Museums and exhibition spaces

Praga. República Checa.

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Prague National Gallery Entrance in the Czech Republic.

Josep Lluis Mateo, arquitecto.

Description Technical file

Subtlety and a sense of containment characterise this architectural intervention in a place defined by its considerable landscape fragility in the environs of the iconic Prague Castle.

In Prague Castle, in the old garden situated among several palaces currently reused as the site of the National Gallery, a small building was built to allow entry into the museum complex.
Two parallel surfaces build the previously empty space without overburdening it: one shape the floor and the other the roof.
The floor is built as a surface layer of the actual ground and folds subtly on itself to adapt to any minor unevenness to facilitate access to the neighbouring buildings. It is hard yet retains part of its organic nature, which is embodied in plants, earth and water.
The roof, the limit that separates us from the sky, has been designed as a continuous sheet that barely touches the surrounding buildings, giving rise to large skylights and generating an enigmatic play of reflections. An organic gravel-covered layer that sets the limits of a secret garden.
The architectural space is the gaseous fluid that moves between these two limits defined by the roof and the floor.
The interior space is open, flexible, multiple and complex yet luminous. Its vertical limits are the existing facades; its only tectonic characteristic is expressed in the actual topography of the floor. The rest is light, reflections and the dialogue between roof and walls that barely touch each other.
The precision of iron, in the hands of local artisans, has completed the shape of this intervention.

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Localización: Palacio Salm, Plaza Hradcanske, Praga. Autor: Josep Lluís Mateo. Cliente: National Gallery of Czech Republic. Ingeniería de estructuras: Agustí Obiol, BOMA. Paisajismo: Manuel Colominas. Ingeniería de instalaciones: Grupo JG. Protección contra incendios: Francesc Labastida. Fotografía: Adrià Goula.
Josep Lluís Mateo
Adrià Goula