Apropos Architects has designed the Czech pavilion for the World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan, as a sophisticated instrument for achieving a higher form of viability. Titled “Sculpting Vitality,” the pavilion’s dynamic spiral movement upwards represents the ideal life path, where movement is an essential tool for maintaining physical vitality.
The 621 m² pavilion located on a 996 m² site encourages visitors to engage in physical exercise while compelling creative engagement with spiritual and cultural values. The architecture’s concept revolves around a space shaped by the movement of the body and soul, and through active visitor movement, the cultural content materializes, completing the visitor’s journey towards inner vitality.
The Czech pavilion takes advantage of its exposed location on the coastal promenade and boasts a dominant, crafted glass façade that recalls the rich history of glassmaking in the Czech Republic. It offers unusual exhibition spaces with a changing interior atmosphere, shining brightly on the outside. The project is in progress, with an estimated completion date in the first quarter of 2025.
The silhouette of the Czech pavilion is a significant feature, as it is shaped like a frozen gesture of movement – a spiral – which is in direct response to the internal arrangement of the exhibition space. The barrier-free spiral ramp wraps around the central, multifunctional auditorium, which has a hollow tube design with an internal diameter of 15.5 meters and rises to a height of 12 meters above the ground level. The ramp moves upwards in a logical sequence, mirroring the movement of the visitors, and functions as an exhibition and communication ramp. It also features an auditorium inside the auditorium, with seats for visitors that can be accessed from multiple points throughout the spiral.
The exhibition ramp has a capacity of 402 square meters and a width that varies between 1.8 and seven meters. At a height of 12 meters, the ramp leads to a spacious viewing terrace with a restaurant and bar. This additional space offers visitors not only a stunning view of the calm sea surface but also a view of the auditorium through the glass skylight.
Overall, the spiral ramp serves the smooth and linear upward movement of visitors, providing a unique spatial experience throughout the exhibition space.
A staircase, integrated into the double walls of the cylinder’s cavity, provides access to the ground floor of the commercial building. This staircase is an integral part of the exhibition and serves as its final chapter.
The load-bearing structure of the pavilion is based on a regular framing system of CLT wooden panels, forming a continuous structure that adheres to the spiral exhibition ramp’s concept. The ramp is divided into thirty-six segments within a single turn around the auditorium, ensuring adequate construction readiness, demountability, and transportability.
The pavilion’s energy source is primarily electricity, in line with the overall concept of the exhibition grounds. Rainwater is harvested from paved areas and reused after necessary modifications. The pavilion’s geometry contributes to shading the indoor and outdoor areas, with additional shading provided by integrated screen blinds. The pavilion is also equipped with a central air conditioning unit located in the utility room and connected to a central cooling source.
The pavilion’s load-bearing structure is made of CLT panels, while the auditorium cladding is constructed from acoustic CLT panels. The facade is composed of crafted glass panels, fixed with metal structures, and manufactured using the fusing method. The roof terrace is covered with concrete tiles that have an anti-slip coating.
The pavilion’s facade is made up of insulating glass panels with double or triple glazing. The exterior pane of each panel is artistically treated using the sintering or fusing method. The design involves cutting strips of other glass and layering them over each other on a flat float glass pane with low iron content to create a motive inspired by basalt pipes. The underlying panes are formatted to create undercut material for the scribed strips.
To simplify the pavilion’s construction process, the majority of its parts will be produced and prepared in the Czech Republic before transport to Japan for assembly on-site. The pavilion will then be returned to the Czech Republic, where it is expected to be used in its current form with minimal modifications.
Given its character, the pavilion is ideal for future use as a museum or gallery-type exhibition space in its place of origin, completing its journey in line with the original exhibition concept of exploring inner vitality.