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The Guard Patrol in Rokytnice nad Jizerou, Czech Republic by Mjölk architekti

Project name:
The Guard Patrol
Architecture firm:
Mjölk architekti
Rokytnice nad Jizerou, Czech Republic
Principal architect:
Design team:
Architecture: Pavlína Müllerová; General contractor: Strix; Statics: Recoc
Interior design:
Built area:
Built-up Area 17 m² The Fox 14 m²; The Bear 9 m²; The Sheep 10 m²; The Miner
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Wood, Steel
350 000 €
The Municipality of Rokytnice nad Jizerou

Mjölk architekti: The ridge of the Stráž mountain towers above Rokytnice. Its western end descends to the rushing waters of the Jizera river and continues eastwards along the Sachrův and Vlčí ridges to the mystical mountain Kotel. The Stráž mountain, or Strážník as the locals call it, was one of the places where signals were sent by fire when enemy armies invaded our lands. The smoke signal was then received by other patrols at Kozákov and sent deeper into Bohemia. Today, fortunately, the fires on the surrounding hills are no longer burning. Rokytnice nad Jizerou has new guards. The town is watched over by four patrons from the coat of arms. Perched on top of the Strážník, they symbolize the four villages that combined to form the town of Rokytnice in ancient times - the Fox, the Bear, the Sheep and the Miner - The Guard Patrol.

The Fox

The fox is perched on the first cliff. His long body stands on the stone, his tail sticks out into the valley. He can see all of Rokytnice and the surrounding hills. With a keen eye he watches the last snow melting on Lysá mountain, he knows about the first primroses on the slopes, where the rays of the spring sun are shining. The summer sun bleaches his back, the autumn rains darken the fox's wooden coat. Climb on, my dears, now the Fox of Františkov will give you a ride on his back!
The fox can be seen from a small footbridge nearby, along with a seating area that is perfect for an afternoon snack. There are more stops like this along the way, so if it gets crowded at the Fox, don't be sad, there will definitely be room for you elsewhere.

The Bear

The bear is hiding in the woods just a short distance from the Fox. He's standing on a piece of rock among the blueberry bushes, peering into the treetops. He looks well fed, there's a good chunk of him. "Get on my back!" Bear calls out, inviting you to a lookout that works even when the fog rolls over the mountains. If you're lucky, you'll see a woodpecker in action, and if you land, you might even see a herd of fawns roaming the woods atop the Watch. The bear is from Dolní Rokytnice, but he seems to like it up here. It's quiet and he likes people, so don't be afraid to listen to him. Get on his back.

The Sheep

The sheep has wandered onto the Stráž from the meadows of Horní Rokytnice. She guards the path to the Miner, which is the last stop on the route between the watchtowers on the Watch. Huddled in the forest among the blueberry bushes, she offers her back to the most precious ones. Climb the ladder and pat her back, she'll be glad.

The Miner

Cross the footbridge to reach the Miner. He stands on a high cliff, which the local climbers call K5. His character is a reference to the mining past of Rokytnice. As a symbol of Rokytno, he is the last of the patrol. The stately figure gazes down into the Jizera valley. A steep staircase leads you to a lookout with a magnificent view. If you listen closely, you may even hear the sparkling waters of the river as it makes its way through the wild valley from the mountains on the Polish borders. Sit on the steps and watch the horizon of the hills above the river, it's beautiful.


The Guard Patrol project began in 2014, when we designed a series of small stops on the mountain above Rokytnice. It was conceived from the original intention of the municipality to build a classic lookout tower on the top. However, the morphology of the mountain proved unsuitable for the construction of an observation tower, as it did not provide sufficient views at standard heights. Therefore, we opted for the concept of several stops on the rocks that line the top of the mountain. We were inspired by the figures in the town's coat of arms to create light steel structures sheathed in wood. And so today the town is watched over by its four patrons - the Fox, the Bear, the Sheep and the Miner - our Guard Patrol.


The lookouts feature steel structures consisting of smaller parts that could be transported to the site of the rock protrusions by human force. The steel structures are secured into the rocks with special steel anchors in drill holes up to 8 meters deep. The steel structures are sheathed with oak cladding. The handrail frames are made of black painted steel with stainless steel mesh.

About studio

We are Mjölk. Our goal is to explore contexts, uncover the qualities of places, fulfil our clients' deepest desires, and have fun while doing it. We want this joy of freedom and creativity to be felt not only in our projects, but also in the lives of our customers.

By Liliana Alvarez

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