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Open-Air Cinema Prachatice, Czech Republic by Mimosa Architects

Project name:
Open-Air Cinema Prachatice
Architecture firm:
Mimosa Architects
Na Sadech, 383 01 Prachatice, Czech Republic
Principal architect:
Petr Moráček, Jana Zoubková, Pavel Matyska
Design team:
Built area:
Built-up Area 218 m²; Usable Floor Area 164 m²
Site area:
2,949 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Roofing membrane supplier: Kontis Praha
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Steel – supporting structure. Steel sheet – facade. Concrete – stage, auditorium. Textile – roofing. Metal – chairs. Stone – paved areas
Town of Prachatice
Public Space

Mimosa Architects: Through a complete reconstruction, the dilapidated former open-air cinema with a huge capacity of 800 seats, was transformed into a functioning complex with a more sustainable capacity of 350. The shrinking of the grounds also allowed the creation of much-needed buffer areas between residential buildings and the cinema grounds, with the implementation of acoustic measures, and lastly the creation of a new connection between the surrounding residential complex and the nearby town centre via Štěpánka’s Park.

The old cinema´s buildings were, given the difficulty in their adaptation and the overall state, demolished, as was the original projection wall that was shading the park. Three new buildings contain all the necessary facilities – cash desk, buffet, hygienic facilities, the projection booth, a smaller projection wall with some rooms for the artists, and storage. The cinema is accessible to all in its entirety. The original “fractured” fencing toward the residential street was preserved. The fractured motif was also applied to newly built gabion walls, which separate the grounds from the residential buildings to the north. The area's natural terrain modulation was also preserved, used to naturally slope the cinema towards the projection wall.

The principles of the objects are given by their seasonal use, film inspirations, and associations. The system of film reels leading the film in a projector, the design transforms into the forms of individual objects, where in place of a film strip, the wheels control the ropes of the roof. The tarp of the roof, a subtle steel construction, and a sheet of corrugated steel create an illusion of light, seemingly provisional “summer” objects.

The corrugated sheets are another nod to a movie illusion, created by the rhythm of individual fields, alternating light and shadow. The use of black steel visually connects the cinema to an earlier renovated Municipal Theatre of Prachatice. Another substantially used material is stone. Granite paving, larger stone pieces, and gabion walls connect to the stones used in the town's centre. Where the grounds meet general public areas, a rigid stone paving was used, whereas, inside the cinema grounds, a “softer” more natural cut stone was used.

The textile roofing of the stage and a part of the auditorium increases the comfort of the performers and audience, whether it would be on a sunny afternoon or a rainy night, and positively impacts the acoustic properties of the cinema. Sky overhead the visitors is preserved for the majority of the auditorium. The objective of the chosen solution for roofing was maximum lightness of the construction with the idea being only of a tarp stretched between the buildings. Given the high degree of freedom of the construction, further supporting elements were added. Steel supports of the ropes are not only functional and technical elements, but also aesthetic ones.

Even though the projects of the Open-Air Cinema (Mimosa Architects) and Štěpánka’s Park were separated both in time and between studios, their finalisation happened at the same time, in the first half of 2023. Prachatice thus obtained a very cultivated public space near the town square, with an area not only for film screenings but also for more cultural events in the town with a direct connection to its centre.

About studio

We are Mimosa architekti: We design houses and areas outside of the ordinary, but always for you and for a given place. We can dream it up and think it over to their last details. It entertains us. We are aware of our responsibility for our common space of life, for your expectations, and resources invested in the construction, and we do not regret our efforts to verify our ideas.

Atelier Mimosa architekti was founded in 2007, in 2010 it converted into a company. Its founding members were Petr Moráček, Jana Zoubková, and Pavel Matyska. They cooperate with numerous teams of designers with realised buildings of various typologies including new constructions and reconstructions with investment budgets ranging from the lowest, up to large-scale public buildings. We design and build houses and interiors over the entire Czech Republic as well as abroad.

Jana Zoubková was irreplaceable both in the design and construction of Trautenberk, Hostivar H1, H2, and Osegg breweries, Javornice distillery, and other public and private constructions. The Javornice Distillery was evaluated in both Czech architectonic contests in 2017 (Grand Prix and The Czech Price for Architecture). The Trautenberk brewery was appraised in the contest of The Czech Price for Architecture in 2018.

Moreover, the works of the atelier have succeeded in various domestic and foreign architectonic contests.

By Liliana Alvarez

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