Palác průmyslu a obchodu, Výstaviště Brno [Palace of Industry and Trade of the Brno Exhibition Center]
BVV (Hall A1 and A2)
Emil Králík (winner competition), Josef Kalous (further development)
Concrete by reinforcement
Concrete is a relatively brittle material that is strong in compression but less so in tension.
To increase its overall strength, steel rods, wires, mesh or cables may be embedded in concrete before it sets. This reinforcement, often known as rebar, resists tensile forces. By forming a strong bond, the two materials are able to resist a variety of applied forces, effectively acting as a single structural element .
In this case, the concrete can be made by mixing the components directly on site, or it may be transported from a production plant in concrete-mixer trucks.
This method has the disadvantage of leaving the concrete exposed to the elements while it is setting. Whereas, with other methods, the environmental conditions can be controlled during setting, providing greater control over the outcome, with cast-in-place concrete a series of tests and protocols are necessary to verify its final strength.
A series of arches are situated parallel to one another at a distance that allows for covering them with smaller secondary structures such as beams or plates. This type of structure also calls for support elements perpendicular to the arches to avoid the “domino” effect .
State of Conservation
The Czech city of Brno, the country’s second most populous city, has a long history of trade fairs, which have been held there regularly every year since 1821. This tradition was reinforced, throughout the 20th century, by a booming industrial economy. Today, the Brno Exhibition Center is still very important, and it is considered one of the most beautiful fairgrounds in Europe: the 65-hectare complex is located in the privileged natural enclave of the Pisárky valley, connected to the center of Brno through a system of streetcars.
In 1922, the land of Moravia acquired a plot of wetland near the river, partially occupied by a sugar factory. The aim was to give the exhibition a stable headquarters after decades of provisionally occupying different spaces in the city. The design for the first hall, dedicated to industry and commerce, was the result of a competition won by the Czech architects Emil Králík and Josef Kalous. The layout of the grounds, divided into two large arms forming a “V”, is clearly inspired by classical proportions, creating a theatrical setting that draws admiration from visitors: tree-lined perspectives, dotted with domes and towers as endpoints of the long sightlines.
The resounding modernity of the architecture also caused a big stir: large, slender concrete parabolic arches serve as the skeleton for a bright and ethereal space, dominated by glass. Both professionals and the general public openly lauded this new architecture, which received more than 2.8 million visitors during the first year after its opening.
Because the terrain was adjacent to the river, there were abundant aggregates available for use. This was an advantage that favored opting for construction using concrete, since it could be mixed on site at a reduced cost, minimizing the transport of materials.
: Brno-město [Brno-City District], Jihomoravský kraj [South Moravian Region] 603 00 Brno-střed [Brno-Center]
Fundación DOCOMOMO Ibérico