The Czech Center in Berlin officially opened on April 24, 2023 after moving to the Goethe Institute in Berlin. In the picture, the Czech ambassador to Germany Tomáš Kafka during the opening speech.
Berlin – The Czech Center Berlin officially opened to the public today with a debate about society, energy and war and why it is worth visiting the neighboring country. The center has moved to the Goethe Institute's Berlin headquarters, as the Czech Embassy building will soon undergo extensive renovation.
At the Goethe Institute, the Czech Center has offices and a library, on the other hand, it lacks its own exhibition spaces, such as were available at the embassy. Director of the Czech Center Berlin Jiří Rosenkranz told ČTK that having your own exhibition spaces can sometimes be binding. “The center now has to go out to the audience,” he said, adding that it would bring a new variety to the center's offerings.
The head of the Goethe Institute, Johannes Ebert, welcomed the Czech Center in its new premises, who noted that Berlin is a city with a complex situation in the area of real estate. Czech Ambassador to Germany Tomáš Kafka described the sharing of space with the Goethe Institute as the first Czech-German coexistence in Berlin.
The debate with the winners of the Czech-German Journalism Awards, which was the center's first event after the move, was co-organized by the Czech Center Berlin with Goethe Institute and the Czech-German Future Fund. The participants in the debate, led by Daniel Brössler from the Süddeutsche Zeitung, focused on journalistic work on both sides of the border as well as the challenges of the Czech-German neighborhood.
The Czech Embassy building in Berlin will soon undergo a long-delayed reconstruction, which according to the original plans, it was supposed to be completed this year. But the work has only just begun. The building, designed 51 years ago by the couple Věra and Vladimír Machonin in the Brutalist style, is still in its original state. The goal of the extensive repair is to significantly reduce the energy demand of the building, which is difficult and expensive to heat in winter and cool in summer.