Doubravka Lookout Tower, Prague, CZ

Function: Other
Country: Czech Republic
Category: Innovative Public Spaces
Firm: Hut architektury Martin Rajnis
Architects: Martin Rajnis, David Kubik, Tomas Kosnar, Sven Nevlida
Completion of design: 2017
Year completed: 2018
The tower is a successful result of public-private partnership. The competition was announced by the city district Prague 14, while the construction was financed by a private company and other individual donors. The tower is now owned by the city. It is the first phase of a broader revitalization of the Čihadla park. The team lead by Martin Rajniš built several interesting lookout towers in the Czech Republic and abroad. For construction, the studio used small wood trunks for years and this tower finalizes this design approach. The original frame of the more than 20-metre-high trilateral pyramid is made of acacia wood, which required specific construction details and technological procedures; the building took a year. Nine persons can climb to the top at the same time.
Project Description

HAMR has been experimenting with bole constructions for a few years now. The tower Doubravka is the outcome of this experimental process. It could be said, without exaggeration, that it is both a technological and an expressive impulse for currently emerging architecture. The entire world is looking for a way to live in better harmony with nature, a way to reduce the carbon footprint and, above all, a way to emerge out of a deep crisis which we are now going through. This structure is our response to many of the mentioned questions. The project and the construction was, on behalf of HAMR, supervised by David Kubík. During the entire process we had to overcome many problems including the local land use documentation, the building permit, structural calculations of the whole construction, the overall deadlines, and the availability of acacia timber. Furthermore, there were setbacks such as the removal of the bark, limits in bending of the individual boles and the consequent impact on the shape of the designed structure. In addition, there were the structural calculations of the joints, trying to find a way to join the rounded timber, fastening the construction to ground, finding an effective way of joining the timber on the ground, atypical scaffolding, and the completion of the structure in the air with the help of four cranes. Last but not least, the adversity of the weather caused a several months long pause in construction as the site was not accessible. However, the problems have been solved, the load bearing tests have been successful with results better than we had hoped before and the first lookout tower in 70 years in Prague is now accessible to the public! The lookout tower is an outcome of a competition assigned by Prague 14 (mayor Radek Vondra) and has been completed with the support of LANDIA management s.r.o. (Mr Kamil Hošťák) as well as finantial support of the owners of the individual phases.