Restoration of Vila Arnold Completed After Two Years

The villa will now serve as a community and cultural-educational centre institution, focusing on the popularisation of Brno architecture. In the picture, the newly restored villa. Credit: Markéta Vaňková via Facebook.

Brno, 18 Dec (BD) – After almost two years of work, the restoration of Vila Arnold has been completed. An opening ceremony and closing conference took place on Thursday, 14 December 2023, to present the progress of the historic restoration and the future use of the villa.

The project “Center of dialogue – Rescue and rehabilitation of Arnold’s villa” was supported by a grant from the EEA Financial Mechanisms/Norway in the Culture program, and included a set of construction and restoration works that were started in the crisis period of the fading Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukrainian war, and their economic consequences.

“Before its repair, Arnold’s villa was on the List of Endangered Real Estate Monuments and its condition was characterised as partially dilapidated,” said the Mayor of Brno, Markéta Vaňková. “Its rescue is another example of care for cultural heritage in the city of Brno. The villa underwent an exemplary restoration, during which all historically valuable elements were preserved, and at the same time, thanks to the Museum of the City of Brno, it found a new use after many years of consideration.” 

The Villa before restoration. Credit:

Vankova said the villa will now serve as a community and cultural-educational centre institution, focusing on the popularisation of Brno architecture. As the name of the Center of Dialogue suggests, the Museum of the City of Brno intends to fill the building with a range of activities focused on the diverse cultural experiences of the people of Brno.

During the renovation work, repairs were made not only to the house, but also to rehabilitate the garden, a large plot of land between Černopolní and Drobného, adjacent to Lužánky park. “Part of the completion of the rehabilitation will be the concept of the freely accessible gardens of the Villas Tugendhat, Löw-Beer and Arnold, which will offer visitors a relaxing green inner block against the background of the lifestyle context of the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on the historical coexistence of the Czech, German and Jewish communities,” explained Zbyněk Šolc, director of the Brno City Museum.

The Villa during restoration. Credit:

The villa was built by Josef Arnold, whose 200th birthday anniversary will coincidentally fall in 2024. The villa served as a seasonal residence within the so-called first villa colony above Lužánky park, which was created according to the urban concept of Heinrich Ferstel, one of the main architects of the Vienna Ringstrasse. Arnold also used the exclusive location to realise the neighbouring residences of Karel Kaiser, Karel Giskra and the villa of Franz and Karel Adamčik. Behind the city walls, on a hill covered with vineyards and fruit orchards, the first set of villa residential houses of the Černopolsky Belvedere, with a unique view of the city’s historical panorama, were created.

There are two permanent exhibitions in the villa:

  • Genius Loci: dedicated to the Brno architect and builder Josef Arnold and the history and construction development of the villa
  • Jews in Brno, co-created with the participation of the Jewish community of Brno

The ceremonial opening of Vila Arnold took place in the presence of the city management, ambassadors of countries contributing to EEA funds, the ministers of the environment and justice and other important figures in the project. This was followed by the final conference, which presented the progress of monument restoration, project implementation and future use.

The villa will open in trial operation from 15 January 2024. The building will host a series of events in the first quarter of 2024, offering lectures, community meetings, educational programs, involvement of associations and other specific projects. From 1 May, it will be available completely, including the garden.

The total cost of the project was CZK 130 million. The contribution from the so-called Norwegian funds was provided to the maximum amount of CZK 38.5 million, which is approximately 32.79% of the total cost of the project.

The costs of revitalising the garden will exceed CZK 20 million, and are fully covered by the budget of the City of Brno. The projected completion is set to be finished by 30 April.
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