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Czech News in English » News » National » A legal loophole to save Tugendhat

A legal loophole to save Tugendhat

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Villa Tugendhat in Brno, the only UNESCO-registered modern landmark in the Czech Republic, has been in disrepair for years thanks to legal disputes between architects and Brno City Hall, which can’t decide who has won the tender for the villa’s reconstruction.

Now chances have improved that the reconstruction will take place. City officials have found a way to get around the antimonopoly office’s decision, which ordered the city to call a new tender for the reconstruction. The city hall closed the tender for the reconstruction of the functionalist villa designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe more than four years ago. Ever since, legal and municipal authorities have been in dispute over the legitimacy of the tender.

Only last year a final decision was made, ordering the city hall to annul the competition results for the reconstruction project from 2004.

But city councillors decided not to call a new tender. “Brno will organise a selection procedure for the reconstruction and the winner will get to choose, which project he wants to follow,” city hall spokesman Pavel Žára told HN Wednesday.

The winner will then decide if he wants to carry out the reconstruction using the winning project in the tender.

“It is very likely. No other project has a building permit,” said Iveta Černá, who is in charge of Villa Tugendhat at the Brno City Museum.

Antimonopoly office head Martin Pecina is not upset by the councillors’ plan. “I understand. I would probably do it the same way,” he told HN.

The city hall signed an agreement with the authors of the winning project only after Pecina’s predecessor at the antimonopoly office confirmed there were no flows in the tender.

Pecina didn’t call Brno’s approach illegal. His office ordered the city to cancel the old tender, but the provision said nothing about calling a new one.

The legal loop found by Brno councillors could speed up the reconstruction of the unique landmark that has been postponed for so long.

The villa’s sewage system is in a tragic state, and the large window frames suffer from rust, and they will have to be replaced if they are not repaired immediately.

The irony is that one of the reasons Villa Tugendhat made the UNESCO list is the landmark’s preserved original appearance.

The city hall meeting next Tuesday should decide if the city goes with the current plan. But the chances are quite high, according to unofficial information from Brno City Hall.

Date postponements

2004 – Brno city hall selects the winner of the tender for the villa reconstruction. The winner is the association Sdružení pro vilu Tugendhat.

2006 – The reconstruction is set to begin. But the Brno Regional Court calls the tender illegal.

2007 – An anti-corruption office puts off the tender investigation, saying it had not been manipulated.

2008 – The Supreme Administrative Court confirms flows in the selection process. The antimonopoly office then orderes Brno City Hall to call a new tender.

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