Behold, the Eye! Students of the Seho–Poláček studio built a scenic swing
The new viewpoint is located at the site of a historic crossroads northwest of the centre of Nebušice. The town council has restored the old dirt roads here and the new landmark on the route from Šarka to the Central Bohemian Region promises to take cyclists away from the busy town centre. "We restored the paths several years ago and they are really used a lot by cyclists, tourists and especially families with children walking around Nebušice. That is why we are very happy that we have managed to enrich this beautiful place with a view of Nebušice and Prague with an exceptional work," says the mayor of the municipal district Viktor Komárek and believes that the viewpoint will become an attractive place for all those passing by and passing through.
The task of the semester design-build project in the Seho–Poláček studio was originally a lookout tower. "But why build a tower when the view from the site is beautiful even without it? So we built a "rocking chair" as an accent of the place where two roads meet above Nebušice. One is planted with a row of cherry trees and the other with walnut trees," explains studio head Hana Seho.
Design-and-build projects allow students to invent, draw and build a building with their own hands. Through this alternative to standard instruction, students experience the entire process of creating a building, teamwork and collaboration with the specialists and craftsmen involved in its construction.
It is also the way the faculty engages in public affairs. In the past, the Department of Architectural Design II has cooperated with the Krkonoše National Park Authority, for which it built footbridges and shelters in the Krkonoše Mountains, and with the Prague 6 municipality.
The cooperation with the Prague-Nebušice municipality began in spring 2021 with the identification of the place where the new viewpoint will stand. They selected the project for implementation together with the mayor of Nebušice and their teachers.
"Behold, the eye! What is it? To the adventurer a lookout tower, to the small explorer a swing, to the photographer a frame in the landscape," the author of the concept, Jan Čech, a master's student, quotes the poem that was at the beginning. From where the Eye stands, the panorama of Nebušice and the distant landmarks of Prague can be seen. The structure blends into its surroundings and looks effortless in the landscape.
The shape of the Eye is determined by bent wooden beams meeting on the horizontal axis. Its main supporting structure is made of 10 pairs of glued laminated timber profiles, 18 inner profiles are made of spruce wood, 4 edge profiles are made of larch wood. For greater durability, the profiles are protected by cover slats made of larch. In the transverse direction, the prisms are connected by stainless steel bolts.
A hidden mechanism allows the Eye to move sideways. It consists of two pairs of rubberized rollers on which the object swings. The construction is complemented by a number of steel elements that prevent the Eye from sliding out of the roller mechanism.
Project leadership: Hana Seho, Jiří Poláček
Student team: Jan Čech (authour of the concept), Klára Fólová, Max Goldberg, Sophia Kačena, Veronika Cirmonová, Nikol Zelmanová, Johana Zafarová
Consultant: František Denk (statics)
Cooperation: Fakulta strojní ČVUT, RENEX s.r.o., Truhlářství Havlíček, Valenta ZT s.r.o., Zámečnictví Tomáš Beran
Investor: Městská část Praha-Nebušice