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ETFE roof tops wooden zeppelin at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art

Projects | September 1, 2018 | By:

The zeppelin-like structure that appears to have landed on the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague, Czech Republic, is an event space with stadium seating and a stage for literary events and other types of lectures. Photos: Jan Slavík, ©DOX.

Established in a former factory, Prague’s DOX Centre for Contemporary Art has a fresh, modern sensibility. Its square corners, austere white concrete walls and large windows create an ideal backdrop for the exciting and thought-provoking works of art on display. But there is a surprise on the roof. A giant zeppelin-like structure seems to have traversed time and flown into the city to hover over the museum. Named Gulliver, the wood and steel structure with an ETFE roof was created for the museum to be a unique event space and pedestrian bridge.

The project was the idea of Leoš Válka, DOX Centre founder. He wanted to create something that was dramatically different than the contemporary space, and challenged Czech Republic-based Hut’ Architektury’s Martin Rajniš to create something wondrous—something that would be the dream of every 12-year-old child.

The skeleton of the 130-foot-long, 30-foot-diameter structure was formed using timber. Steel was used to provide wind resistance and is secured with 14 timber truss rings. To ensure stability, the airship is secured to two steel truss support columns with steel cables.

Gulliver is covered with an unfinished lamella, a thin wooden membrane made of 0.75-inch-thick slats ranging between 1.85 inches and 2.5 inches wide. Lastly, transparent ETFE was stretched around the structure to form a roof that protects the lamella. For more information, visit


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