Mjölk Architekti Conceives A Garden In The Sky


Mjölk architekti’s design proposal for the pavilion of the Czech Republic at the Universal World EXPO 2025 in Osaka, represents the Czech Republic as a cultivated garden that provides people with a place to exercise their immeasurable talent and creativity. Based on the idea of a garden in the sky, the welcoming wooden pavilion represents a cloud, hovering over the heads of visitors who are drawn into the heights of a roof garden. It houses an exhibition that combines historical materials and instruments representing a quest to understand natural phenomena with technological and environmental visions on the theme of landscape care and sustainability, along with works of a number of Czech creatives.


Sky Under the Trees

The concept of the pavilion is based on the idea of a garden in the clouds. The architecture, internal layout and dramaturgical concept allow visitors to physically and spiritually interact with the central idea of the exhibition. “We want to show a relationship with the land, a love of nature as well as contemporary talents to be proud of and skills in which we excel,” shares Mjölk. “There are many great studios in our country that are creating challenging and globally successful computer games. We also have a first-rate ability to predict the weather. These values are linked by the central work of a large-scale procedural projection placed under the garden ceiling, on which a believable impression of a blue sky is created with a program, as clouds change seamlessly and encourage the viewer to imagine.”

The exhibition combines historical materials and instruments representing a quest to understand natural phenomena with technological and environmental visions on the theme of landscape care and sustainability. Visitors thus see side-by-side measuring instruments from Prague’s Klementinum dating back to the mid-18th century and a recent discovery by Brno scientists in the field of bioluminescent technology, which enables plants to produce light. Participants engage in the story through interactive elements, educational and gaming technologies. The purpose of the exhibition is also to present Czech art in a broader context and therefore also includes works by Czech designers, glassmakers, architects or even sound installations and musical compositions.


The landscape design of the pavilion is a reminiscence of the mosaic structure of the Czech landscape. The roof landscape of the pavilion is varied, with different heights showing the diversity of surfaces, the structure of stems, trunks and branches, the texture of leaves and the changing colors during the seasons. On the roof, a small brook springs up and weaves its way through the pavilion, ending in a pool in the parterre. The surface mirrors the clouds, the visitors and the entire exhibition, reinforcing the idea of tying people’s lives to the weather, the cycle of the year and life.

The central motif of the garden is also transferred into the form of contemporary floral illustrations. The abstracted flowers of marigolds, sunflowers, morning glories, poppies, four-leaf clovers and brooklily leaves are depicted with a delicate stroke of a line, loosely referring to the technique of Japanese calligraphy and the delicate illustrations in Karel Čapek’s The Gardener’s Year.


The principle of the design is a building that is not just a box for exhibition pieces. The building is meant to represent the Czech Republic as a work of art, therefore the design reflects contemporary building technologies and traditional Czech know-how. This philosophy is also reflected in the interiors, which are furnished with high-quality Czech products and the leftover material from the CLT panels.

Photography courtesy of Mjölk architekti.

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