Auditorium of the ČVUT, Prague
finished 2008
client: Czech Technical University in Prague
The new communal hall was built on the spot of former laboratories from the 1930s. It is located in the courtyard of the Neo-Renaissance style University building by architect Ignác Ullmann and is surrounded by three wings of the building and by a Baroque wing from the south. The main purpose of the communal hall is to create a central social space for the university students, faculty and staff, as a space for meetings and relaxation. Although the area of Czech Technical University at Karlovo Square is quite large, it lacked exactly this kind of space. The volume of the communal hall is designed in such a way as to enable visitors to perceive the beauty of the surrounding buildings through glass facades and a glass roof, while at the same time providing the comfort of a contemporary building. The design is a transparent glass cube built on a subtle steel construction. The form language of the new hall and the materials used - steel, glass and concrete - are in strong contrast to the surrounding historical architecture. This contrast is already apparent by a reinforced concrete tunnel that leads from the entrance hall of the Neo-Renaissance building into the new hall in the courtyard. The cool dignity of steel, glass, concrete and stone used in the new hall is complemented by the warm natural color scheme and quality of spruce wood benches and tables. The hall's furniture and its dimensions take into account the monumentality of the new hall as well as the surrounding buildings. A natural continuation of the interior of the new hall is the outside courtyard, offering the students pleasant shady spaces, especially in the summer.