In a project that joins modern architecture with ancient archaeological finds, the Czech Republic’s new Archeopark in Pavlov houses a museum where visitors can get an up-close look at many Paleolithic-era tools as well as skeletal remains of early humans and their artwork. The brainchild of Czech architects Radko Květ and Pavel Pijáček, the museum’s design is unique, as multiple parts of the structure appear to spring forth from the ground themselves, just as their precious archaeological treasures did.
The Archeopark museum opened this year, with more than 10,000 square feet of exhibits that tell the story of early human evolution, and most of the museum is actually underground. Paleolithic artifacts are common to this region of Europe, and the majority of the items on display within the Archeopark were found within a small radius of the museum site. Exhibits include early tools made from stone and bone, the skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans, as well as the artwork produced by those same civilizations.
The museum‘s design is decidedly modern, with sharp and unexpected angles at every turn. From the outside, the museum structures appear cold, harsh, and blank—concrete shapes dotting the site like a child’s discarded jacks. Oak and glass round out the building materials, confirming the museum’s understated style.
Inside the museum, pitched ceilings with odd angles, winding pathways, and the occasional skylight produce an atmosphere more cavelike than modern, perhaps in a direct attempt to remind visitors that they, too, are a part of human evolution.
Images via Gabriel Dvořák for Radko Květ Architecture