Architect In Charge: Martin Krupauer
Collaborators: Stanislava Blažková, Pavel Kvintus, Andrej Kacera, Blanka Pöschlová
Text description provided by the architects. The Forum Karlín, a multipurpose hall within a complex of office buildings, is situated in Karlín, a former industrial Prague districtwhich had been developing since the beginning of the 19th century. The concept of theinterior corresponds to the current atmosphere of Karlín, a place where is still being felt the industrial past while reviving a new life through modern office buildings, exhibition spaces for contemporary design and alternative theatre stages. This industrial past and the contrast between the coarse old factory buildings and the modern design put a face also on the interior of the actual hall. The multipurpose hall offers possibilities to host great concerts, balls, banquets, and theatre performances, as well as more intimate events in lobbies on each floor.
The hall occupies three floors between the parking in the basement and office rooms onthe higher floors. Each floor has its own lobby with a different atmosphere. The three-flight staircase connects the middle entrance floor with the other two levels. From the entrance lobby, where changing rooms and toilets are located, one can descend into the pit. The basement lobby offers two bars and a gathering space for big events. This lobby is associated with the pit from which it can be separated by a mobile acoustic partition. Also the highest floor of the hall is accessible from the entrance lobby by stairs. This second gallery approachable through a VIP lobby offers a more intimate club-like atmosphere. Different functionality of each floor is expressed with different colour and materials.
The service rooms – changing rooms convertible to lecture halls, rooms for catering, offices – are located behind the stage. Materials and details of the interior reflect industrial roughness – concrete columns of bearing structure are exposed, as well as the architectural concrete of the main staircase; the wall panelling is made of crude steel. These rough materials in surface and detail are combined with fine details of the interior in bars, precise details of an atypical door and the steel staircase, and mirrors on the top floor. The pit has a natural oak floor finish.The colour scheme of the hall meets the needs of the productions, for which a dark space is necessary. It is not limited to black colour, using the full range of grey tones that lighten towards the top floor. Some yellow surfaces and graphic symbols enliven the monochromatic colour scheme, which should promote the industrial atmosphere of the whole space.