Steps taken to rebuild Industrial Palace

Project documentation is being prepared so a contractor can be hired

Some progress has been made in finally replacing the destroyed wing of the Industrial Palace at Prague's Výstaviště exhibition grounds in Holešovice. A company has been chosen to prepare the project documentation for the wing. The winner is VPÚ Deco, which will get Kč 37.9 million not counting VAT, according to City Councilor Jan Wolf (Trojkoalice/KDU-ČSL).

Wolf said that he is part of the first City Council to take any concrete steps toward rebuilding the left wing of the Art Nouveau building since the fire Oct. 16, 2008. The chosen firm has 488 days to complete the project documentation. Then the city will be able to hold a tender for a contractor to perform the actual construction of the wing of the Industrial Palace (Průmyslový palác). Until then, a tent will remain in place where the wing used to be.

The city put up a tent over the site of the left wing and a temporary structure costing Kč 200 to Kč 300 had been planned but never built. Instead, a new tent with prefabricated structures is planned. Its cost will either be written off, or it will be sold and moved to a new location. An architectural plan was developed a few years ago by firm Cigler Marani, but was not implemented due to its cost.

The Industrial Palace was built in 1891 by architect Bedřich Münzberger in the Art Deco style. 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.

The Výstaviště grounds were built for the Jubilee Exhibition of 1891, also called the General Land Centennial Exhibition. There was a large renovation of the area in 1991.

Prague has been dealing with the situation of the fairgrounds for many years, as parts of the area has fallen into neglect. Some buildings were damaged during the 2002 flooding and had to be destroyed. Aside from fixing the left wing of the Industrial Palace, separate projects will rebuild the entry gate and repair the Lapidarium, Marold Panorama and the Křižík Fountain. An architectural competition for the entry gate should be called in the early part of 2017. Part of the existing main entry gate was taken down in 2014 because it was in danger of collapsing. The original entry gate was made of wood and stood in place until 1948. Some preservationists and historians would like to see the original gate rebuilt, as the plans exist. They say the modern replacements so far have not suited the character of the exhibition ground.

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

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.

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