Realizing the potential of Prague's unique public spaces, architect Petr Janda of Prague-based studio Brainwork has conceived an exceptional gallery space that will bring art to the water inside the Vltava River's waterfront walls.
Organized in cooperation with Dvojka sobe, a civic association focused on cultural and social revivals of public spaces, the project is an extension of the existing (A)VOID Gallery, which is now in its second season of hosting art installations and other cultural events along the Vltava's waterfront promenade. The first component of Janda's proposed addition to (A)VOID includes revitalizing the space vaulted within the waterfront walls. Based on the principles of a window gallery, huge glass circular windows, made of an acrylic glass similar to that used in aquariums, will peer into alcoved spaces and look out as portholes dotting the riverscape (above).
Each circular glass piece can be opened vertically, horizontally or diagonally, serving as an entrance and allowing for a variety of approaches to exhibition design. Variations on the glass itself, including different levels of transparency, patterns and colors, can be implemented to accommodate each exhibition.
A second component of the proposed new gallery space is a floating pavilion. (A)VOID Floating was recently introduced at the weekend-long Ahoj Design event, which was held aboard the remains of a 60-meter, 1930's paddle steamer that will eventually be converted into the (A)VOID floating gallery. Along with being used for exhibitions, the space will include a cafe and a place for concerts and performances.
Inspired by the cyclical nature of the Serpentine Gallery's Pavilion project and world Biennale events, one of the project's main ideas is to change the design of the boat gallery every two years. Individual designers, architects and artists will be selected for the job. Janda's design, the pilot (A)VOID floating gallery, is scheduled to be realized next year. Made from uncoated steel rods, the structure, which Janda describes as being based on a dematerialized semi-exterior, has the appearance of a whale's skeleton or a basket weaving.
When the next design is completed, Janda's structure will be demounted and recycled. In the meantime, the old paddle steamer—donated by the Prague Steamboat Company—will continue to be used in its current state to host a variety of art and design events; demonstrating the cultural possibilities of (A)VOID.