chartering the history of the building from its construction up to the present accompanied by a number of photographs.
The exhibition opening will take place on October 1,  2012 at 5 pm at the Bohemian National Hall  and will be open to the public through October 12, 2012.

3 pm – 5 pm
Topics of the presentations:
Vladimir SLAPETA: Brno, a city of the Modern Movement
(Villa Tugendhat in the context of international Functionalism and modern architecture)

Iveta CERNA:
The history, development and use of Villa Tugendhat

Discussion (20 minutes)

Tomas RUSIN, Ivan WAHLA - Atelier RAW: The course of the monument rehabilitation through the eyes of an architect

David ZIDLICKY: Villa Tugendhat in photographs, various approaches to its depiction

Discussion (20 minutes) and final summary: Iveta CERNA

5 pm – 8 pm 
Opening of exhibition Villa Tugendhat
– Mies in Brno
Reception with live music (Jiri LEVICEK Trio)

8 pm – 9 pm
The international premiere of the documentary: "The Fate of Tugendhat"         


DAY 2 – OCTOBER 2    
Business and R&D panel

The core of the second day - Tuesday, 2 October 2012 - will be three discussion panels within the framework of the professional conference "Brno - Knowledge Economy City". Business Panel I will present the city as an attractive place for business. It will focus on its economy in the context of the Czech Republic and Central Europe and on its development potential. This panel will feature not only presentations by the City of Brno representatives but also the presentations by CzechInvest Agency as well as Deloitte and CTP companies. The following Business Panel II, titled "Successful Companies in Brno", will feature presentations by representatives of companies such as IBM and ModusLink. The scientific research panel will present a general scientific research profile of Brno, featuring specific projects that are related to the U.S. or which are interested in cooperation with U.S. partners. Among the projects presented there will be, among others, the International Clinical Research Center (FNUSA-ICRC), the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) and other centers of excellence seated in Brno. The second day will also provide a number of networking opportunities.


10 am – 5 pm                        

10 am
Welcome speeches
Ambassador of the Czech Republic in the USA, Consul General of the Czech Republic in New York and Mayor of the City of Brno.

Honorary guests: representative of Mayo Clinic, Virend SOMERS, MD, Ph.D.

10:30 am
Business panel I: "This is Brno"
Presentations of the representatives of the City of Brno and CzechInvest Investment and Business Development Agency as well as the representatives of Deloitte and CTP Invest.


11:30 am                           

11:45 am
Scientific research panel: R&D opportunities

Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC)
International Clinical Research Center (FNUSA-ICRC)
Honeywell Czech Republic

1:15 pm
Lunch, networking

2:45 pm

Business panel II: "Successful companies in Brno"
Presentations of the following companies: IBM, FEI, AVG, CB&I, ModusLink, PSJ, Unistav, CERE
Invest Edison Center, and the Brno Regional Chamber of Commerce.


4:30 pm
Final summary

American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic


Villa Tugendhat was designed by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe over the years 1928-1929 for a newly married couple whose families were Jewish textile industrialists living in Brno. Grete and Fritz Tugendhat ranked amongst the most prosperous social class in the Czechoslovak Republic at the time in the 1930s thanks to the strong business activities of their families. Their house was built on an exclusive plot of land with a view of the historical center of the city of Brno and the Medieval castle Špilberk which is the most prominent visual feature of the Moravian capital.

The author of the villa, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, lived in the USA from 1938 and had an essential influence on the development of American architecture in the 20th century. This structure is at present the most authentic preserved realization by Mies on the European continent.

In terms of family housing, Villa Tugendhat was in strong contract to the historicizing architecture of the 19th century as concerns its appearance and construction. It is viewed as one of the most renowned examples of the International style in the world and was novel in various ways in terms of its formation of space and concerning its construction principles. It became the embodiment of the views of Modern housing for the intellectual layer of prosperous industrialists with its importance far exceeding the borders of the newly established Czechoslovak Republic. The architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was the first to make use of a steel support system in a residential home thereby making possible the articulation of the interiors into loosely connecting spaces decorated with luxury natural materials imported from Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco and Italy. With its employment of cutting edge technology for the time, making possible the complete retraction of the large format windows into the floor, Villa Tugendhat fulfilled the dream of liberated housing freed from borders in its purest form. The exterior flows into the interior and the house blends in perfectly with its surroundings.

More information on the history of the house, the architect and the original owners:



The City of Brno is the owner of the building and the Brno City Museum is responsible for its administration. The house was opened to the public as an installed monument of Modern architecture for the first time in its construction history in the year 1994. Villa Tugendhat has been recorded on the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage since 2001. It underwent demanding monument renewal over the years 2010 – 2012 with the goal being to return it to the condition it was in when the house was inhabited by the original owners. In the demanding tender carried out by MT Legal law firm the company Unistav prevailed and it was charged with reconstruction.

As of the year 2012, visitors can once again admire the interiors fully furnished with the restored pieces of the original built-in furniture along with exact replicas of the free-standing pieces of furniture, a number of which became icons of Modern design over the course of time (the Barcelona, Tugendhat armchairs, Brno chairs…). The addition of the so-called technical floor, which contains, for example, the repaired air unit, the boiler, the machine room for the retractable windows, the fur coating storage area, a permanent exhibition on Villa Tugenhdat and the bookshop, has significantly expanded the guided tour possibilities. Over the first four months of the reopening of Villa Tugendhat, more than 16,000 people have visited it. Due to limited capacity, tickets have to be reserved as least two months in advance.

A Study and Documentation Center, focused on accumulating and analyzing materials concerned with Villa Tughendhat, the family of the original owners, the architect and architecture in general on a wider scale in the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular in the City of Brno, is located directly in the building as of the year 2005. The center is open to both the public and researchers on work days.


More information on the offered services, reservations and information on the course of the monument renewal: www.tugendhat.eu


The exhibition on Villa Tugendhat, taking place in the Bohemian National Hall for the first two weeks in October, will present this unique monument of international modern architecture to the American public. The exhibition presents Villa Tugendhat within the context of its more than eight decades of existence, this being essentially a picture of European history of the 20th century. By means of archive plans, photographs and contemporary photo-documentation, it introduces the particular construction stages as well as the social-political history of the building. It captures the genius loci of the locality in relation to Brno architecture of the 19th century which was focused on nearby Vienna. It reflects on the phenomenon of Brno functionalism which ranked among the finest in Europe during the between-the-wars period (1918-1939). It maps out the turbulent fate of the house during the post-war period up to the Velvet Revolution in 1989. It also presents the two years of renewal and restoration of the structure (2010-2012) after which the Villa was once again opened to the public in March 2012 as an installed monument of modern architecture.

The exhibition is accompanied by a documentary in English entitled “The Fate of Tugendhat” which was shot by the Czech TV.



(52 minutes, Czech TV 2012)
This docudrama – a documentary film with acted scenes – by director Rudolf Chudoba follows the lives of the famous house in three storylines. The first is the story of a family of educated and affluent clients, which follows the dramatic history of the 20th century. The second story concerns the villa itself, its author and the contemporary artistic atmosphere. The third contemporary line observes the consistent and detailed historical restoration process, which returned the original shine to this architectural gem.



Photo: David Zidlicky



From: Oct 1, 2012
To: Oct 2, 2012


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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