Martin Barry: To me, it seems is too early to comment on the aesthetics of the buildings. We should focus on how the collection of buildings enhances the urban character of the city, and how they can improve the urban condition around the buildings. The city is a collection of buildings; the spaces between are what influence people’s lives; not so much the materials and forms of the architecture. That being said, this is a major development site and relatively large footprint of buildings from ZHA adjacent to the historic center of the city. So, we should pay close attention to how the designs develop. At present, it is clear that it is early and they need work.
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has revealed plans to design and redevelop more than 22,000 square meters of brownfield land in Prague, in a 90,000 square meter development adjacent to the city’s Masaryk Railway Station. ZHA was selected by project partner Penta, an investment company active in ten markets across Europe, as the winner of a 2014 competition for the site. Devising a new central business district, the ZHA plan seeks to integrate with existing means of transit, including suburban and domestic rail services, a bus terminal, Line B of the city’s metro, and a future airport rail link to Vaclav Havel International Airport. Approximately one kilometer from Prague’s central square, the design seeks to create a balance between the horizontality of the railway lines and the verticality and publicness of the Old Town.
The purpose of the architectural competition is to bring attractive ideological solutions for the proposal of a new multi-purpose building of the philharmonic orchestra in České Budějovice. The topic of the competition is the design of a multi-purpose centre of the South Czech Philharmonic with a variable hall for an audience of up to 1,000 persons, combined with an open stage for open-air concerts with all the necessary amenities for the artists as well as for the visitors of the cultural installation of the South Czech Philharmonic.
Villa Tugendhat (1928–30) in the Czech Republic is the most well-preserved example of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s early functionalism. It is regarded as one of the world’s most important manifestations of villa architecture and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building also likely inspired the Norwegian architect Arne Korsmo’s work on Villa Stenersen (1937–39).