New Zizkov Centre, Prague (Cz)

75.000 m2 apartment buildings
1.250 apartments
parking garage(s), kindergarten, commercial program

RFP Two proposals for the same brief
Client: Central Group
Location: Prague Czech Republic

The client requests two proposals for the same brief. One with buildings upto 75 meters high and one without height restrictions. In both the lower and the higher version we propose a flexible urban concept that is capable to incorporate all elements that inhabitants consider indispensable, like parking and social-/commercial facilities nearby and an environment that is traffic-safe and embedded in greenery.

For both versions we propose the podium tower as the building type.

It offers:

  1. A mellow transition from public to private space.
    The podium is 2 to 3 levels above street level and will be (semi) exclusive for apartment owners/ tenants.
    The perimeter podium defines the building block and the streetscape. By its limited height it relates to the human scale.
    The podium steps up from the green park/forest/cemetery towards the busy city street. Each tower entrance is on street level (and on a plaza)
  2. Program in the podium
    The podium houses parking garage(s), therefore no expensive underground construction needed.
    On the plaza’s and on the perimeter at the urban streets the podium houses some commercial and local community programs, like a bicycle café, kindergarten, supermarket or community centre.
  3. One ensemble
    The concept is based on variation in appearance within a family of buildings. This creates identity. Each apartment building has a distinct address.
  4. Quality housing
    Both designs are programmed with density housing, with a variety in the sizes of the apartments. All apartments have a view and good sun orientation and can be programmed with a private outdoor space at the apartment (balcony/ loggia).
    Together, all residents are offered a joined but exclusive outdoor space on the podium.

Both designs are based on these starting points, and give space to the same programmatic brief, yet with the two restrictive rules regarding the height limit, they turn out distinctly different.

Model 1: upto 75 meter high.

1. orientation towards view and sun. 2. green podium connects to forest landscape, 3. entrances on plaza’s, 4. economic parking solution inside the podium

The requested building volume is subdivided into a series of volumes that rhythmically step down and that are placed on the site in such a way that each volume row stands shifted in relation to the next. This allows the maximum of apartments to have a view towards the forest area and the sunny south side.
At the same time the ground level of the site is regarded as a terraced podium landscape, consisting of parallel green platforms that step up towards the urban street. This system not only increases the southward views of the apartments, but also results in a varied public green area. Underneath the podium surface the cars can be parked in above ground garages, a considerable saving of building costs. Still all apartment buildings will have their main entrances on street level.
The principle allows for a flexible approach to the designs of the individual buildings, generating a diversified offer of apartments and architectural appearances. The requested social commercial spaces can be easily integrated in the podium.
The outcome is a design that stands out by its unique fusion of architecture and landscaping, offering the spectator a very lively skyline, like a miniature city on its own.

principle section of model up to 75 meter high.

Model 2: no height restriction

The podium tower principles are as well successfully applied in the high-rise design concept. Again, all parking and social commercial spaces can be incorporated in the podium. The terraced surface above it forms a joined space (semi) exclusively for residents, with greenery and open-air activities.
Because of the smaller footprint of the buildings there will be space for extensive outdoor facilities that enrich life in the residential area. The result is an adventurous landscape that enhances the identity of the complex.

The program above ground will be housed in three different large volumes that are positioned strategically in relation to each other. Together they form an expressive landmark.

principle section of model without height restriction.


RFP 2018
Design: Team Paul de Vroom + Sputnik
Paul de Vroom, Henk Bultstra, Bert Karel Deuten,
Oksana Savchuk,
Client: Central Group, Prague, CZ