Six years ago, the nation wept over the fierce fire that destroyed one of the most beautiful hermitages, Libušín. The national monument is located in Pustevny in the village of Prostřední Bečva and is the work of Slovak architect Dušan Jurkovič. The demanding reconstruction, in which original technologies were used, has finally been completed and Libušín thus opens its gates to the public.
The author of the restoration project is the architectural studio Masák and Partner. It uses a special methodology for preparation of project documentation, called Building Information Management (BIM), which allows to coordinate all the necessary project data and create a virtual 3D model.
Original technological procedures were used
The new Libušín was created as a scientific reconstruction, i.e. using original technologies. The building should withstand time and weather fluctuations much better than if it were made of machined beams.
All repairs have been carried out using traditional handicraft craftsmanship, original materials and technologies. In other words, the cottage was built by men's hands, exactly as Jurkovič had built it. For the purpose of practicality, the craftsmen had to learn to do their work by hand. When exposed to the elements, a hand-planed board, for instance, can last up to decades longer than a board that was machined with a planer.
The timber for the construction was felled in the winter, when there is significantly less water in the trees, and at the same altitude as Pustevny, so that it could withstand local conditions. One beam was carved from each fir tree donated for the construction by the Forests of the Czech Republic. The new ones complemented the original ones, of which only very few had been rescued.
People raised 11 million crowns
The building, which has been a national cultural monument since 1995, served as a dining room. The total costs for the restoration of Libušín were 117.5 million crowns.
"After two years of preparations and four years of work, we have reached the point where Libušín has been reopened and people will be able to visit it again starting today. The first month will be reserved for guided tours, with restaurant operation starting in the second half of September, October at the latest,"
said museum director Jindřich Ondruš. He expects great interest in the guided tours.
"Libušín arouses great emotions, attracts people, and they will always be interested in it. The fundraiser proved it wonderfully,"
said Ondruš. People contributed 11 million crowns to the construction, various business companies and institutions also participated.
The dining room has maximum security
Construction of the new building began in the summer of 2017. After reconstruction, Libušín returned to its form from 1925, when all its parts had been completed. Its color and some parts are therefoee different than before the fire. According to Ondruš, the building now has the highest possible security. Libušín is equipped with a modern fire extinguishing system that uses water, which is why an underground fire tank with a capacity of 250 cubic meters had to be built. In the most valuable part of Libušín, the dining room, a system using gas extinguishing has been installed, because of its paintings, the segmentation of the ceiling and the uniqueness of the building.
The interior of the Art Nouveau folk building has also returned to its original form. For example, the craftsmen used a traditional method to create frescoes and sgraffito with motifs of Wallachian and Slovak legends by Mikoláš Aleš. Paints made according to the original recipe from linseed oil and natural pigments were applied to the plaster by hand. The dining room and the accommodation area have been preserved in the log cabin.