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A studio Rubín

history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)15. century | Construction

A new building was erected after  1460 and distinctive reconstruction in a late Gothic style was probably carried out before 1529.


(detail)1650 | reconstruction

Large reconstruction in a late Renaissance style took place in 1650 during the ownership of Santini de Bossi, who was the builder at the same time. 


(detail)1809 | Reconstruction

Reconstruction of the facade was carried out by Ignác Alois Palliardi by the end of the 18th century. Palliardi also carried out modifications in the rear house in 1809 and concurrently initiated construction of an extension of the 3rd floor.


(detail)1967 | first theatre

Radim Vašinka acquired the cellar of the house in 1967 and established the Orfeus Theatre here. The theatre was abolished due to political reasons in 1971.


(detail)1971 | Reconstruction

The cellar was professionally renovated in 1971. The design was carried out by Projekce Merita (arch. Z. Vávra). The architects used for the theatre as the more recent east section of the cellars as the older west section.


(detail)1999 | Reconstruction

Substantial modification was carried out according to the design by  Marta Špácová in 1999. The vaults were reinforced in 2001 by J. Zeman.


People

(detail)Zdeněk Vávra |architect

He worked in Státní ústav pro rekonstrukci památkových měst a objektů (State institute for reconstruction of memorial cities and constructions) throughout his life. He realized theatre in Český Těšín with J. Černohorský in 1960. He was working on design studies for National Theatre reconstruction. Afterwards he led the realization team.  Later he worked on the reconstruction of the South Bohemia Theatre. 

Source: www.cka.cc/

More theatres

Marta Špácová |architect
Santino Bossi |builder

History

The A studio Rubín is located in a basement area of a historical building that is labelled as the Skálovský (Santinovský) House or is colloquially referred to as “the House by Three Crowns”. Another one used to stand in the location of the present one from 1400, but it was destroyed by conflagration. The new owner had a new building erected not before 1460. It was temporarily connected with the neighbouring house and distinctive reconstruction in a late Gothic style was carried out probably before 1529, because the house was indicated as newly built at that time. A second basement is probably dated back to that time. Even some internal ground floor walls have been preserved from the reconstruction in the late Gothic style and a rear extension came probably into existence as well. Other reconstructions followed in the 17th century, when a brewery was installed in the building. Large reconstruction in a late Renaissance style took place in 1650 during the ownership of Santini de Bossi, who was the builder at the same time.  An extension of the second floor and arcade is from this period. The building had not been modified until 1739, when it was sold, but served only as a taproom. The representative building was purchased and owned until 1788 by Lower Side city mayor Jan Karel Dantzer. Reconstruction of the facade was carried out by Ignác Alois Palliardi by the end of the 18th century when the house belonged to merchant Antonín Zimmermenn. Palliardi also carried out modifications in the rear house in 1809 and concurrently initiated construction of an extension of the 3rd floor. The terraced house stands on a narrow plot of ground that goes through the entire block. It is oriented  towards the Malostranské Square by a late Baroque facade with a central bay, topped by a gable in a broken parapet. The ground floor is opened by three arches of an arcade. The rear facade is oriented towards the Na Tržišti Street and has already a distinctive Classicist character and came into existence not before the 19th century in the context of modification of the staircase from 1831. The cellar area is of a middle age layout and is composed of two distinctive parts: the older east cellar is extended into the arcade area and it is covered by a barrel vault, the more recent west area respects already the arcade area and it is arched by an early Renaissance stone vault, broken by   sectors. Another cellar is adjacent to the west one, almost of a square plan of a Baroque origin with a brick vault. An access staircase into the cellar is more recent, Classicist, original entrances were probably from the  arcade. Still in the 1930s, a pub was located in the house and the cellar area was used as a storage facility.

Radim Vašinka acquired the cellar of the house in 1967 and established the Orfeus Theatre here. Only the west cellar was used at first (a bar in the present days). The first official reconstruction of the cellar was carried out in 1969 for V. U. S. (the University Art Company) Prague. The fundamental repertoire of the theatre were playlets Roura k rouře pasuje aneb Vzorně svorná rodina by Jacques Prévert, Katova oběť by René de Obaldia and later a playlet Dusík by the same author. First of all, sketches by Pierre Henri Cami were played as Opilcovo dítě aneb Malý mstitel, Robinsonova láska aneb Pátkova oběť and mainly the most popular Kleštěnec z pralesa. The top performance of the theatre was the play Baal by Bertolt Brecht. A frequent visitor of the theatre was Egon Bondy among others, who wrote a detective play Vrahem je zahradník. Not only hispoetic evenings were introduced here but of František  Halas and others as well.

The theatre was abolished due to political reasons in 1971.  A project for reconstruction of the cellar area came into existence in the very same year for the Club of Young Communists (KMK) „U Orfea“ that worked as an agitational centre under the leadership of Miroslav Štěpán  and under protection of a communist organization of the Socialist Association of Youth. The intent has remained unrealized and the cellar was professionally renovated. The design was carried out by Projekce Merita (arch. Z. Vávra).

The architects used for the theatre as the more recent east section of the cellars – where they designed a cloak room, a hall N. 1 on the right side from the staircase and social facilities in the opposite square section of the cellars, as the older west section – the minor hall N. 2 was entered from the corridor by the staircase and a dressing room was accessible from the corridor as well. So modified theatre had remained until 1999, when a substantial modification was carried out according to the design by  Marta Špácová. The designer adjusted the east area for a bar, from where one enters nowadays into the rear theatre hall. Cloak rooms and social facilities are inserted in the adjacent square section. A cafe with ticket sale came into existence in the ground floor above the theatre.  The theatre is entered through this cafe in the recent days – a cash desk in the yard of the building, from where one enters directly into the theatre bar and through it forward into the theatre hall that is vaulted with a late Gothic barrel vault.

The vaults were reinforced in 2001 by J. Zeman. The hall is painted black and is flat, with mobile furniture and capacity of 60 seats (for a theatre production) or 80 to 100 standing rooms (for concerts). The auditorium is 5 m wide and 4 m deep, the stage is variable ( traditional or arena) and it uses the area of 5 x 5 m dimension. After the reconstruction in 1972, the Rubín theatre had a permanent and professional ensemble called the Theatre on the Edge with art director  Zdeňek Potužil  (direction: K. H. Mácha – Máj 1972, V. Páral – Knedlíkové radosti 1976, B. Hrabal – Postřižiny 1977, V. Dyk – Krysař 1986). Miki Jelínek composed the music for the majority of production.  The Rubín was a distinct music club since the beginning and some famous groups or songsters begun here. The direction of A Studio Rubín was taken over by actors Ondřej Pavelka and Eva Salzmannová in 1982. Ondřej Pavelka, one of the original member of the  Theatre on the Edge, has been  the art director from 1997. The permanent ensemble of the studio became the Nablízko Theatre in 1998 (former students of the department of alternative and puppet theatre of DAMU), which terminated its mutual cooperation in 2003 and the  Rubín was not occupied by any ensemble again. The theatre direction is changed in the season of 2008/2009 ( director Ondřej Glazar, art director Petr Kolečko), the A Studio Rubín started again to create its repertoire, which is composed only of their own plays.

 

Sources and literature:


A: Stavební archiv Mě části Praha 1

L: Pavel Vlček (ed.), Umělecké památky Prahy, Malá Strana, Praha 1999, s. 367-368.

http://www.astudiorubin.cz/history/

 

Tags: basement theatre, Normalization in Czechoslovakia, terraced house

 

Author: Markéta Svobodová

Translator: Jan Purkert

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