26. February 2020

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An architecturally unique glazed building with clean lines and a lightweight construction invites visitors for relaxation…and film shoots. The pavilion is part of the Svatá Kateřina Resort, a 13-hectare oasis set in the middle of nature. We met Michaela Králová of the Vysočina Film Office here for a tour in autumn 2019.

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Ayurvedic pavilion | Photo: Czech Film Commission 

The Svatá Kateřina Resort opened in 2008, taking its inspiration from the long spa tradition on Líska Hill around the Kateřina, Markéta, and Vojtěch natural springs near the town of Počátky in the Czech Highlands. As more and more people were searching for ways to rest and relax, it soon became clear that the existing buildings, and the wellness center, in particular, would soon no longer suffice. The owner, Petr Zempliner, isn’t afraid to combine old with new, so he commissioned Jakub Tejkl of the Architektura 1 studio to design and build a new, modern space.

The wooden, geometrically regular construction of the pavilion sits on massive granite pillars which have their origins in the nearby quarry. The glass envelope offers panoramic views of nature all around, giving one the feeling of being in direct contact with it. Adjoining the pavilion is a meditation garden with a waterfall and statues of Hindu gods, as well as a large sun terrace. At sunrise, when mist envelops the surrounding landscape, the glass structure seems mysterious and is incredibly photogenic.

The Ayurvedic Pavilion was named Building of the Year 2019 by an expert jury. Michaela Králová of the Vysočina Film Office invited us here not only for the architecture but also because communication with the owner is terrific. “The pavilion is a unique construction, not only in the Czech Highlands but in all of Europe. There are other interesting things to see in the complex – such as a druidic stone circle built with menhirs found in the area. Here you can come recharge your internal batteries – or shoot a film. The property owner is extremely helpful and open to filmmakers,” says Králová.

Covering a total area of 1,700 m2, the pavilion comprises six therapy rooms, furnished with original mahogany massage tables made in India. It also features a hall measuring 7.5 by 20 m with a swimming pool of 5 by 12 m, two hot tubs in separate rooms, a Kneipp foot bath, and a Finnish and a steam sauna. Adjacent to the reception is the Ayurvedic doctor's office. The ceiling height throughout the building is three meters, and above the pool, it is five meters. There are connections to electricity as well as the local delicious water, internet and air conditioning.

"Everyone who lays eyes on the Ayurvedic Pavilion is amazed by it. The building stands on 105 granite pillars, and local natural materials are used sensitively in combination with the most modern technologies. Interior spaces offer gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside, almost literally within arm's reach. The hero of your film can drink from the spring of St. Kateřina, meditate in the mythical Druid Circle on the nearby meadow, ride our horses through the surrounding forest, or sit on the terrace of the former spa restaurant and fall in love, just as Karel Čapek did when his father worked here as the spa doctor in 1909,” says Jan Čepek, the business director of Svatá Kateřina Resort.

A tree-lined avenue leads to the resort. A Baroque chapel stands inside the complex, and horses graze in the meadow at the top of the hill. The town of Počátky lies 3 km away, with a picturesque town square and the Church of St. John the Baptist dating back to the 13th century. Nearby is the Summer Palace of St. Vojtěch, where for a change you can soak up the atmosphere of the interwar period.

Drinking water from the local spring has beneficial effects on the skin, the nervous system, the heart and lungs, as well as on metabolism. After filming in the Ayurvedic Pavilion, you’ll feel reborn.

Contact for shooting in Vysočina:

Michaela Králová of the Vysočina Film Office: info@filmvysocina.cz, tel: +420 731 597 613