The winning project of an international tender for the Czech Republic‘s pavilion at the World‘s Fair EXPO 2015 in Milan came from a young pair CHYBIK+KRISTOF ARCHITECTS & URBAN DESIGNERS. The pavilion is a house and an experience. But its life does not end when the World‘s Fair is over.
The concept is based on the temporarily of the pavilion and on the theme of the World Exhibition EXPO 2015 „Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life“. The motto of the pavilion is water. The pavilion presents the latest progress in nanotechnology for water purification as well as traditional Czech Republic‘s relation to water (e.g. spa, etc.) in the form of the swimming pool, which is part of the public space of the pavilion. The pavilion is a modular structure. The important aspect of modularity is the ability to dismantling the building after the show, move it back to the Czech Republic and reuse modules of the pavilion.
Contemporary architecture of the pavilion refers to the simplicity of the national style – modernism. A swimming pool, a small amphitheater and a restaurant can be found at the bottom part of the pavilion. On the first floor there are exhibition spaces around a central atrium and another restaurant, these are followed by an open green roof that provides visitors with a view of the whole area of the exhibition. The interior of the pavilion is being designed in collaboration with leading contemporary Czech artists. The visitor can find these pieces of art:
Luke Rittstein – statue in the pool, sculpture – life laboratory
Jakub Nepras & Blanka Neprasova – sculpture on the roof, ZOO Prague, sculpture Life Laboratory
Maxim Velcovsky – kinetic sculpture in the central area of the staircase
Federico Diaz – relief
The climatic conditions of the summer in Milan are also taken into account, the Czech pavilion offers something extra to the often tired visitors. It is up to the visitor, if he decides to rest in one of three restaurants in the pavilion or relax in the pool which is known as „urban pool“ or „Czech Re: Public Pool“. The necessary equipment for the bath gets the visitor free as promotional material. Instead of traditional printed materials that often end up in the trash, the visitor gets flip-flops, a bathing suit and a towel which should have the information about the exhibition and about the Czech Republic printed on them. The visitor then can promote the pavilion elsewhere in original way. Promotional items will be made of smart materials with nanotechnology in which the Czech Republic is a world leader.
When the exhibition is closed the pavilion can be disassembled into individual modules and transported back to the Czech Republic where it could find another use. The pavilion will not necessarily fulfill the usual fate of the exhibition pavilions, meaning decay or demolition. The lower part may continue to serve as a restaurant with a swimming pool, for example on the Prague waterfront. And after simple modification the top two floors can be use as kindergarten, art gallery or student housing.
Client: KOMA Modular s.r.o.
Location: Milan, Italy
Program: exhibition pavilion, restaurant, swimming pool
Investment: 3 000 000 EUR
Size: 3 200 m2
Status: international public competition, 1st prize
Team: Ondrej Chybik, Michal Kristof, Krystof Foltyn, Pavel Hruza, Martin Kos, Vojtech Kouril Veronika Mikulkova, Radim Musil
Photo: author’s archive, Radek Brunecky, Lukas Pelech, Simon Oberhofer