Mimosa Architects transforms the outdoor cinema in Prachatice

Mimosa Architects,

BoysPlayNice ,

Prachatice, Czech Republic,

Cinemas, Free Time,

Fabric, Stone,

Refurbishment, upcycling,

In their transformation of the old outdoor cinema in the Czech town of Prachatice, Mimosa Architects drew their inspiration from the imagery of film, with its reels and projectors. The complex now has a new face, offering a new attraction for summer evenings with a special focus on urban greenery and maintaining all the charm of its past.

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Mimosa Architects transforms the outdoor cinema in Prachatice
Redesigning a dilapidated old cinema with a contemporary twist, in terms of both style and use, is the key to the ambitious project for transformation of an old outdoor cinema in the town of Prachatice, in a part of the region of southern Bohemia in the southwest of the Czech Republic. In the centre of this small town with a population of about 10 thousand was an infrastructure that had become obsolete.
The old 800-seat cinema was in poor condition, slated for demolition along with the wall originally used for projection, which cast shade over the adjacent Štěpánka city park. In place of the demolished volumes, the appointed studio, Mimosa Architects, proposed three new smaller structures to contain the cash desk, projection booth and toilets for the open-air cinema. Kino Narodka, as the complex is called, is scaled for 350 spectators. The smaller seating area and screening wall leave the architects enough space to create a "buffer zone" between the cinema and the residential buildings, because what delights cinema-goers could be annoying for local residents. The buffer areas give the surrounding area an increased sense of serenity and privacy, while meticulous implementation of soundproofing measures perfectly reconciles art with community life.

In the construction of the new outdoor cinema in Prachatice, Mimosa Architects drew on the imagery of film, with a clear reference to reels of film in a projector. Hence the design of the tensile structures sheltering the stage and the audience: a tarp anchored to wheels, along which the cords of the roof run, in a tribute to the magic of the world of film. The solution combines aesthetics with practicality and ensures that the audience can enjoy the film undisturbed by sunshine or rain showers. When evening falls, the slender steel structure, decorated with corrugated sheet metal, creates effects of light and shadow recalling scenes from classic films.

The architects’ choice of materials is strictly tied to the city. The stones carefully incorporated in all parts of the building establish a strong tie with the historic town centre of Prachatice, as does the granite floor, interspersed with larger stones in another allusion to the town’s rich architectural heritage.

But what makes Mimosa Architects’ project truly capable of serving the community is its ability to incorporate its urban surroundings. The outdoor cinema preserves the characteristic 'fractured' perimeter of the original complex. As it is adjacent to Štěpánka Park, Mimosa Architects used innovative gabion walls on the north side to create ties with the green area. The gabions were filled with material left over from the construction site, while their permeability encourages urban biodiversity.
The result is not only an outdoor cinema, but a new public space close to the town square. The cinema promises to become a new landmark, offering a series of cultural events, all with an uninterrupted connection with the heart of the town.
When the curtain raises on this extraordinary transformation project, the outdoor cinema in Prachatice designed by Mimosa Architects will testify to the power of the vision, creativity and lasting attraction of the big screen, reminding us that even forgotten things of the past can be brought to life again to revitalise the spirit of a community.

Christiane Bürklein

Design: Mimosa Architects
Location: Na Sadech, Prachatice, Czech Republic
Year: 2022
Photography: BoysPlayNice