Will the Industrial Palace at the Holešovice Exhibition Grounds begin to be repaired this year?
I firmly believe that we have been waiting for this year to really start the reconstruction this year. The city council confirmed the winner of the public contract for the contractor, which became a consortium of companies led mostly by Metrostav. There will also be a 15-day period in which participants may object. Thirteen years have passed since the fire of the left wing of the Industrial Palace, and it has always been promised that it will be repaired. I’m glad it’s starting.
The competition lasted about a year. Was she accompanied by problems?
The public contract was really demanding, it was not only about the financial volume, but also about the character of the monument with very complex steel structures. We emphasized not only the price itself, but also the quality. The winners were in charge of, among other things, the reconstruction of the National Museum, I believe that we selected experts.
Under the burned left wing, a large pit will be dug and a new basement will be built, which will serve as a background for the entire palace.
There is talk of a price of over two billion crowns. Will Prague’s own resources be enough for that?
We are counting on it. The contract will be spread over three years, the city will not bear the costs at once. We were lucky because we received offers before the turbulent development of the construction market. The price of 2.2 billion crowns without VAT, with VAT of about 2.6 billion crowns, won as the lowest and I think it is very good for the capital. Complications cannot be ruled out for similar large-scale events. This also applies to the schedule, which is assumed to be 2.5 years, 30 months.
Earthworks will be expensive and demanding. Under the burned left wing, a large pit will be dug and a new basement will be built, which will serve as a background for the entire palace.
It is not only the left wing, but also the reconstruction of the central hall and the right wing. Why, when they escaped a fire in 2008?
When making the left wing, it would not be appropriate to leave the middle hall and the right wing in the current state. The tooth of time has also been signed on them, they require reconstruction and equipment with today’s technologies, shielding, air conditioning and networks.
The Industrial Palace will be reconstructed with maximum respect for the values of cultural monuments. The left wing will be exhibited in a completely original form, steel structures will be visible. They are no longer visible in the right wing, the wooden ceilings in the 1950s covered the original structures.
There will also be 70 deep wells up to a depth of 140 meters to power the heat pumps. We will respect the original appearance, but we will equip the palace with all technologies so that it can serve not only exhibitions, but also concerts, balls and congresses.
The challenge will be to combine all investments at the Exhibition Center. Křižík’s pavilions, the Spiral Theater and the Bohemia restaurant are also being reconstructed. The exhibition grounds are changing before our eyes, some of them have already been reconstructed, it can be seen that they are changing in the area where Prague can be proud.
There will also be an underpass to Křižík’s fountain, do the conservationists agree?
The underpass is solved in parallel, it is not in the project. We solve its design, we want the subway to be created with the construction.