Architecture of the Embassy
The building where the Czech Embassy is located has been at the crossroads of Kensington Palace Gardens and Bayswater Road since late sixties of the last century. Previously, an Italinate villa built from Wyatt´s and Brandon´s designs in mid-19th century was on the site.
Before 1993, when the Czech Republic came into existence, the bulding was a part of then Czechoslovak Embassy. As of 31 December 1992, the complex of the Czechoslovak Embassy was divided between the two succession states - the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The part now housing the Czech Embassy used to house the Economic and Commercial Section of the Czechslovak Embassy and a the Czechoslovak cultural centre.
The bulding was designed by Czech architects Jan Šrámek, Jana Bočan and Karel Štepánský in association with Robert Matews of Johnson - Marshall and Partners. In its time the complex of the Czechoslovak Embassy was considered an importatnt architectural achievement.
The expert public of that time made very positive comments on the project of the complex of the Czechoslovak Embassy. Even though David Rock admitted in the Architects´ Journal in 1969 that "a little of the heavy-handed neocommunist classicism was evident in the detailing", at the same time he considered the design aim "modern with no conscious concession to the past".
Together with other eleven projects in the UK, the complex of the Czechoslovak Embassy was awarded a RIBA Architecture Award in 1971. The jury for London region made a unanimous choice in favour of the Czechoslovak Embassy from 33 entries. The jurors Gabriel Epstein, Birkin Howard and Sidney Lloyd accompanied their decision by the following comment. "Unlike so many examples of precast concrete buildings which are weathering badly, this one is a refined example of its kind, skilfully detailed technically and aesthetically."