On October 12, 2023, an architectural exhibition titled “Czech Pavilion EXPO 2025: Architectural Designs” commenced at the National Museum. The exhibition is organized by the Office of the Czech Commissioner General for EXPO 2025 in collaboration with the National Museum. This showcase of contemporary Czech architecture will present visitors with all 38 architectural designs that competed in March 2023 for the unique opportunity to design the national pavilion for the upcoming World EXPO which is scheduled to take place from April to October 2025 in Osaka, Japan
"While there can only be one winning design, we would like to express our gratitude to all the participating teams for the immense amount of time, effort, and work they dedicated to this competition. That's why, in collaboration with the National Museum, we've prepared this exhibition of architectural designs. We want both experts and the general public to have the opportunity to view it," says Ondřej Soška, the Czech Commissioner General for EXPO 2025. He adds, "The dignified setting of the museum adds even more allure to the exhibition."
For more than twenty years the Czech national pavilions were built using the „Design & Build“ method but the Czech Commissioner General for EXPO 2025, Ondřej Soška, consulted with experts from many fields and decided to bring back the same approach that was used to build the pavilions in Brussels (1958), Montreal (1967) and Osaka (1970). Therefore, the Office of the General Commissioner, responsible for preparing the Czech participation in World EXPOs, announced an open and anonymous architectural competition for the design of the national pavilion for EXPO 2025 in December 2022. The competition was conducted following the rules and recommendations of the Czech Chamber of Architects, and 38 teams participated. In March 2023, the expert jury, led by renowned architect Eva Jiřičná, selected the winning design, a glass spiral, created by Apropos Architects.
The primary structure of the building will consist of modern wooden panels, while the façade will feature artistic glass that has centuries-old tradition in the Czech Republic. The national pavilion will provide a dignified venue for the Czech participation in EXPO 2025, set to take place from April to October 2025 on Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay. The pavilion will house a permanent exhibition, a multifunctional auditorium, facilities for business meetings, a restaurant, a VIP lounge, and a relaxation area with a view of the sea.
"The EXPO exhibition is an unique opportunity to showcase Czech culture and what the Czech Republic can offer internationally. I am also delighted that we can bring World EXPO closer to people here in the Czech Republic, especially through the architectural designs, which will be on display in the Travertine Hall of the New Building of the National Museum, which has a significant connection to World EXPO," says Michal Lukeš, the Director-General of the National Museum.
Outside the former National Assembly building, now the New Building of the National Museum in Prague, there is a copy of the sculpture "New Age." The original sculpture, created by sculptor Vincenc Makovský, was designed for the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the 1958 World Expo in Brussels, where it received the Grand Prize of the World EXPO. In the Travertine Hall, you can find the sculpture "Sculpture for the Parliament" by Czech glassmakers Jaroslava Brichtová and Stanislav Libenský. This sculpture, almost nine meters long, is conceptually connected to another successful work by the artists, the "River of Life," exhibited at the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the 1970 World EXPO in Osaka, Japan.
The exhibition is being held in the Travertine Hall of the New Building of the National Museum and is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM until November 19, 2023. It presents the architectural designs in the same format as they were submitted to the open architectural competition by the individual teams. Each design consists of three panels, containing visualizations, design explanations, architectural and interior concepts, and technical drawings. Visitors will also learn more about World EXPO, Czech participation, and the plans of Japanese organizers for the upcoming EXPO.
The exhibition is sponsored by CCEA MOBA and Mattoni, with media support from Czech Radio and the Czech News Agency. The event is held under the auspices of the Czech Chamber of Architects and with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Expert Jury for EXPO 2025 For the selection of the winning design for the Czech Pavilion at the World EXPO 2025, the Office of the Czech Commissioner General for EXPO 2025, in cooperation with the competition organizer CCEA MOBA, assembled a highly specialized and diverse jury. On March 6 and 7, 2023, the complete seven-member jury convened to evaluate the submitted designs and agreed on the three winning concepts. The internationally renowned architect Eva Jiřičná chaired the expert jury, with other members including Balazs Bognar, a partner at the renowned architectural studio Kengo Kuma & Associates, Jozef Kabaň, Chief Designer of an automotive company, Markéta Smrčková, architect, Jan Kasl, the Chairman of the Czech Chamber of Architects, Martin Wichterle, founder of the Czech Industrial Design Association, and Ondřej Soška, the General Commissioner of the Czech participation. The jury also had substitutes and expert advisors who provided valuable insights, including Osamu Okamura, Kristina Magasanikova, René Kühn, Adam Gebrian, Radek Špicar, Aleš Kysela, and Rafaella Broft.
About the Czech Participation in EXPO 2025 The Czech Republic, as an independent state, will participate in a World EXPO for the sixth time. Ondřej Soška has been serving as the General Commissioner since September 2022, following his victory in a selection process by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with his concept of "Talent and Creativity for Life." The Czech Republic aims to showcase not only what the Japanese are already familiar with and admire, such as Czech glass and classical music, but also Czech innovations, nanotechnology, promising startups, and talents from different regions. The budget for the Czech participation in EXPO 2025 is approximately 500 million crowns, with the government having approved a budget of 290.2 million crowns for the period 2023 to 2026. Additional financial support will come from private companies, organizations, and institutions, ranging between 170 to 220 million crowns.
Since January 2023 the Office of the General Commissioner for EXPO 2025 has been part of the Czech Centers network which comprises 26 branches on four continents.