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Addition to a school building, Jeseniova, Prague

Chronology: 2005
Investment: 60 000 000 CZK
Area: 2 809 m²
Typology: Housing
Location: Prague 3

Authors: Ing. arch. Jan Kupka, Ing. arch. Miloslav Vajtr
Investor: Leonardo Investment s.r.o.
Relation to Project : Complex project documentation in all its stages including engineering services.

Addition and modernisation of the former school in Prague – Žižkov.

The building is located on the boarder between a compact build up of Žižkov and extensive green at the foot of the Parukářka hill (also called Sv. Kříže). The character of the addition was mostly predetermined by surrounding buildings – blocks of panel houses at the north, a kindergarten and a renovated residential house at the south.

Modernised was a three-storey building with a basement under a part of it, with joist ceilings and a double-pitched roof. The building was by its layout and architecture of the street front an example of a typical Austrian-Hungarian school building.

The modernisation of the original building preserved its overall character and materials – loadbearing masonry consisting of Greek opuka (marlite, geol.) and solid bricks, as well as the massive main staircase. Non-bearing masonry had to be built anew. The addition is designed as a modern building without any historicizing reminiscences. The whole addition is a lightweight structure/piece of furniture inserted in the courtyard garden. It contrasts with traditional heavy façade of the old school.

The interior layout in the modernised part was predetermined by a two-winged articulation of the school building. Day rooms are situated to south façade; a balcony extends the interior. The part of the balcony running along the kitchen is used also as a conservatory helping to regulate heat gains in the interior in summer. Balconies and linking conservatories are built as a lightweight attached structure.

The five-storey addition respects the footprint of the existing ground-floor building. Its vertical articulation differs from the main building. The three uppermost storeys recess and so form terraces. The addition is linked to the original staircase and common lift. Its acknowledged modern face is characterised by the lightweight façade consisting of cement-fibre panels and bay windows.