To Find the Right Cloakroom. Rudolfinum Lounges Have New Names

If we invited you to Rudolfinum for a meeting in the Ančerl Lounge, would you know where to look for it? Could you tell what purpose Bělohlávek Lounge serves and which room is colloquially called “Kubelička”? If you don’t think you’ve heard these names before, don’t worry that we’ve kept them from you. Many visitors to the “temple of art” had the opportunity to see the salons on different occasions, but under different names.

24.11.2023 | Author: Jitka Herčíková

The history of the Rudolfinum lounges naming can serve as a philharmonic encyclopedia. For various reasons, each generation modified the names of the rooms in its own way, usually in line with the purpose of their use, or simply according to the wishes of those who spent time there. But, over the years, the situation has become confusing.

Imagine you need to visit a solo lounge. This is a beautiful dressing room in the Suk Hall entrance room, with an extraordinary view of Prague Castle. It serves as a refuge for philharmonic concert soloists that will find the necessary privacy and tranquility here so that they can fully concentrate before the evening performance.

At the reception, you will be lent a key to the lounge, but there’s only the door number written on it. Even if you manage not to get lost in the bowels of Rudolfinum, take the right turn at the spiral staircase and don’t find yourself, for example, on the Dvořák Hall stage instead, you still haven't won. Truth is, there are two lounges next to each other. Conductors and soloists are placed in them as needed and the names “soloist” for one and “conductor” for the other have been used only internally. Those that don’t know this implicit nomenclature are left with the number on the key only.

Oftentimes, it happens that artists return to the reception desk, asking for an escort or at least a simple map. And it's not just musicians. Navigating the scenes and finding the right place isn’t easy, even for a number of other people who have their errands at Rudolfinum, be it journalists, business partners, or other guests. It was therefore necessary to unify the lounges and rooms’ names and adjust the navigation in such a way as to make orientation in such a complex building as easy as possible.

To Relax in the Bělohlávek Lounge...

The lounges were renamed on the occasion of this year’s 125th anniversary of the Czech Philharmonic. They now bear the names of chief conductors that made a significant mark in the orchestra’s history. It is our wish that their names were heard at Rudolfinum every day and became a part of common conversation again, as it was in the days when they were working and creating at Rudolfinum.

When climbing the stairs in the direction of Palach Square into the building next time, you will surely notice that the entire main entrance lobby has undergone a significant change. You will be welcomed here by exhibition panels depicting the building’s most significant milestones, a renovated shop and, above all, Bělohlávek Lounge, intended for relaxation and listening to music recordings by the Czech Philharmonic.

On the Dvořák Hall balcony, there are two symmetrically located lounges in the foyer. The one on the left side has been called Západní (“Western”) until now. The spacious lounge is mainly used for various workshops, meetings and conferences, but it has also served as a base for a philharmonic table tennis tournament or Latin American dance lessons. Now, it bears the name Talichův (“of Talich’s”).

We’re staying on the balcony, but this time on the right. Here we have a lounge with a spacious terrace, which is part of the original ingenious entrance to Rudolfinum. Imagine how a monarch or, later, a president arrives in a vehicle to the carriage entrance, climbs up the stairs and consumes refreshments in the lounge before the concert. The lounge is called Prezidentský (“Presidential”), is still used mainly for representational purposes, and that is why its name has been preserved.

The other two lounges are located in the left entrance room of Suk Hall and have a view of the Vltava river and Prague Castle. The one that the current chief conductor Semyon Bychkov chose as his background is now called Ančerlův (“of Ančerl’s”). The second lounge was named after Václav Neumann.


… and play in Kubelička

The room in the back of the Suk Hall which, until now, has very simply been called dressing room number 2036, also received a new name. That’s why it was not only elevated to the same level as lounges, but also got a much more beautiful name: Kubelík Lounge.

It is not the first time that we have Kubelík Lounge at Rudolfinum, so it’s not surprising that this name caught on the fastest and it even has its own shortened version. Yes, it is the aforementioned “Kubelička”.

New navigation system

However, not only the names of the lounges have changed, the entire Rudolfinum’s navigation system is undergoing a comprehensive change. First, we had all the build-up from the previous layers of markings removed and the difference is immediately apparent. In the foyer, the beauty of natural stone and unique painting finally stand out.

The authors of the new navigation around the building are designers Petr Bosák and Robert Jansa. They created an elegant, understated, yet a highly functional system that respects the building’s architectural heritage while meeting the demands of modern times.

And one last change. The Antonín Dvořák bust, located on the wall opposite the main entrance, has a new plinth. We wanted to draw more attention to the statue, support its dominance in the foyer, and, at the same time, gain space on the vacant wall to mark the Dvořák Hall, which has been missing here until now. We are delighted with the result, the bust has truly come to life thanks to the pedestal and we believe that you will appreciate the opportunity to view it from all angles.

If you are interested in what the Rudolfinum lounges look like, would like to see all the news that we have prepared for you, and would like to learn a lot of information not only about Rudolfinum, but also about the Czech Philharmonic, do not hesitate to sign up for a Rudolfinum tour. We will list the dates for you as soon as the situation allows. However, we are looking forward to the reunion now.