No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: That is indeed a giant airship parked across two buildings.
Designed by Martin Rajniš from Czech architecture firm Hut Architektury, the 138-foot-long airship is docked on top of the DOX Center for Contemporary Art in Prague. And it’s not just for show! The installation serves as the museum’s new reading and meeting space.
The ship, first conceptualized by DOX Director Leoš Válka, is modeled after the early 20th-century Zeppelins, innovative airships that have long been sources of inspiration for music, film, and literature.
The wooden vessel took more than two years to build and provides a stark contrast to DOX’s existing white, modern buildings.
“The idea to invade the DOX centre’s starkly modern austere concrete-and- glass architecture with a ‘parasitic’ structure has been on my mind for several years,” Válka told Designboom. “I first dreamed of an absurdly fascinating organic shape that would contrast with the DOX centre’s existing architecture.”
A plastic shell and a timber frame allows for a permeable envelope, bringing in natural light and air. It’s accessed from the museum’s rooftop, where steps leading inside the ship reveal stepped seating for reading and discussions.