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Summer Pavilion in Prague, Papundekl Architekti, Photo: Alex Shoots Buildings

A Glow in the Park: Summer Pavilion in Prague

Výstaviště, the historical exhibition grounds in Prague’s Holešovice district, dates from the great age of world expositions. In 1891, it was inaugurated to mark the anniversary of the city’s first large fair, an industrial exhibition. The Industrial Palace, an art-nouveau structure that asserts its dominance at the centre of the exhibition grounds, was created at the same time. Trade fairs, carnivals and cultural events still take place here. However, it was only recently that the operating company determined to make the exhibition grounds accessible to the public even when no events are planned, thus creating a connection to the large, nearby Stromovka Park. At the point of connection, Papundekl Architekti have now developed a light pavilion based on a skeleton structure. The pavilion makes the most important services available to visitors: toilets, a few administration offices and − indispensable in Prague − a taproom.

The low building stands slightly above the ground on footings of reinforced concrete. Its supporting structure consists of steel columns; the interior spaces, which can be heated, were constructed using wood-building techniques and feature large-format glass faces. Folding panels of fibreglass-reinforced plastic in a striking shade of orange allow the pavilion to be opened up and closed. When the panels are closed and the light is switched on inside the skeleton structure, the pavilion glows like an enormous lantern in the semidarkness of the park landscape.

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Employee: Jan Bárta, Šimon Bierhanzl, Marek Fischer, Jan Svoboda

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