„The second residential urban planning contract and the first own development project on which we spent the five years of our office’s existence. We had the opportunity to experience the position for ourselves, which had to combine the responsibility of the architect’s vision and keeping the developer’s budget in the black. This took us further than any previous assignment in terms of understanding both crafts. In the established situation of the territorial study, we proposed the transcription of the surrounding architecture into a unified whole. The development reflects both the linear urbanism of the panel development and the facade rewriting of the city block. This resulted in four five-storey apartment buildings in two blocks. While the details of the houses on the outside refer to the history of their typology, in the common areas of the house we found the courage to use livelier elements connecting Brno’s modernity with rational liveliness. Thanks to a unified work team, we were able to realize the entire plan at prices that allowed us to offer the residents of smaller towns the quality that was mainly found in the metropolis until then. From bay windows, large aluminum windows, through deep loggias or balusters made of strip to terrazzo stairs, cladding, rounded corners and lacquered doors – everything was designed to preserve dignity and our good name for generations…“
The design for the development of apartment buildings modified the territorial study of the KT architects studio and thus created a row development of apartment buildings with an East/West orientation, following the character of the urbanism of the given location. This spatial system gave rise to four apartment buildings, each of which is divided into two units with a separate entrance. Between the houses there is a wide pedestrian zone separated from the road, thus participating in quality public spaces. These pedestrian zones form axial passages to the new area and allow convenient access to the apartment buildings for both area residents and fire departments. Pedestrian access, also for the purpose of preserving the privacy of ground-floor apartments with a front garden, is supplemented by a row of trees of a cultivar of maples.
From the very beginning, the building’s spatial expression was focused on reducing the large mass of neighboring housing units and emphasizing important parts of the building. From the access roads, a bay opening out into the street space emphasizes the entrances to the building, and forms a roof for the tenants. Great effort was made to break the stereotype of otherwise traditionally blind modular walls on the north and south sides of the buildings. In their place, a risalite is created, whose mass, representing the beginning of cross streets and pedestrian zones, is supported by loggias with connected balconies on the higher floors. These balance the mass of the bay windows above the entrances to the building and thus form a complete perimeter of the projecting parts of the building. On the east side, oriented towards the gardens and the pedestrian area, a more formal grid of balconies can be enjoyed on the last two floors. This connects to the preceding loggias, and thus closes the crown of overhanging structures.
The buildings have five floors, one of which is sunk into the ground by half a floor. This allows for direct lighting of cubicles, utility rooms and rental cellars, while raising the ground floor windowsills to an ideal height for privacy. All floors of one complex, with 6 apartments per floor, are served by a centrally located communication core with a direct staircase illuminated by a longitudinal stairwell.
In terms of expression, the objects reflect the internal modular structure of the building. The western access facade is considered more representative and is therefore decorated, apart from smaller cellar openings, mainly with large Chicago windows. These are, for example, emphasized by a lowered parapet in the case of risalit. The eastern facade has a more regular “intra-block” grid of double-hung windows, French windows with access to the balcony are also used on the higher floors. On the first floor, double-hung French windows opening onto the gardens are used. The facade thus also reflects the economic distribution of housing units in terms of vertical composition.
The materiality of the houses is based, as in most of our projects, on the reflection of traditional residential pre-war architecture. Smoothed plaster separates the first floor from the rest of the house, emphasizing the importance of this part of the building in contrast to the rough thrown plaster. All the details of the facades, including the window frames and railings, are then made in a brass shade of champagne, completing the atmosphere of the entire area. The quality of the materials should also be reflected in the public spaces, where paving made of split granite cubes is used.