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Competition: Trojská School, Prague

An international contest has been announced to upgrade the Trojská elementary and grammar school outside Prague (Deadline: 14 September)

Open to European teams, the free-to-enter competition seeks innovative proposals to upgrade and separate the two interconnected schools and create a new community facility on a neighbouring site.

The CZK 50 million project aims to transform each school into a standalone independent facility featuring its own entrance connecting to the town’s existing public realm. A new multi-purpose community centre featuring a daytime canteen, hall and councillor’s office for the school will also be created.

Trojská School, Prague

Trojská School, Prague

Trojská School, Prague

According to the brief: ‘The task of the competition is to optimise the existing programme and to supplement its capacities according to the needs of the operators. Emphasis is placed on the separation of primary school and grammar schools. Each of them will have a separate, barrier-free entrance logically oriented to the public space.

‘In addition to the existing plot, the school newly has an urban plot of land, where it is possible to place facilities which are more freely connected to the classroom (canteen, hall, school psychologist and preventive). It considers this as a community centre, where various festivals and cultural events of the city district can also take place.’

The Bohemian School is located at the intersection of the streets Na Kazance and Trojská in the neighbourhood of Kazanka. At present, the building has a first elementary school and an eight-year grammar school. An important monument-protected site is the monument of Jan Hus, the sculptor William Amorta of 1926. 

Kazanka is a small suburban settlement located on the northern fringes of Prague in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic. 

Contest judges include the mayor of Prague District 7, Tomáš Bryknar; the deputy director of Trojská elementary school, Kateřina Tůmová; and Markéta Zdebská of local practice BY Architects.

The overall winner will receive a 275 000 CZK prize while a second prize of 200 000 CZK and third prize of 100 000 CZK will also be awarded. The competition languages are English, Czech and Slovak.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 3pm local time on 14 September

Contact details

Igor Kovačević
The Prague-Troja district
45246858
Trojská 230/96
Prague 7 - Troja
171 00
Czech Republic

Tel: +420 222222521
Email: kovacevic@moba.name 

View the competition website and contract notice for more information

Q&A with Tomáš Bryknar

The mayor of Prague 7 and vice chair of the jury discusses his ambitions for the contest

Tomáš Bryknar

Tomáš Bryknar

Tomáš Bryknar

Why are your holding a competition to upgrade the Trojska School campus in Prague?

There is a simple answer to this question: as a public body, we view the architectural competition as the most transparent process of selecting a design partner for the project. We have put our faith in an experienced organiser and administrator, that should promote the competition among local and international architects, and we hope for a good amount of quality proposals from which to choose.

The impulse for the reconstruction of the Trojska School came from the inconvenient functioning of the cafeteria. Its location causes difficulties, mainly a lot of noise, for the classrooms that are directly next to it. We are, however, tired of partial solutions and constant patching up of the existing building. As the District of Prague 7- Troja we have asked the directors of primary and grammar school, what are their other needs and wishes, and decided to go for a more complex approach that would lead also to improvement of the quality and size of our educational facilities.

What is your vision for the new school?

Our vision for the school is very pragmatic. We imagine a modern school complex that would age gracefully and function for the next 20, 30 or more years without the need for any major interventions. We believe that architectural innovation and quality is a key, but not in a sense of design ostentatiousness, rather in a smart and coherent approach with huge importance given on the comfort of the pupils and teachers.

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

Logically, an advantage might be an experience with buildings for education, however, we are open to cooperate later with smaller emerging practices and undiscovered talents, as well as with established names in the world of architecture. Our main focus is really on the quality of the project.

Are there any other recent combined primary and grammar school projects you have been impressed by?

Nothing comes to my mind right now. Nevertheless, I am actually glad that we don’t have any specific project in mind that would serve as an inspiration or a goal – in this way all the competing architects can be given a fair chance of impressing us with their ideas, to which I look very much forward to.

 

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn case study: Q&A with Peter Hanson

The architectural assistant at van Heyningen and Haward Architects discusses lessons learned upgrading the College O-L-V-ten-Doorn in Belgium

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson

Peter Hanson

How did your project transform the combined campus of College O-L-V-ten-Doorn in Belgium?

Our proposal combined selective demolition alongside new and refurbished buildings and extensive landscape design to revitalise and unify the large campus. vHH used our extensive education experience to suggest positive changes to the brief, including relocating the sites for the new buildings to create welcoming entrances, and identify new uses for the historically important buildings at its centre. New external spaces and landscaping were also fundamental to the competition proposals, establishing routes within the site and improving links between the school and the town. The result is a vibrant renewal of the school that has greatly improved the experience of students and staff.

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

Source: Image by Bart Van Vlijmen

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

The new sports hall is elevated over a reception and flexible open learning spaces, forming a gateway building that defines a new square facing the town and a new quad within the college, with the sports hall’s expressive cladding creating a livelily new public presence. Colour and texture of finishes, both internally and externally, are used to aid wayfinding and bring a playful quality to the designs.

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

Source: Image by Bart Van Vlijmen

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

At the opposite end of the site, an extensive refurbishment of the Middle School building including a new brick ‘skin’ and solar shading, has dramatically refreshed the building’s character, environmental performance and fitness-for-purpose. Working with the existing concrete structure was also a major sustainability benefit.

Extensive landscape proposals are key to unifying the scheme and reflect the school’s horticultural expertise.

What advice would you have to contest participants on designing a new campus for Trojska School in Prague?

Strong proposals will be both inward and outward looking, contributing to the local area as well as meeting the school’s needs. vHH use new buildings as elements within an existing setting which is not simply architectural but also spatial, cultural and historic, and even buildings that are very different from their neighbours can respond sensitively to their context.

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

Source: Image by Bart Van Vlijmen

College O-L-V-ten-Doorn by van Heyningen and Haward Architects

New buildings give an opportunity to reorganise and consolidate sites, with external spaces being as important as the buildings themselves when well planned. Clear, legible layouts should also make it possible for you to always understand instinctively how to navigate in and around the buildings.

 

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