The architectural competition for the design of the Czech pavilion for the World EXPO 2025 has its winners. The top three places were taken by architecture studios Apropos Architects, A69 – architects and Mjölk. The jury also awarded Plus One Architects with a special recognition. The Office of the Czech Commissioner General will now begin negotiations with the awarded architectural studios, which will by the end of April result in a multidisciplinary team for the project of the Czech pavilion. A seven-member expert jury chose the winning projects out of a total 38 submitted designs which met all the given criteria. The winners were announced on 7th March 2023 at the gala in the Center of Architecture and Urban Planning – CAMP, located in Prague.
„I was incredibly pleased by the interest in the architectural competition and by the amount of submitted projects. It proves the positive perception of the World EXPO and its prestige,“ says Ondřej Soška, the Czech Commissioner General of EXPO 2025, and adds: „I would like to thank all the members of the jury who approached the selection of the winning designs responsibly and after two days of unenviable deliberations agreed on the three concepts. They all have a great chance to attract and appeal to Japanese visitors. We are thus one step closer to successfully representing our country on one of the most prestigious cultural and business platforms ever and I am very much looking forward to further developments."
„The World EXPO is globally the most meaningful marketing platform and it is a great opportunity for supporting and spreading the good reputation of Czechia worldwide. A quality representation starts with a quality pavilion. I am therefore very pleased that so many excellent candidates have entered the open architectural competition for the national pavilion. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing one of the designs providing a worthy home for the Czech national presentation in Osaka in two years‘ time,“ said Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský during his speech at the gala evening.
The expert jury was most impressed by the design of the Czech pavilion by Apropos Architects in collaboration with Tereza Šváchová and Lunchmeat studio. Internationally experienced studio Apropos Architects realized a number of projects within European cities, from apartment buildings to large urban complexes. Besides Czechia, they are also present in Zurich, Switzerland, and Hague, the Netherlands.
"The theme of our pavilion is “sculpting vitality”. The facade is designed in sintered plate glass, and the use of glass was an obvious choice for us from the start. The artisanal glass processing in the Czech Republic has an immense tradition and its use logically fit both the theme of the World EXPO and our chosen theme of vitality. As a society, we will live longer and be more vital. To strengthen our inner vitality, we also need to be aware of our social and cultural values and constantly remind ourselves of them and reinforce them. That is why the pavilion is made of wood and glass, crafted and creatively conceived, filled with Czech art and creativity. In the shape of a dynamic spiral as the most ideal path," explains Nikoleta Slováková from Apropos Architects the concept of the winning design.
The second place was taken by the Prague studio A69 – Architects and their Wooden Temple, which roots are in the year 1994. The three coworkers who are behind this brand name are connected not only by the same birth year but tens of realizations and hundreds of projects of various range and typological kinds. Third place won the Sky under the Trees design by the architectural studio Mjölk from Liberec. The jury also awarded the project by the studio Plus One Architects with a special recognition for their original concept of the pavilion in a shape of a mushroom.
The architectural-design competition competition was announced on 12th December 2022 as an open, transparent and anonymous single-phase competition for the design and also for the content of the national pavilion. This kind of competition was renewed after more than twenty years. The last such competition for a national pavilion was held in Czechia before EXPO 2000, which took place in Hannover, Germany. The deadline for the submition of the designs was 1st March 2023. The jury evaluated all thirty-eight submitted projects that met all the criteria. There were not only projects from Czechia but also from Slovakia, the Great Britain, Germany and Cyprus.
The three winning designs were agreed upon by a seven-member expert jury headed by famous Czech architect Eva Jiřičná, who commented on the selection process as follows: "More than 80% of Japanese visitors are expected to attend the exhibition in Osaka. In addition to the architectural design of the exterior, it was important to take into account the planned content of the pavilion and its commercial function. It was difficult to take all these parameters into account in the selection process. That is why I appreciated the diversity of the expert jury and the fruitful discussion over the proposals, where each member imprinted his experience and different point of view on the evaluation. It was a great surprise to me that so many teams were willing to offer their ideas and time. Preparing a bid of this magnitude is very time consuming and resource intensive process where teams come together, learn to collaborate and problem solve. And even if they don't end up being among the winners, participating in competitions like this will enrich their skills and expand their register of possibilities for the future." The final architectural design of the Czech pavilion will be known by the end of April, when the contract for realization will be signed with the winner.
The winning projects received financial awards for their participation and placement in the competition. For the first place 500 thousand crowns, for the second 400 thousand crowns and for the third 200 thousand crowns. The amount of CZK 100 thousand was allocated for a special prize.
The expert jury for the World EXPO 2025 The Office of the Comissioner General together with the organizer of the competition CCEA MOBA assembled a highly professional and diverse jury for the selection of the winning design of the Czech pavilion for the World EXPO 2025. On 6th and 7th March 2023, the seven-member jury met over the submitted designs, their aim was to agree on three winning concepts. The expert jury was chaired by the world-renowned architect Eva Jiřičná, other members included the partner of the renowned architectural studio Kengo Kuma and Associates Balazs Bognar, the automotive chief designer Jozef Kabaň, the architect Markéta Smrčková, the chairman of the Czech Chamber of Architects Jan Kasl, the founder of the Association of Czech Industrial Design Martin Wichterle and the Czech Commissioner General Ondřej Soška.
The members of jury also had their excellent expert advisors, who had a number of very inspiring comments in the selection process – Osamu Okamura, Kristina Magasaniková, René Kühn, Adam Gebrian, Radek Špicar and Aleš Kysela.