Lively Národní Boulevard, where we find the National Theatre, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Lažanský Palace, forms the centuries-old boundary between Old Town and New Town. In the section between Spálená Street and the Vltava River, we want to introduce architecture (photos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), that will be current, functional and considerate of the existing built-up area (photo 6, 7, 8).
DRN lies in the heart of Prague and near hubs for all types of transport. Within ten minutes, we can walk to Old Town, Wenceslas Square or the Vltava River. A few steps away is a tram connection to the city-centre or across the Vltava, and the Národní třída station on metro line B is just as close. The building is also easily accessible by car or bike, with parking in its underground garages. In the vicinity, there are a range of stores, excellent restaurants, cafés and theatres.
Project and approach
We are constructing a munificent multi-purpose building, thought through in every detail and built in a high-quality manner with efficient systems and respect for the site’s historical context. With the interior arrangement, green terraces (+)(×) and the already mentioned underground garages, we endeavour to accommodate the current needs of corporate life. Moreover, in the first two storeys we will open shops and a public thoroughfare through a green atrium to Mikulandská Street, thereby integrating the building naturally into the quotidian flow of the city (photos 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).
The palace’s interior spaces have been designed in such a way so as to allow for variable arrangements. The interiors are not designed by template with respect to either appearance or articulation (photos 14, 15). The attic of Schönkirchovský Palace is dominated by an impressive frame with exposed beams built after the model of baroque designs and executed precisely according to traditional timbering methods (photos 16, 17). In the other storeys, original elements are accented or, to the contrary, contemporary materials, concrete and glass are boldly emphasised (photos 18, 19, 20, 21, 22).
The exceptionality of the building itself is underscored by our architects and builders – we endeavour to tie in maximally with the valuable parts of the original Schönkirchovský Palace, where we use original processes in our restoration, and in the building’s newer parts we continue with modern construction methods and materials. Of the technologies used, it is worth mentioning the capillary cooling system, which uses alternative energy sources and the principle of air recovery.
At the start of construction, we also thoroughly familiarised ourselves with the site on which the palace would be built, and did not underestimate the importance of archaeological and construction-historical surveys (+)(×). These were not merely formal responsibilities for us, but rather an opportunity to discover the story that we want to continue (+)(×). The material found will become a valuable functional component of the new building (photos 28, 29, 30) (+)(×). It is evident that we are not trying to construct a historicising edifice, but rather a contemporary building that will be welcoming for its occupants and passers-by alike.
DRN will be completed and opened to its new tenants and the public in 2017 (photo 31).