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The Czech Lanterns – Prague’s Airport Refurbishment

The Czech Lanterns – Prague’s Airport Refurbishment
06 November 2023 | Updated 03 April 2024

New buildings at an airport in Prague will feature a programmable glass exterior to show travel information and a satellite image of Czech Republic.


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Three new buildings at Václav Havel Airport Prague, the largest airport of Prague and the Czech Republic, are being proposed with an innovative programmable lighting element to its exterior walls. Designed by architects MVRDV and NACO (Netherlands Airport Consultants), the walls project a satellite image of the country’s terrain, showing low mountains and forests. The design also has a practical element, as the walls can be programmed to project information about various current events around the country.

This striking green image can also be seen on the roof and ceiling of the interior, a deliberate move to assimilate airport visitors. "Most airport experiences these days have become detached from any sense of place, or any sense of control for the traveller", says MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. "At Prague, this will soon be different. As you pass through security you will feel surrounded by the greenness of the Czech landscape – in the ceiling, which shows its green landscapes and in the courtyards nearby, which host plants that are recognisable from the Czech biotope. 

“The experience will give a sense of calm and control… a moment to feel grounded, just before you take off. Coming back to the Czech Republic it gives a sense of return, with the three Czech Lanterns guiding you home from afar."

The printed glass on the exterior of the buildings features photovoltaics to generate energy, it also reduces solar irradiation at strategic points.



Picture: a render from the interior of the airport, showing various functional areas such as security gates and passport control, with a satellite image of Czech Republic on the ceiling. Image Credit: MVRDV and © Atchain


Human-Centric Design


The human-centric design also continues through the flow of the passenger journey, intended to be a “seamless” experience. The vertiport access, business and VIP lounges, are located on one level with no opaque barriers in the security area. This means that the airfield is always visible, minimising stress in a usually fraught element of travel.


Picture: a render showing the exterior of one of the proposed buildings, showing a satellite image of Czech Republic. Image Credit: MVRDV and © Atchain

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 06 November 2023


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