Punkva Caves Entrance building, Blansko

Punkva Caves Czech Republic, Entrance Building Blansko, Visitors Centre Architecture

Punkva Caves Entrance Building

Blansko Visitor Centre in Czech Republic – design by Architektonicka kancelar Burian – Krivinka

4 Jan 2017

Punkva Caves Entrance Building in Blansko

Design: Architektonicka kancelar Burian – Krivinka

Location: Blansko, Czech Republic

Punkva Caves Entrance Building, Blansko

The new entrance building into Punkva Caves has replaced an old unsuitable structure. The characteristic feature of the building is a gently bent roof, which must withstand boulder falls from the surrounding limestone cliff.

The front sheltered entry façade is concluded by a footbridge, accessing the magical entrance into the rock massif.

Punkva Caves Entrance Building

Photos © Filip Slapal

Punkva Caves are the most profound karst caves in the country. Deep down in a valley at the point where a stream is running from the limestone cliff to the surface, the entrance into the Punkva Caves could be found. The whole area of the limestone karst is a protected territory where all development must comply with strict building regulations.

Punkva Caves Entrance Building

An original building of a visitors’ centre was built in the 1930’s. Since that time, the number of coming visitors substantially increased and so the old building could not provide for visitors’ needs anymore. Therefore, an architectural competition was announced to select the best design for a new building which meets all the necessary requirements.

Punkva Caves Entrance Building

Most of the visitors’ and staff premises are located on the entrance floor. Amenities and utility rooms are located at the underground floor. Additionally, the compound features marina which is connected by a sheltered walkway with the new building.

Punkva Caves Entrance Building

The site itself along with its rocks and trees has become one of the main driving forces of the design. A special effort was made to preserve as many trees as possible. One of the decisive conditions of the competition was structural resilience.

Punkva Caves Entrance Building

The building must withstand 50 kg boulder fall from the surrounding rock walls. This structural integrity was made possible by the design of the roof. The curved shape of the roof and its 1 m thick multiple layered system was derived from load distribution requirements.

Its top layer is formed by earth and rubble and so it is almost as if the rooftop was a natural extension of the neighboring terrain. The surrounding rock has become a significant interior element of the building as it creates one of the interior walls. Another feature of the building regarding safety is a perforated wall by the entrance into the caves.

The gently shaped roof, the perforated wall and a cantilevered terrace are the key elements of the architectural concept.

Punkva Caves Building

The basic building material of the structure is monolithic concrete. 400 mm thick slab made of reinforced concrete is supported by columns irregularly. Those parts of the slab which are threatened by the boulder fall the most are supported by the columns more densely than the other parts.

Punkva Caves Building

Concrete surfaces, larch cladding and glazed surfaces are the basic materials which form the overall visual expression of the building. Additionally, another applied material is local limestone which was used for the wall cladding of the bottom floor. Concrete with brushed surface and limestone pavement form the footpaths and other outside grounds in front of the building.

Punkva Caves Building

The shelter covering the marina is composed of a steel structure with timber cladding on top. A number of drills were bored to enable geothermal heating pump to produce energy for the heating system of the building.

Punkva Caves Building

Punkva Caves Entrance Building Information

Name of work in English: Punkva Caves Entrance Building
Name of work in original language: Vstupní budova do Punkevních jeskyní
Placement: Nominee
Prize year: 2017
Location: Blansko, Czech Republic
Year completed: 2015 (Year began 2014)
Studio: Architektonicka kancelar Burian – Krivinka
Authors: Ales Burian (1956 Czech Republic); Gustav Krivinka (1961 Czech Republic)
Structural engineering: Lukas Loudil
Landscape architect: Eva Wagnerova
Interiors: Daria Krivinkova

Program: Culture
Labels: Nature
Total area: 4175
Usable floor area: 784
Cost: 2800
Client: Cave Administration of the Czech Republic
Client Type: public
Map: LatLng: (49.369407741611674, 16.727314889431)

Punkva Caves Building

Location: Blansko, Czech Republic, central eastern Europe

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