Prague offers contract to rebuild the Industrial Palace

One wing of the 1891 building in Výstaviště was destroyed by fire in 2008

Prague City Council has approved offering a contract for the reconstruction and completion of the left wing of the Industrial Palace in Výstaviště in Prague 7–Holešovice. The wing was completely destroyed by a fire in 2008.

A replica of the original wing could be in place in four years, according to the City Hall website.

At the same time, the rest of the Industrial Palace (Průmyslový palác) should be renovated. The entire work should cost approximately Kč 1.25 billion. The project must still be approved by the City Assembly.

The burned out wing has been covered by a tent since the 2008 fire.

The Industrial Palace was built in 1891 in the Late Historicism or Art Nouveau style for the General Land Centennial Exhibition also called the World’s Fair. The architect was by Bedřich Münzberger. Its dominant feature is a 51 meter tall clock tower in the central section. The exhibition was inspired by the Paris World's Fair of 1889.

“I am very glad to have been able to prepare the reconstruction of the Industrial Palace and especially the completion of his left wing, which will be a replica from the time before the destruction by fire. The entire exhibition grounds will retain a historical touch and finally will be a place of dignity for spending free time and visiting various exhibitions,” Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said.

The entire Výstaviště area is expected to be renovated and made more user-friendly, after years of neglect.

City Councilor Jan Wolf looks forward to the construction finally starting.

“After 10 years, we are finally able to resolve the completion of the burned-out part of the palace. The task of the project is not only to complete the left wing of the palace in its original form. The reconstruction also envisages renovating the right wing, retaining Pavel Smetana's interior look from 1954. The change will also cover the surroundings of the palace,” he said.

A large renovation took place in the 1950s, and both the interior and exterior were altered heavily.

Walkways should be newly made of granite flooring and new parking spaces for exhibitors’ vehicles are proposed on the north side of the right wing.

In addition, several trees on the driveway entrance to the building basement should also be placed in the vicinity of the palace, which would help to reduce noise and dust.

Two passages under the Industrial Palace is also planned to make it easier to reach the Křižík Fountain. Modern safety will be addressed with better evacuation routes. Sanitary facilities should be improved.

About Kč 650 million of the budgeted Kč 1.25 billion is planned for the reconstruction of the Industrial Palace’s missing wing, the rest of the money is planned for the renovation of other parts of the building and the surrounding area.

“We are going to continue the reconstruction of Výstaviště, and I am delighted. We fixed the Brussels Route, connected Výstaviště with Stromovka, a bike path was created and we made many other adjustments,” Mayor Krnáčová said.

“Renovation and completion of the Lapidarium is also being prepared, and the Slav Epic will be located there. Now, we are approaching the overall reconstruction of the Industrial Palace, so we can see that Výstaviště really returns the look that the Praguers deserve,” she added.

After many years of discussion and several proposals for new spaces, City Hall decided earlier this year to place Alfons Mucha’s large painting cycle The Slav Epic in the Lapidarium, a building next to the Industrial Palace that has been housing sculptures owned by the city.

Part of the Slav Epic is now at the Municipal House (Obecní dům) and the larger pieces are in Brno.

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