Botanical Gardens to build new greenhouses

Two large new buildings and a roof trail are planned for Troja

The Botanical Gardens in Troja will make a new entry area this year that will include a nature trail on the building 's roof. The studio Fránek Architects won a competition for the new entrance design.

The project is in one of several that are taking place at the Botanical Garden and nearby at Prague Zoo.

Construction of a western entrance to the Botanical Garden at the Fata Morgana greenhouse should begin in the autumn. It had been pushed back three months to technical issues with the tender.

In the next 18 months it should be finished and in use. Construction costs are estimated at Kč 84 million.

The new western entrance building will have cash registers, toilets, a restaurant and a lecture hall. An elevator will provide barrier-free access to the Fata Morgana.

Next year, a footbridge will be built at the Botanical Garden for Kč 6 million over a public road that separates the western part of the garden from the rest of the complex.

Within five years, a new main entrance should be constructed in the northern part. The goal is to attract visitors from Kobylisy and Bohnice by making it easier for them to enter.

The planned northern entrance will have an info centre, a library, a café, a restaurant, a souvenir shop and an event hall. Space is aimed at not only garden visitors, but also neighbourhood residents.

The project has an administrative area, with a headquarters and a 270-space parking lot covered in climbing plants.

“We will build two large greenhouses similar in size to Fata Morgana. The first will exhibit dry and heat-loving vegetation. The second greenhouse will be up to 10 meters tall and serve as a conservatory for delicate plants in winter. During the summer it will have exhibitions,” Bohumil Černý, director of the Botanical Gardens in Troja, told daily Mladá fronta Dnes.

Total costs for the projects should be Kč 200 million. The management expects to increase the number of visitors from 344,000 to 600,000 people per year once the new greenhouses and entrances are completed.

Prague Zoo, which is next to the Botanical Garden, also is planning projects. Construction of an Australian pavilion should begin this year. The main attraction is the Tasmanian devil, which is considered endangered and has been facing a transmitted disease in its native environment.

Survival of the species relies on keeping uninfected populations safe from the disease, and outside the native habitat of Tasmania until the disease is eradicated. The Kč 61 million pavilion will also have wombats, three types of kangaroos and birds.

Construction on a new Kč 121 gorilla pavilion should begin this year. It will be recessed into the surrounding terrain and covered with soil in the northern part of the zoo.Construction had been delayed due to objections from Prague 7, but now can move forward.

The Rákos Pavilion for rare parrots should also open soon. It was completed in September but found to have several construction flaws. Those are in the process of being fixed, and greenery is being planted.

A new pavilion for polar bears is also planned. Visitors will be able to see the bears swim underwater.

The zoo will also build a large range of Przewalski's horses in Prague 5. The zoo has been active in returning this rare species to the wild.

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