Urban Rental Housing in Karlin

Barbora Cervenova
CTU in Prague - Faculty of Architecture

Project idea

The project is my semester work in the studio of Kuzemensky, Kunarova at the Czech Technical University in Prague. It is dealing with a large site of an unfinished block at the interface between Art Nouveau and Classicist Karlin district, with long views over the Vitkov hill, filling it with urban rental housing complex.

Project description

The site peeks into a crossroad of three picturesque corner houses. As if waiting to be filled with a house that is noticeably contemporary, but as if it had been there with them a long time ago. The house looks at the crossroad with a bay, to refine the corner and use its potential. The cornice of the house reacts to the height of the three corner houses and the smooth ground floor continuously follows the canopy of the trees. It contributes to the cosiness of the street. I drag the life from the street into the courtyard with a large hole in the ground floor and open a long passage to the Forum Karlín on Pernerova Street, covered by an arcade. I use the emptiness of the courtyard and fill it with life. A third mass is formed, compensating for the unfilled courtyard - a high tower with lucrative apartments and hotel rooms. The chimney of the former factory is suddenly not alone. Thus, there is a mixture of three qualities of housing - minimal and universal urban rental housing with varying residents, high-quality flats for sale with infinite views of the Vítkov Forest through the courtyard, and (literally) highly lucrative housing, utilizing the potential of the place that otherwise would have been neglected. Diversity and urbanity are so strikingly attained in the courtyard, as if it were a part of the street. Rental housing is temporary, but the goal was to design a home, aware of its exceptional location and mainly a home in which it will be pleasant to live.

Technical information

The complex is designed as monolithic concrete structure with fine plaster facade and smooth concrete ground floor. The courtyard facades are sitting on an arcade, to make them seem lighter and to create a covered passage through the whole block. The colours are different (green and pink) to underline the diversity of the exterior spaces and to achieve different atmospheres as we pass through the block. The tower was supposed to look more lucrative, which is why the facade is made out of delicately shaped ivory-coloured concrete and big windows. All the three masses are thus different in colour as they are in shape, but still complementing eachother.

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