On Tuesday, the builders received the keys to the Industrial Palace at the Exhibition Grounds from Deputy Mayor Pavel Vyhnánek. The 1891 monument, with riveted structures, was destroyed by fire in October 2008. The left wing, which was burnt down during the fire, will be rebuilt within a month. It should be ready within three years.
The investment amounts to about CZK 2.3 billion, excluding VAT, and the entire work will not be a replica. It is a reconstruction and restoration. The reconstruction concerns the standing right-wing and the central monumental part, in their form from the 1920s, while the left-wing will be a new building, in its form from the time of its construction. This means that it will not have, for example, the ceiling soffits that were created in the 1950s.
The existing riveted structures, which were used by the designer and architect Gustav Eiffel, will remain. Still, the rivets will be added, according to architect Vladimír Thiele of the SGL Projekt studio.
Work will begin in about a month with geological surveys and digging a pit under the left-wing. A basement is to be created here, through which the palace will be supplied. The basement will also house technology, mainly a heat pump 70 to 140 meters deep boreholes.
According to the builders, the biggest challenge will be restoring the stained glass walls, whose surface can hardly withstand strong winds. For example, a gale a few years ago blew away the gabled roof of the central wing.
The Palace of Industry has recently been used mainly for trade fairs, such as the annual World of Books.