Earlier this year, Czech practice Fránek Architects won a competition to design a new entrance building for Prague's historic Botanical Garden. Featuring a simple greenhouse-like design that complements the lush gardens, the entrance building incorporates economical construction and functioning, while providing locals and visitors alike with a memorable experience that will compel them to visit the garden again and again. Aside the various garden attractions, the building will have a green roof, information center, library, cafe, restaurant, souvenir shop, event hall, and office space. Reports state that construction of the project will take 18 months and will cost about $3.8 million.
Fránek Architects shared more details about their design below.
“The facility is designed to be built in classical technology and from traditional materials (stone, iron, glass, concrete and wood). It can be built step-by-step and each part of it can be a separate piece of architecture, both functionally and aesthetically.
The main supporting structure consists of reinforced concrete skeleton frame in the quality of facing concrete. Also the floors are made of polished concrete. The inner non-load-bearing partitions are lightweight masonry or glass. The greenhouse is designed in hot-dip galvanized steel, coated with glass.”
“Structurally, the facility can be divided into two stages. The parking space would be created in the first stage only at the level of the 1st floor as a reinforced surface from granite cubes; in the second stage, the second floor would be created from reinforced concrete columns, the monolithic concrete floor will be scalded by trapezoidal sheet metal to be subsequently left in place. There is also a supporting structure for climbing plants designed against overheating of cars in the summer and for the creation of a better microclimate. Plants grow horizontally over steel cables knitted between steel profiles.”
The main entrance is located on the west side, while the lobby houses a ticket box office, a flower and souvenir shop, and restrooms. The lobby then connects to the guest area with has a restaurant, cafe, library, and lecture room. The restaurant connects to a tall greenhouse that will mainly be used for winter storage of mobile plants, and can also be used to host various public and educational events like exhibitions and concerts. A low greenhouse will house the permanent exhibition of subtropical plants and plants specific to the Cape Province and Canary Islands.
With a separate staff entrance on the east side of the building, the office area includes access to a small workshop space, storage room, and private garage. “The loop-shaped atrium in the middle of the building intermediates a contact between the interior and the exterior of the building and extends the guest area of the restaurant for outdoor seating. The atrium is complemented with greenery and a water feature with overflowing water surface,” says Fránek Architects.
Find more project images in the gallery below.
Project author for competition design: Prof. Zdeněk Fránek Additonal
Martina Hamrová – architecture
Tereza Horňasová – architecture
Jiří Vítek – architecture
Adam Lacina – architecture
Libor Šenekel – visualization
Norbert Walter – visualization
Vojtěch Marek – visualization
Nina Pestel – visualization
Date of preparation of the competition design – architectural study: 11/2017
Investor / Client: Botanická zahrada hl. m. Prahy (Botanical Garden Prague)
All images courtesy of Fránek Architects.
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