How a derelict house turned into a modern information centre
The inconsiderate “modernization“ of the flats brought about introduction of a great number of dividing walls, soffits and technical distribution systems into the original disposition, all the windows and interior doors were replaced with standardized products, the major part of the plastering was removed or covered with wall-papers. The concrete and linoleum flooring did not allow sufficient air-circulation, which caused that the walls of the ground-floor were moist to the height of two meters.
The House was uninhabited for several years and because the building was not ventilated and heated, the process of its dilapidation got accelerated. The most important fact is that only minimal financial means were invested in maintenance of the outer coating of the House for many decades. The old roof was more and more leaking and the stucco ornamentation of the facades were a threat to the people passing by. The Dacicky House was repeatedly publicly called a shame of the town and the last house of the town in a state of disrepair!
Although the possibility of its sale was discussed by the Kutna Hora town-hall from time to time, it was eventually stated that the House belongs among the most significant monuments of the Kutna Hora Town and it should serve to the broad public after its restoration. So new possibilities of its utilization and financial means for its restoration began to be sought.
In the year 2014, after a number of very promising but finally abortive projects, there emerged a realistic possibility to restore the House and utilize it for new activities. This was thanks to the Grant provided by the Ministry for Local Development of the Czech Republic within the framework of the continuous call No. 24 of the Integrated Operation Programme, intervention field 5.1, which even offered the 100% coverage of the financial costs. This success was also a merit of the main partner of the project, “Foundation Kutna Hora – UNESCO Monument”, which worked out the programme, thanks to which the request for the grant was very successful with the assessors. But these positive aspects also had a pitfall: the House had to be restored and provided with furnishings within a time shorter than one year!
Beginning of the re-construction, year of discoveries
The re-construction started in January 2015 by clearing works. In their realization, a first outstanding discovery was made: in the flooring of the so-called chapel consisting of several layers, a fragment of unique Gothic tiling was discovered. It was decided that a facsimile of the tiling should be made so that the interior of the chapel could be restored to the state as it was at the beginning of the 16th century.
Another discovery was made on the courtyard of the House: a Late-Gothic column buried a meter below the terrain level. The column was formerly placed in a room which has not been preserved up to now.
Or another discovery: late-Gothic portal including the original plastering on the first floor. And many others.
The street facade with its stucco ornamentation was restored too, with the Madonna fresco in its centre, which was restored on the basis of a historical photo dating from the 19th century.
Conception of the re-construction
The Dacicky House combines history and present. The restoration of the House was conformed to this conception, which means that the most valuable historic elements were preserved but, at the same time, new parts were added to the House. So it is quite evident what is old and what is new.
This approach however had to adhere strictly to all the applicable regulations and standards and respect the standards of the 21st century, which includes a personal elevator, air-conditioning, complex technical infrastructure and exhibition technologies.
The project was accomplished within 40 weeks with the total costs of 70.1 million CZK.