Two Years of Successful Renovation Works at Prague‘s Industrial Palace

Two Years of Successful Renovation Works at Prague‘s Industrial Palace

The restoration of the Industrial Palace at the Prague Exhibition Grounds continues according to the plan even two years after the start of the challenging works. All the excavation works have already been completed, a basement has been built under the left wing of the palace with an entrance for trucks, and a larger part of the steel structure on the left wing has been also erected.

The City of Prague has been renovating the entire object of the Industrial Palace built in 1891, including the construction of its left wing, which completely burned down in 2008. The goal is to carefully restore the historical building, but at the same time adjust the interior spaces to meet the current requirements for holding trade fairs and other important cultural and social events.

“We are about halfway through with this bold project which is slowly transitioning into its final phase. With such fundamental reconstructions, unexpected challenges always arise which is also the case with the Industrial Palace. Thanks to the professional work of the builders, but also the involvement of many small, often forgotten, crafts, the Palace regains its importance and original form. In the future, the restored building will offer unprecedented potential not only in the field of organizing trade fairs, but also cultural events for the public," says Adam Zábranský, Prague Councillor for Asset Management, Transparency and Legislation.

“This year, the roofs of the Křižík pavilions will open for the public, featuring a huge terrace with a beautiful view. After the the renovation is completed, the constructions of the Industrial Palace and the Křižík pavilions will newly be connected directly, which will rank the Prague Exhibition Grounds among the world leaders in the field of exhibitions and trade fairs in terms of area and overall facilities,” adds Adam Zábranský.

In the past two years, most of the stained-glass windows have already been restored, half of the steel roof structure of the central hall has been renewed, the clock tower has been removed and it will be reinstalled after overall restoration. Restoration works have also continued on the so-called shepherd decorative elements of the steel structure and turrets, as well as on the tower of the central hall. Last but not least, an installation pit has been excavated just behind the right wing of the Palace to hold future technical facilities and air conditioning.

"When the reconstruction of the Industrial Palace began and I saw what such a project actually entails, I almost couldn't imagine that it would ever be finished," comments Tomáš Hübl, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Výstaviště Praha, a.s., and adds: "Today, we are already counting the months until we open the gates and welcome the first visitors. After all, our sales department is already offering the premises of the palace, and the international demand for the venue only confirms the expectation that we will soon be one of the key trade fair and event players, at least in Europe."

After two years of intensive works, a five-meter-deep basement was built in the place of the left wing of the Palace, with facilities including engine rooms, garages, public toilets, or cloakrooms, as well as an entrance for trucks. In the central hall, almost all the stained-glass windows have already been removed, renovated, and will start returning to their original place in the spring of this year. Roughly three-quarters of the painted ceiling has also been dismantled and is currently being restored. In addition, the connection of the left wing with the central hall and with the foyer is being built. As for the right wing of the palace, its’ original floor is currently being removed. Works are also continuing on the clock tower, which has already been removed in the summer of 2022. Now a new upper part is being prepared to carry a copy of the St. Wenceslas crown, and the plan is to return the entire tower back to the palace this summer.

The renovation should probably be completed within the next two years. "We expected the renovation to be completed in 2025, but after uncovering the foundations, floors, and soffits of the right wing (the so-called Smetana's annex), it became clear that the actual technical condition required a more extensive reconstruction," clarifies Adam Zábranský. After its opening, the Industrial Palace will offer one of the largest indoor spaces for congresses and other events in Central Europe with top facilities and great accessibility to the Prague Airport.

Photocredit: Prague Exhibition Grounds / Jiří Šebek

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