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novomlýnská brána

new multi-purpose building

A dignified ending of Revoluční třída in Prague at the New Town side by the Vltava river is a long-lasting topic. Many projects were developed for this place in the past 70 years. We won a competition for invited architects organised by the owner of the current building on the corner of Revoluční/Lannova. The project, later named Novomlýnská brána (Novomlýnská Gate), passed through rather a heated public discussion then. However, the new majority owner eventually decided to follow a different direction with a different team. Since then we have no choice but to keep our fingers crossed for Prague. more

The concept of the new building designed by our studio builds on two fundamental principles. The first one is adding a calming mass to the entire front of a block of houses in Revoluční that would be able visually to unify the so far amorphous volumetric situation. The second principle is an absolute respect to the old building no. 1244; this means that the existence of this tiny listed house and the way the new building deals with the preservation and outlining of it is so important it becomes de facto the focal point of the newly composed building. The new structure establishes a somewhat calm, not disturbing background or a protective case. The filling matter – the ´dough of the city´ is first ´poured´ over the entire floor plan of the block’s front; that means including space where there is the listed Baroque house. Its limits are simple: the street line of Revoluční on the west, the site border on the north, the end of the blind gable wall of the added block, and the roof ridge of the Merkur Palace from the top. The weight of the mass is then made lighter and more light is brought in by cutting it into a set of vertical plates. The cutting direction, among other things, copies the line of the border between the Old and New Town coincidental with the axis of Revoluční. Then the most important phase of the shaping happens: the mass is peeled off so that its final shape would satisfy all needs of the vicinity. First, the volume is removed leaving a stately space for the Baroque house no. 1244 and a free belt of the courtyard along its southern side, no matter that this mass leans over the courtyard then. Second, the front of the mass to Lannova, jutting over the walkway, breaks to follow the street line of Revoluční. The mass is also cut away at the street level – we do this to keep (or better said improve) the Revoluční/Lannova crossing better arranged and conspicuous. We nevertheless do not just cut the mass away along the perimeter; the building is slit through perpendicularly to its ribbing. This way, a passageway is established connecting Revoluční to the courtyard and further on to Nové Mlýny. Offices and shops on the ground floor are accessed from here on both levels: on the streetscape level and – taking the staircase up – on the courtyard level behind the old Baroque house. The east and west sides of ribs are jacketed by perforated metal sheet in the colour of copper while the north/south fronts clad in smooth sheet metal. The inner skin of the side facades behind perforated sheet metal is a curtain wall with operable windows allowing daylighting and views from the inside out through a light ´veil´ of these perforated sheet metal panels. Our intention is to work with reference to the old state of the place before the house no. 1502 was demolished. The abstract perforated rainscreen provides an opportunity to become a carrier of the image of its predecessor. Because the house is replaced by a new building, a glimpse of a memory of its appearance remains here. The Neo-Classicist envelope to Revoluční is the only historically valuable part of the demolished house. The transformed image of the old frontage can be ´tattooed´ into the envelope by engraving, imprinting, or perforating in such a manner and graphic contraction legible not at close range, but from a distance – for instance from the opposite side of the street. A passer-by will perhaps recognise the introduced image at the ´second sight´. The dabbed graphics, therefore, does not weaken the initial concept of abstract statuary working with mass and is not the primary topic for the building, but it is used as a reminiscence for the insiders, slipped behind the front(p)age.

  • addressRevoluční 30
    Praha 1 - Nové Město
  • year2012
  • investorBrobosu Properties, s.r.o.
  • design teamPetr Burian, Jana Buzková, Pavel Šefl
  • collaborationfalse
  • photographs/visualizationsJan Cyrany
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