An exterior facade of a rope shop in Prague
Courtesy Filip Slapal

In Prague, A Newly Renovated Rope Shop Honors 200 Years of History

Architects from Jaroušek Rochová Architekti proposed a modern update celebrating traditional craft.

A colorful rope shop has taken shape on the ground floor of a 19th-century apartment building in Malá Strana, Prague’s historic center, a neighborhood filled with Renaissance, Baroque, and Romanesque residences. For the local firm, Jaroušek Rochová Architekti (JRA), the goal was to combine three disjointed spaces, all separated by inserted floors, into one fresh retail space.

“The condition wasn’t good and the last reconstruction was made around the 1960s,” says architect Magdalena Rochová. “We wanted to transform a confusing, cramped space into a [spot] where products would be interestingly presented and everything would be cohesive.” In this location, there was a previous rope shop going back 200 years passed from generation to generation, so not only was it important to Rochová to honor history but improve the shop’s streetside presence, which had been neglected for many years.

An interior view of a rope shop in Prague featuring a colorful display of ropes and a custom chandelier in the center of the concrete room.
Courtesy Filip Slapal

With a tight and confusing original floor plan, Rochová proposed a connection of all three segregated storefronts. Furthermore, historical archives indicated that two of the spaces were originally joined.

To cater to the artistic clientele the rope shop attracts, Rochová took inspiration from the ropes themselves, the historic building, and its location. The now nearly 1,000-square-feet brick-and-mortar is the only rope shop in the area.

An interior view of a rope shop in Prague featuring a colorful display of ropes and a custom chandelier in the center of the concrete room.
Courtesy Filip Slapal

Construction began with demolishing walls, moving the store entrance to the new center, adding a sales counter and display area, and removing the inserted floors to return the interior to its original grand height. Today, the rope shop is open, inviting, and intentionally designed for an optimized customer experience. “We wanted to show as much as possible and we want to make the space clear. Thanks to connection and demolition of walls, we have created a comprehensive [and functional] layout,” she says.

 In addition, Rochová and team inserted lofted areas on the sides of the shop with racks, storeroom, and plywood stairwells. Railings made of net provide contrast and playful use of materials. A custom-designed tubular light fixture hangs from the ceiling by blue rope.

“We designed all the furniture of the shop like the front counter, [which is] an installation displaying all of the colors of ropes on spools,” she says.

An interior view of a rope shop in Prague featuring a colorful display of ropes and a custom chandelier in the center of the concrete room.
Courtesy Filip Slapal

When it came to the exterior facade, JRA opted for newly crafted wooden windows which bring in plenty of natural light, pay homage to historical windows and the Classicism architecture of Vítězná Street, and further focus on the “visual style and sign of the shop,” Rochová says. “Ropes offer many possibilities and ideas. In our design, it was important for us not to overwhelm the interior but create a clear and well-arranged design.”

Would you like to comment on this article? Send your thoughts to: [email protected]

Latest