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Giant wooden airship is actually a reading room at a Prague museum

April 18, 2017

The wood and steel airship was built as a reading room for the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague. Photo: Hut Arkitektury

It can’t fly but this wooden airship is certainly a unique place to read a book.

Draped between two buildings, the zeppelin-shaped Gulliver reading room has opened on top of the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, in the Czech Republic.

The structure is 42 metres long and 10 metres wide and is the brainchild of Martin Rajniš from Czech architecture firm Hut Architektury.

“The idea to invade the DOX centre’s starkly modern austere concrete-and- glass architecture with a ‘parasitic’ structure has been on my mind for several years,” DOX Director Leos Válka, who commissioned the project, told Designboom.

“I first dreamed of an absurdly fascinating organic shape that would contrast with the DOX centre’s existing architecture.”

Photo: Hut Arkitektury. Photo: Hut Arkitektury

The project was named after the protagonist from Jonathan Swift’s 1726 novel Gulliver’s Travels, and according to the architect has been influenced by the optimism of the first zeppelins and a time when technological advancements and interest in exploration excited the public imagination.

Visiting bibliophiles enter through the roof of the museum and up a staircase into the open space which will be filled with furniture.

This is no badly-lit local library, the wood and steel structure allows for plenty of natural light to come in.

The space will be used as a space for reading, as well as writing workshops, public discussions of literature and ticketed talks on poetry and fiction. 

Photo: Hut Arkitektury. Photo: Hut Arkitektury

Currently an exhibition is being held inside the airship, describing the conceptual side of the creation of the airship, its inspirations, technical design, and construction.

It’s listed on Prague’s official tourist website as one of the city’s best new attractions; it will cost you €1 ($1.41) to get in.

The museum opened in 2008 as a space for “research and debate on social issues” and the reading room reportedly took two years to complete, opening to the public late last year.

Photo: Hut Arkitektury. Photo: Hut Arkitektury

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