Gulliver Airship – Prague, Czechia - Atlas Obscura

Gulliver Airship

What looks like a crashed Zeppelin is actually a bright, airy reading room perched atop a modern museum. 


The Gulliver Airship sits atop a Prague museum, looking as though it crash landed within the city. Seemingly precariously perched atop two buildings, the Zeppelin almost looks as if it could slide into the sky at any moment.

But the wood and steel airship isn’t actually an airship at all. Instead of lighter-than-air gas, this Zeppelin is filled with book-bearing people. It’s a gathering and reading space, a spot for people to hunker down with a book or discuss literature related to the DOX Museum’s mission to encourage critical thinking about social issues.

The unusual reading space is wonderfully bright and airy. Sunlight streams in to create mesmerizing striped shadows that flicker across the floor. The museum also hosts various literary talks and events within the airship.

The nearly 140-foot-long Zeppelin is in sharp contrast with the museum building’s sleek concrete and glass architecture. This mishmash of styles was exactly the museum director’s goal. He wanted to add a “parasitic” structure that would clash with the building’s modern, industrial style.

According to the museum, the reading room’s surprising shape is rich with utopian symbolism. The wooden Zeppelin harks back to the late 19th early 20th centuries, when the early airships first took to the skies and inspired onlookers with idealistic visions for unprecedented future technological progress.

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April 24, 2018

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