Extesion of Blast Furnace No. 1. , Ostrava - Dolní Vítkovice, CZ

Function: Education
Country: Czech Republic
Category: Innovative Public Spaces
Firm: AP atelier
Architects: Josef Pleskot, Petr Sýkora, Andrej Škripeň, Jiří Trčka, Zdeněk Rudolf, Milan Šraml, Statics: Excon, a.s., Ing. Vladimír Janata, CSc.
Completion of design: 2014
Year completed: 2015
The unique complex of blast furnaces and their related operations were closed in the 1990s. The brownfield has been transformed according to the master plan of Josef Pleskot into a large open-air museum accessible to the public. The purpose of the new interventions, however, was not the creation of a conservation site but that of an active place which should grow together with the rest of the city in the future. The architectural alterations of existing structures (apart from Josef Pleskot, also Zdeněk Fránek contributed to one project) were to enable new functionalities. The former gas holder was converted into a concert hall, the space below the furnaces has become an open-air music stage, on the top of the furnaces there is a new café and a new building accommodates a science museum, while an old hall is now used for practicing unorganised sports. (Prof. Petr Kratochvíl PhD, CSc)
Project Description

The Lower Vítkovice Area, a national cultural monument of industrial heritage, stretches over the territory of ca. 500 x 500 metres. It consists of a collection of buildings of the former Hlubina mine, a 200 m long coking plant and a former metallurgical complex. A new framework programme for the use of the entire site for cultural and educational purposes was agreed on between 2007 and 2009. Its urban and architectural form was defined in 2010. The formerly closed factory site was rebuilt between 2012 and 2016 for the use of the public as an open, vibrant city within the city. New public spaces had been built including streets, squares, public parking lots with new lighting, and a park. In the past four years, important public buildings have also been built or revitalised here. The oldest Blast Furnace No. 1 has been made accessible as a sought-after educational exhibit. Its extension houses a café with a capacity of about 100 seats, a training room and an observation deck. The blast furnace’s control room has been converted into a visitor centre. The blast furnace base is used as an outdoor music venue with optional roofing.

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