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open space ctu campus

public space - competition

The competition brief was to develop a concept of the open space in front of the campus of the Faculty of Architecture and the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Dejvice, Prague. more

The theme of the competition brief announced by the Faculty of Architecture CTU is the concept of the open space between the new National Technical Library and the University of Chemistry and Technology Prague on the south (new CUT building) and the old building of the Faculty of Architecture CTU on the north. Part of the brief is locating statues by J. Hejduk. The area at the Technická x Thákurova crossing is part of a green belt of the so-called ´Engel’s Plan´ that has been the groundwork for the development of the Dejvice campus of CTU for almost one hundred years. We perceive this belt as an element superior to the area developed in the competition, and that is why by adding a line of trees we acknowledge its city-formative principle complemented by new architecture, In our opinion, street junctions intersected by lines of trees are and can be designed in various manners. Moreover, the axial character of the campus in the given area is disrupted by a clean-cut diagonal axis running around the National Technical Library to the passageway between the FCE and the new FA building towards the CTU canteen. The green belt intersects with the entrances to the old and new campus buildings here. The solution is a new interpretation of the green belt on the Thákurova axis allowing pedestrian circulation without walking through lawns, without the necessity to place asphalt where people tracked out paths in the past. We propose a loosely composed combination of pavement (long engrained concrete panels of different sizes), grass and shrubs, as well as water areas in the belt between the axis of Technická towards the entrance to FCE and the diagonal crossing to the canteen and the new FA building. We place Hejduk’s sculptures exactly onto the busiest spots. The sculpture ´House of the Suicide´ is reflected in the water. Viewed from a nearby sculpture of the ´House of the Mother of the Suicide´, the water surface intensifies the feeling of separation and loss of a son – symbolically, it is impossible to get closer to him. The sculptures are positioned on both sides of the street crossing to the new canteen and the new FA building. At noon – and only then – the area between them will be busy; the attention of passers-by will this way be drawn to their presence, and they will be animated to come back anytime and watch them in peace. The sculpture ´House of the Suicide´ is visible from afar from Technická. The ´Mother´ remains hidden in a rather close position behind the Library. The sculpture of the ´House of the Mother of the Suicide´ unveils when the open space of the park intersection is entered, and these two sculptures define the vista and access to the new Faculty of Architecture building. The sculptures can be observed from each entrance area into the adjacent buildings. Notable outdoor furniture in the newly organised green belt is scattered concrete benches popping up from the pavers of the similar format – they are just taller and positioned partly on the edge of pavers and partly on the edge of the lawn and water; to make them more comfortable, they can be fitted with timber components. The benches will be illuminated from below at night, and their dimmed light will establish a transition to the new FCE building’s entrance. We design the access road to it as a long compact ramp leading from the north walkway in Thákurova to the building’s entrance. The ramp is scattered with similar benches to those in the green belt – just densely arranged. Together with the new canopy (or newly jacketed and illuminated one, as the case may be) above the entry, the ramp will look like broad, shining steps to approaching visitors. The area next to the access ramp will slowly lower to the level of the first basement of the FCE the same as the area below the ramp forming a large bike parking lot. The colour surface of the lot runs under the entire length of the ramp; at the end, alongside the façade of the FCE building, it ascends ending in the porch in front of the entrance. The ascending part of this colour rug including the porch will be, contrary to the solid surface of the parking lot, of the same colour, but made of a transparent material, i.e. glass or polycarbonate panels. The excavated soil will be re-used for landscaping in the west part of the site. Several turfed mounds will be formed here inviting students and teachers as well as passers-by to sit down in the sun.

  • addressThákurova ulice
    Praha 6 - Dejvice
  • year2010
  • investorČVUT
  • design teamRichard Doležal, Peter Malaga, Pavel Šefl
  • collaborationfalse
  • photographs/visualizationsfalse
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