Czech National Bank Visitor Centre
In May of this year the Czech National Bank opened its new Visitor Centre in Prague Na Příkopě. As the general contractor we created a unique exhibition space which in an interactive way, introduces visitors to the function and activities of banks. Children and adults can therefore, for example, test money in a laboratory, learn to identify forgeries and on an exercise bike try to keep inflation at an ideal 2%.
The Centre Centrum has great educational value and includes unique elements that were tailored to the exhibition. This wide-ranging and extensive project can boast, for example, the largest cinemascope in the world, over 200 interactive elements and video-mapping of a ČNB meeting.
Renovation above all
The entire creation of the CNB Visitor Centre began in February 2021 and was divided into three stages. The first two phases comprised mainly building modifications. The total renovation covered more than 2,000 m2 of the building, and included modification of the air conditioning system, new lighting and complete replacement of flooring. Since the Visitor Centre is located in the historical building of the CNB, we worked closely with the Heritage Institute when selecting the appropriate form of added glass partitions, the colour pallet and brass cladding. The third and last phase focused on the creation of the exhibition itself.
The Visitor Centre exhibition is unique
The final work occupying 1200 m2 is divided into several “nests” with each one covering a different theme. Visitors will learn a range of interesting information on the Czech National Bank, currency stability, money and the financial system, and statistics. The educational texts are complemented by over two hundred interactive elements and accompanying video content. These were created by AV Media under artistic director Michal Caban, who, among other things, has worked with his brother on the artistic arrangement of the Karlovy Vary Festival for the past 25 years. The second side of the graphic panels were produced by talented illustrator Barbora Zachovalová.
The central motif of the exhibition is formed by the “statistics sculpture”. On the largest cinemascope in the world, which comprises 9 transparent touch displays, you will be welcomed by bankers from different times, and you will see statistical data in the form of 1s and zeros, which take on the form of people and things, or a film trailer from well-known Czech director, Jiří Strach. The “statistics sculpture” also offers visitors the opportunity to play a range of educational games. Other innovative and bespoke elements that we created for ČNB include video-mapping of a meeting of the bank board, simulation of the collapse of various large banks and a dummy cash machine.
In the part titled "domestic stash", visitors will try to discover the places where people hide money at home. In the laboratory, they will again test how to differentiate a fake banknote from the real one, and on a special exercise bike, they will find out how difficult it is to maintain 2% inflation. The whole composition is completed by high central panels, on the casing of which are plastic castings with the main slogans of the Czech National Bank, which are Transparency, Expertise and Independence.
It was an extremely complex project with just about every item of the exhibition display being unique. Everything had to be tailor made – nothing was repeated. The extensive cooperation between the various suppliers was a great challenge for us. However, I am very pleased that we managed to realise all our plans, and the result is great, which we can be proud of. Great thanks belong to all our suppliers, without whom we would not have been able to put such a complex project together.
Mutual cooperation yields excellent results
Over 5,000 people saw the exhibition in the Visitor Centre in the first month after opening, and it is receiving very positive feedback. We thank the Czech National Bank for the trust and the opportunity to participate in such a unique project. We previously prepared office space for the bank in the 1990s, and we are glad that our mutual cooperation continues. Many thanks also go to the entire team, which during this unique project participated in the development and production of innovative elements as well as the building work and the exhibition installation itself.
* we thank AV MEDIA SYSTEMS, a.s. for the kind provision of photographs
The exhibition presents the activities of the Czech National Bank and its importance for all of us. Come and try everything and have fun.
The ČNB visitor centre is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Entrance to the entire exhibition is free.