Continuing a series of reviews on recently announced Mies van der Rohe nominees, today we will visit Martin Rajnis’ Lighthouse and Museum of Jara Cimrman, situated in the Příchovice, south of the Jizera Mountains (Czech Republic).
The building is part of the U Čápa ski resort in the area of Příchovice, south of the Jizera Mountains (Czech Republic). The panoramic tower and museum aims to increase the number visitors of the resort during summer months. Investors are trying to create a tourist-attractive place, based on the exceptional natural landscape of the surroundings, and setting up a perfect scenario by improving the alleys, footpaths and meadows.
Jára Cimrman is a Czech fictional character of a national giant. Created by Jiří Šebánek, Ladislav Smoljak and Zdeněk Svěrák, the fictional personality (universal genius, inventor, sportsman, criminalist, poet, writer and philosopher), Jára Cimrman won the voting for The Greatest Czech in 2005 (only the fact that Cimrman is fictional prevented him from actually winning). He is presented as one of the greatest Czech playwrights, poets, composers, teachers, travellers, philosophers, inventors, detectives, mathematicians and sportsmen of the 19th and early 20th century. Playing the game on his real existence is part of his characterization.
The Jára Cimrman Museum is virtually invisible. It is completely inserted into the slope and cover it with stone wall, which connect to other walls running along the contour area. You could say that it is a horizontal element typical for this place. The aesthetic concept of the building consists precisely in contrast to the horizontal walls in the form of vertical wooden structures, to build the “Lighthouse”. The stone is quarried on site excavation, wood comes from the Jizera Mountains (“Douglas fir” made the oak wood staircase).
Visitors enter through a hole in a stone wall in a museum (which was created in collaboration with real Cimrmana) and continues directly from the center of the museum up the spiral staircase to a height of 18 meters on a viewing platform lighthouse. The top of the lighthouse is equipped with typical attributes such as gallery, mast, vane, sectional glazing. It houses a panorama with labels around.
address: Prfchovice 1, okres district Jablonec nad Nisou
design: Martin Rajnis, David Kubfk-Hut’ arch ite ktury Martin Rajnis (Praha)
investor: U Capa Prfchovice
cost: CZK4 mil.
built-up area: 162m2
architectural volume: 858m3
main contractor: Naga
Architect, founder of Huť architektury and winner of the 2014 Global Prize for Sustainable Architecture. He is also a judge of the BigMat international Architecture Award 2015.
An architect, traveller and sea captain. He was born and graduated in Prague. During the 1970s, he worked at SIAL, headed by Karel Hubáček. Together with J. Eisler and M. Masák, he co-authored the Máj department store on Prague’s Národní třída. He is the co-author of the History of Transport Pavilion at Expo 86 in Vancouver.
After the revolution, he and S. Fiala, J. Zima and T. Prouza headed the D. A. Studio, whose most extensive project was the construction of the new Smíchov centre. After a series of large scale projects he changed his attitude to architecture completely. A series of experiments with wood earned him regular nominations to the Mies van der Rohe and Piranesy Awards. He was curator of the Czech Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale. Martin Rajnis received the 2014 Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. He lives, works and teaches in Prague.