EXPO 2025 - Czech pavilion | Japan - Osaka

Zuzana Bubeníková, Pavel Hodek, David Menšík
Zuzana Bubeníková, Pavel Hodek, David Menšík
Zuzana Bubeníková, Pavel Hodek, David Menšík
Menšík Skrušný
Kancelář generálního komisaře účasti České republiky na Všeobecné světové výstavě EXPO
Pavilion, Cultural Hall, Restaurant, Commerce

Rooted in history… As citizens, we often forget the importance of our homeland. National pride is often perceived as a bad human trait, suppressed by repeated abuse of this virtue. The joy of an ancestral legacy, stained by an often oppressed past. But the roots of our nation run deep. Deeper than a grievance or an unfortunate past. Deeper than we often perceive. From these depths, if we accept them, all of us, not just architects, artists or writers, are allowed to draw. Just as forests transform the deepest springs into the deepest leaves, so let us build the future of our nation even on the most ancient experiences. Let’s create tomorrow’s advantages from today’s problems. For our future, for us.

Our history is materialized in the design in the form of a chandelier symbolizing the rooting of the growing volume of the elevated auditorium. A platform optically levitates above it, depicting the moment of the present from which the future grows. This is formed from the planting of Scots pine (Pinus Sylvestris), reflecting the Czech landscape and the reality of the transformation of the tree species, which provided the material for the entire pavilion. Gothic vertical sacral architecture became the prototype of a rational combined wood-steel skeleton made of glued panels. The analyzes showed that the foreign image of the perception of our nation in terms of architecture is strongly connected with it. Therefore, it was chosen as a representative of the historical context in the detail of the facade.

The exhibition circuit and its theme are based precisely on the aforementioned possibility of drawing on the historical achievements of our nation. Czech design has always been important in connection with architecture, which is the central motif of the exhibition in many forms and periods of our history. From the applied art of the Great Moravian Empire to modern glassmakers – such is the possible scope of this exhibition, which will also include rooting itself. Its rendering in the space of the elevated auditorium may be the subject of another competition, offering the possibility of representing Czech artists or companies abroad.

Committee evaluation:

The elegant, simple pavilion refers to the long history and tradition of our country, which is also illustrated by the verticality of the facade, which has its origin in the form of Gothic temples. It takes rooting as a central motif, a relationship to the landscape and nature, which is represented by the planting of plants that visitors can take away and also by the central artwork in the form of a giant ‘root’ chandelier above the main auditorium. From afar, visitors are drawn to this pavilion by planted trees on the skylight raised on the roof. The modifications to the immediate surroundings of the pavilion are also sympathetic. Despite the number of mentioned qualities, the jury could not identify with the design and spatial rendering of the central theme.