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CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

Czech Republic Architecture News - Jul 04, 2022 - 12:11   1128 views

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

Czech architecture practice CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Stockholm-based construction and development company Skanska have unveiled design for a new mixed-use residential development to transform former sugar factory on the outskirts of Prague, Czech Republic.

Called Sugar Factory, the 58,000-square-metre development consists of seven multifunctional buildings, offering views of the river boast expansive open spaces – activating and expanding public space, fostering interaction and sense of community.

Located in the Modřany area on the outskirts of Prague, the transformation of the former sugar factory is scheduled to be completed in 2030. 

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

The new development includes 790 apartments, an integrated all-inclusive 6,600-square-metre public square, a multifunctional hall, and a range of facilities, such as a coffee house, a brewery, retail outlets, a restaurant, a kindergarten, and a boat club, all responding to the specific needs of the existing and expanding local community. 

The project will be built from a hybrid construction material, called Rebetong, invented by Skanska. 

The material, which is used for the first time in such a large-scale project, will be used and exposed as the façade material. As a new hybrid construction substance, Rebetong is made of leftover bricks to reflect the unique industrial character of the site. 

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

"The large-scale project addresses the need to reinvigorate the neighborhood into a multilayered entity asserting the architects’ commitment to a holistic social and sustainable approach, said CHYBIK + KRISTOF.

The use of newly-invented material stresses the architects’ continuous thirst for new ways of sustainable building and creatively addresses ways of reusing and readapting existing material for construction.

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

The development, facing the south side of the river Vltava, is surrounded by vast green landscapes. "Involved in the design process from the beginning, the local inhabitants were able to shape their future landscape, highlighting the importance of community life and its corresponding social infrastructure," the studio added.

The studio carefully integrates the sugar factory chimney, built in 1927, into the new urban block and the chimney serves as a landmark and symbol of the area in retaining its historical integrity. 

The new mixed-use development extends along the existing urban axis, creating a seamless continuity and connection within its existing urban landscape.

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

"Striving to create a diverse residential area with an expanded social infrastructure, our new design seamlessly merges elements of public and private space," said Ondrej Chybik and Michal Kristof, co-founding architects at CHYBIK + KRISTOF.

"The balance of architectural, technical, and sociological aspects formulates the harmonious habitat, which as an outcome, shapes a balanced neighborhood of distinctive identity," Chybik and Kristof added.

Following intensive research and experimentation with different sizes, shapes and density, the team uses this crucial material, Rebetong, in the heart of the development, preserved from leftover bricks.

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

The innovation of new material in the heart of the development further explores methods of creating an ecologically friendly material, asserting the studio’s curiosity in developing new sustainable resources to expand the importance of the architectural language.

To be discernable as a fully visual reminder of its past, the studio proposed using the material not only for structural purposes, but to also be exposed as a façade. 

Appreciated for its historic significance and ability to fit into the existing landscape, according to the studio, Rebetong acts both as a functional and emotional reference to the collective memory of the area, adding value to the local culture, while being a sustainably elegant solution.

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

The mixed-use residential area integrates a blue-green infrastructure and the preservation of green spaces across the whole complex. 

Implementing an advanced system of blue-green infrastructure, it is aimed to optimize water management, while the implementation of renewable energy sources mitigates the carbon footprint of the complex, embracing its biodiversity — creating a friendly space for the local species to build their nests.

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

Reflecting the studio’s analysis of the area’s social dynamics, the residential complex is activated by public space in its entirety, from semipublic spaces, such as accessible rooftops filled with greenery, to a fully accessible public square at the heart of the community. 

Each block is drawn on a U-shaped layout and creates expansive green courtyards providing new space for social interaction. 

Expanding all the way to the Vltava riverbank, the new urban block directly connects to the water through planned walkways and cycling paths, adding more space and function to the accessible public area. 

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

This gradation over the various public spaces serves all neighboring districts, putting emphasis on the community aspect of the project by making it accessible not only for its inhabitants. 

Through a temporary intervention called Cukrkandl, the project has already engaged the community through screenings, temporary playgrounds, and cafés, providing access to the current site and waterfront.

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

Image © Alexey Klyuykov, CHYBIK + KRISTOF

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

Image © Alexey Klyuykov, CHYBIK + KRISTOF

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

Image © Alexey Klyuykov, CHYBIK + KRISTOF

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

Image © Alexey Klyuykov, CHYBIK + KRISTOF

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and Skanska reveal mixed-use development to redesign Prague's former sugar factory

Image © Alexey Klyuykov, CHYBIK + KRISTOF

CHYBIK + KRISTOF and dílna also completed the transformation of a historic Mendel Square into a vibrant public, cultural and transportation hub in Brno, Czech Republic. CHYBIK + KRISTOF also completed the renovation of brutalist Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal in Brno.

The studio is currently designing a multipurpose skyscraper that will be built in the heart of Ostrava’s city center in the Czech Republic.

CHYBIK + KRISTOF is an architecture and urban design practice founded in 2010 by Ondrej Chybik and Michal Kristof. The firm operates with over 50 international team members and has offices in Prague, Brno and Bratislava. The practice's design philosophy is based on creating bridges between private and public space, transcending generations and societal spheres.

Project facts

Material technology expert: Bohuslav Slánský
Blue-green infrastructure: Jakub Jirák
Sustainability consultant: Radek Jareš
Engineering: AED project
Transportation: Pro-Consult, European Transportation Consultancy Landscape architecture: Terra Florida
Structural engineering: Recoc
Fire protection: AMPeng
Illustrations: Alexey Klyuykov, CHYBIK + KRISTOF
Photo: Pavel Barták, Tomáš Hejzlar, Archiv ÚMČ Praha 12

Project team: Ondřej Chybík, Michal Krištof, Ondřej Mundl, Šárka Kubínová, Lukáš Habrovec, Ondřej Mičuda, Martin Holý, Matěj Štrba, Ondřej Jelínek, Zuzka Pelikánová, Peter Chaban, Ján Kohút, Karolína Holánková, Lenka Kostíková, Michal Sluka, Frida Block, Ingrid Spáčilová, Francisco Javier Gomariz Moreno, Iva Mrázková.

All renderings © Vivid-Vision.

All drawings © CHYBIK + KRISTOF.

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CHYBIK + KRISTOF mixed-use Prague Rebetong