PRAGUE (Reuters) - Borek Sipek, the official architect for Prague Castle during Vaclav Havel’s Czech presidency, died on Saturday after a long struggle with cancer, the CTK news agency said. He was 66.
Sipek participated in the transformation of the castle after the fall of communist rule in the Velvet Revolution of 1989 into an open center of culture and arts.
He designed new entrances to offices and a gallery at the Czech president’s residence, as well as a ceremonial chair design named “Olga” in memory of Havel’s late wife and other objects to decorate the corridors and halls of the former seat of Czech kings.
Sipek left the former Czechoslovakia after the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968. He studied architecture and philosophy in Germany, later moving to the Netherlands, where he established a studio.
Mostly known for his glass works, including a vase design also named “Olga”, Sipek is sometimes credited with starting the “neo-baroque” style.
Recently he designed the “Havel’s Place” series of symbolic meeting points in public spaces in Prague, Washington and other cities, each involving a pair of garden chairs placed by a table with a tree standing through its center.
Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Hugh Lawson