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Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

Czech Republic Architecture News - Jun 27, 2019 - 02:44   2667 views

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

Benthem Crouwel Architects has won an international competition for a new residential project in Prague, Czech Republic. The competition was organized by Penta Real Estate, whose slogan is "creating better spaces." 160 candidates registered, with 44 of them participating in the finals and 5 of them competing in the final round. The jury was particularly impressed by Benthem Crouwel Architects’ proposal to integrate a large, publicly accessible park in this project.

Benthem Crouwel Architects' project will comprise 450 dwellings in total, as well as with urban amenities, keeping privacy within a community, and a lush, welcoming green park right at their doorstep. The architects will use a modular system to provide a flexible layout for each dwelling.

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

The park embraced by two large, curved apartment complexes

Designed as "a green heart", the new residential complex will be located in the Nádraží Žižkov area in Prague. The plot for the project takes up a unique space that lies between a former freight station with abandoned train tracks (which will be developed into a green zone), and a more urban and lively city landscape. 

The design presented for Residence Nádraží Žižkov strikes a perfect balance between functionality, human scale and contact with nature. By placing the apartment buildings right at the edges of the plot, a large space opens up in the middle. This space is used to create a public central park that brings nature into the architecture and into the lives of the residents.

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

Central view of the park.

The park is embraced by two large, curved apartment complexes that together accommodate 450 dwellings. The park is open to both residents and locals from the adjoining neighborhoods and functions as a communal space for people to connect, relax, and enjoy the outdoors. A biodiverse environment where local species and plants can thrive, free of cars and noise pollution, it’s a highly valuable addition to the area.  

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

View of one of the passages.

"The architectural concept of shifting and stacking modular units creates a visually interesting landscape of facades, while making optimal use of daylight and giving all apartments great views," said Benthem Crouwel Architects.

"Though the buildings are home to a large number of apartments there is a strong sense of place and atmosphere: it feels friendly, recognizable and relatable, and each apartment is identified as a private, independent home."

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

Coffee corner. Northern entrance to the park.

By using a modular system and repetitive architectural design, it breaks the large buildings down to a more human scale, where the buildings are experienced as dynamic volumes with a variety of proportions. 

From the urban scale of the highest façade, that stands out as an impressive landmark, to the more personal and lively atmosphere of the small shops near the north entrance, the complex has many faces yet is perceived as a unity.

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

"The modular efficiency and straightforward design principle make it possible to create a variety of apartments in different sizes, accommodating the request to cover a large spectrum of potential residents," added the firm. 

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

Interior preview from dwelling

Residence Nádraží Žižkov offers its residents the best of both city and nature: highly functional apartments with optimal access to urban amenities, privacy within a community, and a lush, welcoming green park right at their doorstep.

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

Ground level plan

Benthem Crouwel Architects designs new residential complex with stacking modular units in Prague

Shifting and stacking of modular units

Benthem Crouwel Architects is a Dutch architectural firm founded in 1979 by Jan Benthem and Mels Crouwel. For almost four decades, Benthem Crouwel Architects has been creating innovative, flexible and efficient designs in a variety of scales: from a bicycle tunnel to almost all major railway stations in the Netherlands. 

They are known for their projects Stedelijk Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and railway stations Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The firm recently completed a new office building in Amsterdam.

All images © Benthem Crouwel Architects

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