That's not the world's biggest bird nest - it's the Stork Nest Farm, a rehabilitated farmstead that now serves as an event, leisure and recreation center about 50 km south of Prague. Every year a flock of storks return to the farm to nest, and this annual migration inspired SGL Projekt to design the center around these birds. The riding arena resembles a giant woven bird's nest and utilizes natural daylighting and ventilation to keep the space comfortable. The farmstead now holds a variety of events and also works to protect the local fauna of the area.
Work began on the renovation and rehabilitation of the farmstead back in 2006 so that it could be used for company presentations, corporate events and leisure activities. The farmstead is situated around a large pond and includes a distillery with a large chimney. Since 1926, almost 90 generations of storks have returned from Africa to the farm to nest and have made their home on the chimney. The storks’ fidelity inspired the renovation of the farmstead and the construction of the new riding arena. During the renovation, most of the buildings were saved and upgraded and only buildings in complete disrepair were demolished and reconstructed.
The new farmstead includes a residential yard with a reception area, a hotel, a conference hall, a restaurant, a pool and a bowling and house with a private garden for VIP guests. A new yard has been built for animals and a large multi-purpose indoor riding arena was built to resemble a bird’s nest. With an external diameter of 34 meters and height of 12.5 meters, the arena is used for riding or for a variety of presentations, cultural and social events and features a VIP section as well as stands to seat 200 spectators. The stork’s nest arena is built with arced glulam timber beams covered in translucent polycarbonate and a woven nest of oak logs. This allows some natural daylight to filter through, but provides shade to minimize overheating. Otherwise the structure is naturally ventilated using the stack effect and a large operable skylight in the center of the arena.
SGL Projekt completed the renovation in 2010 and since then it has become a landmark and attraction in the area. The Prague-based firm has also worked to provide protection of the fauna to the farm and has received a short list nomination for the World Architecture Festival in 2011.
Images ©SGL Projekt