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klamovka residential complex

new residential complex

Competition for invited architects dealing with approximately a hundred new flats took us to an attractive area on a south slope below Strahov (hill) in Prague close to the park Klamovka. Part of this area was also a micro-park at the turn of Podbělohorská (street) allocated in the zoning plan as a public area not available for development. Our design of the residential block and a mound as a noise barrier in one established a new distinct intimacy of this place. more

The unmistakeable quality of our submitted design is the fact that the volumetric architectural solution and the landscaping concept cannot be separated and described individually, for they are one. The noise from Podbělohorská and the crossing with Plzeňská is the only more severe handicap of this area. Under conditions dictating the current public health noise standards, this factor makes it almost impossible to locate housing here. As a noise study confirmed, flats cannot be designed in this location without taking serious measures against noise such as for instance an acoustic wall approximately 10 meters high. We do not have to remind that affecting construction up to this extreme form (constructing a noise barrier) can rapidly decrease the attractiveness and usually acts against the principle of urbanising. Our design starting point was thus the effort to turn the weakness into a benefit. In other words, to embrace the resistance against noise as a base for the mass and urbanistic composition and landscaping, and adapt the general design concept to it. All this in such a manner that the new form would look spontaneous, natural as if it were a park, not noise-blocking technology. That is why we propose a mound, a vegetated berm that can be a simple clay rampart, a one- or two-way oriented house, a mound at a construction site, and a noise barrier, of course. This solution is the type that – aside from other benefits – can organically link the residential part, the Klamovka, and the park at the turn of Podbělohorská in one compositional entity. It will pleasingly separate the compound from the street, yet it will not establish a barrier. The berm can be walked through or on, at several places creating a distinct intimate environment inside the area at the same time; an atmosphere of peace, safety, natural calm – a feeling of repose in green arms of the grounds. As if the park Klamovka pulled in the area, we had designed, amalgamated with it, and delineated it vis-à-vis the street. At its north side, the area can be a little bit perceived this way even today as the dense green of the descending slope has been playing the role of the berm already. 3-D forming of the berm is given by the current natural angle of repose of the grade and the effort not to establish a higher barrier to the street than necessary on the one hand and the given setting determining the position and orientation of flats on the other. It is also for this reason why the berm is not only a peripheral element but due to the natural need to orientate flats to the sun it turns inwards the land on the south side establishing an inner belt of buildings acoustically screened off. It is natural that in this context to formulate the architectural expression of the houses (conceived as mostly south-oriented terrace buildings) we have chosen morphology as close to contour shaping used for defining the berm as possible. For work with the grade is, in fact, the main topic of the composition, we decided to use terrain contouring as also a tool for defining and mutual delineating of individual categories of the exterior space: public, semi-public, and private. Our goal in this respect was to prevent erecting potential bigger or smaller fences, make its greater part public, and separate it from the rest quite naturally – that is by working with the grade again. The structured peripheral berm is the determining formulating unit in our design. That is why we remain modest in respect of adding water elements and pieces of art. For the berm is a sculpture in its right. It is intentionally fitted with ´reinforcement´ in the form of contoured continual concrete sills holding at the same time the soil and greenery. The measure of contouring is the height of 60 cm that is the dimension allowing further work and further fragmenting (inserting additional steps for walking, sitting, and similar).

  • addressPodbělohorská ulice
    Praha 5 - Smíchov
  • year2011
  • investorMetrostav Development a.s.
  • design teamPetr Burian, Jana Buzková, Jan Holna, David Macháček, Kateřina Margoldová, Hana Němečková, Pavel Uttendorfský
  • collaborationfalse
  • photographs/visualizationsJan Cyrany
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