Renovations planned for Výstaviště

Change will come in three phases but repairs to the Industrial Palace are years away

Prague will start to make renovations to Výstaviště in Prague's Holešovice district. Renovations will take place in three phases, according to Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) and City Councilman Karel Grabein Procházka (ANO).

The first phase of changes at the exhibition ground will include construction of a grilling area and a natural habitat, and repairs to the Lapidarium and Marold Panorama.

That will be followed by repairs to the Křižík Fountain (Křižíkova fontána) and finally a reconstruction of the burned-down wing of the Industrial Palace (Průmyslový palác). The cost of the renovations has not been determined. Whether or not the annual fair Matějská pouť will still take place there is not clear.

Krnáčová said that the first phase can be completed relatively quickly. The second phase will have to follow rules of public procurement and will take up to three years. The third phase will take longer than three years.

An architectural competition for the entry gate should be called in the early part of 2017. A part of the exhibition grounds will be returned to the adjacent Stromovka park and the rest will be connected and have three entry gates, but a final plan for the layout has not been decided. The grounds should be divided into zones for sports, leisure and culture.

The fate of divadlo Spirála will be determined by a feasibility study to see if I can be repaired and put back into use.

The most difficult part of the plan will be creating a replica of the destroyed left wing of the Industrial Palace. The wing was destroyed in a fire in 2008, when an electric stove was left on overnight during an exhibition. The building was built in 1891 by architect Bedřich Münzberger in the Art Deco style.

An architectural plan was developed a few years ago by firm Cigler Marani, but was not implemented due to its cost. A temporary multifunction hall could be built for about Kč 300 million and recoup its costs within five years. Currently a tent is covering the area of the former wing.

Mayor Krnáčová was not enthusiastic about the Matějská pouť, a fair with a history going back hundreds of years. It began as a religious festival but now has carnival rides and food stands.

Krnáčová said the fair in it current form is not modern. Whether it will continue, where and in what form has not been determined. 

Výstaviště was built for the Jubilee Exhibition of 1891, also called the General Land Centennial Exhibition. There was a large renovation of the area in 1991. During the communist era, party congresses were held at the Industrial Palace. The palace is 238 meters long and the central part is 51 meters high.

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