JEŠTĚD MOUNTAIN HOTEL – BUILDING OF THE CENTURY
The history of the building as it stands now on the peak began in the year 1966 – three years after the first hotel on Ještěd had burnt down. The architectural tender originally required the construction of two buildings, “a television tower with a restaurant and a small hotel”, and so it is amusing that the winner of the tender turned out to be the architect Karel Hubáček (from the firm of SIAL Liberec), who actually breached the conditions of the tender with his design for a single building. His project created a simply unique mountain skyline, and was unanimously approved.
Karel Hubáček is not, however, the only person responsible for this unusual work. The stressanalysis work was done by Zdeněk Patrman and the interior designed by Otakar Binar, who made extensive use of glasswork as a testimonial to the traditional commodity of this region.
The foundation stone was laid with great ceremony on 30th July 1966, and the construction work was performed by the Liberec company Pozemní stavby (site engineer Oto Friml, succeeded by Jaroslav Zapadlík). This unusual building also called for unusual building techniques, some of which were put into practice for the first time here. In order to place the antenna inside the building it was necessary to develop a special laminate casing; the only company willing to make a 12-metre-long post from man-made materials was a factory making fishing-rods (and because of this post the hole into the fabric had to be widened, as it was too small), etc.
This bold project has caught the attention of architects not only from this region, but has also found a host of professional admirers abroad, and in 1969 it was rightly awarded the prestigious Perret Award. The prize was awarded in Buenos Aires, although the man behind the design was unable to attend for political reasons.
This modern landmark of Ještěd was opened to great celebration on 21st September 1973. It measures an impressive 94 metres from the foot to the tip of the antenna, its odd shape is technically described as “rotational hyperboloid” and it was designed to take account of the truly extreme climatic conditions at the top. On the lower of the two floors there is the machine-room, technical equipment and operations room. Above these there is the look-out terrace, a buffet, restaurant with cafe and a hotel. The upper part houses the communications technology, with the…