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Interview: Architect Václav Hlaváček from Studio Acht

16

05

2018

CTP's long-term architectural collaborator on urbanism, new city districts, and changes in function through revitalization

Václav Hlaváček and the Czech studios of the international company Studio acht have, since 1993, realized a considerable. number of projects. This time we didn’t focus on introducing particular projects but on the broader topic of urbanism and the creation of new city districts within the context of existing towns and changes in function and revitalization.

* When creating new urban areas, the architect must be a bit of a visionary…

In the case of more extensive concepts, let’s say up to 500,000 m2, it is really difficult to put through a project as you cannot see 50 years ahead. We don’t know if we are going to drive diesel or hydrogen cars or even if we will have grown our wings by then. What is the main principle when realizing larger concepts is the landscape, coherence with the morphology of the terrain, cardinal points and to some extent some sort of a time limit for the forecasting of traffic framework. We don’t know for certain what is going to happen in the future… However, the architect must deal with everything else, i.e. the concept, in time via some sort of peripheral vision and must immediately respond to social and economic changes.

* Can you give an example?

I have the example of an existing concept – our project Na Ponávce situated in the former starch plant in Brno. It used to be an industrial zone with an enormous ecological burden. The Ponávka Rivulet was filled with pipes and partially backfilled and was hardly visible. It smelt of oil and there were two old locomotives… However, it only takes seven minutes from there to Petrov, that being the centre of Brno. We commenced there with retail and built small boxes in a Dutch style. Interested parties at first became a little frightened but then kept coming back as they realized that not everything needs to be located by the motorway being 20 km outside the town. Now there are retail, wholesale, administration, showrooms, a graphic studio, florist’s etc. People started getting used to it. The area is sophisticated enough, Ponávka was revitalized, green banks emerged … There is a clear dividing line and it demonstrates that when having the good concept of a crosswise system in Masná Street, it becomes an interesting area for administration.

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Read the full article in the Development News magazine.