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Czech make


The Czech Embassy in Notting Hill is one of those Brutalist 1960s buildings that look better with age. Functionally, however, it has problems. The former ambassador's residence has been relinquished to form the Slovak embassy. Security restrictions mean the basement cinema is out of bounds and noise from the main road is a problem. As a result, the building is due for a bit of a makeover. But there is no need to fear the type of drama that ensued when the National Theatre decided to 'improve' on Lasdun's work. One of the original principals of the Prague practice that did the design for the embassy in 1968 - J Sramek, J Bocan & K Stepanski - is doing the new work. There's continuity for you.

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