Špitálka is a rare location near Brno’s centre. It offers an opportunity to link the historical city centre and Svitava river.
There are few similar opportunities to create such a unique space and influence the development of the surrounding city in the future ahead. Our goal is to develop a living district that encourages people to engage in an active cultural and social life. The bedrock of our endeavour is an emphasis on preserving authentic industrial heritage and giving it new contemporary meaning.
This is a long-term vision that cannot be fulfilled all at once and will be gradually implemented according to the real social and economic environment.
A large part of the area will be dedicated to public use in a series of linked parks and plazas.
A park is a tamed natural landscape in a city providing grassy meadows, shade and winding, unpaved paths. It embraces natural morphology and irregularity. We are proposing a network of public parks to link the historical city centre to the Svitava river. The current supporting wall in Koliště street will be replaced with a natural slope, and the area will be attached to Brno’s ring park system.
The area’s centre is a central plaza adjacent to the heating plant. This versatile, open space will incorporate industrial elements as a stage for public life and host a vast range of activities for locals to enjoy their leisure time. This plaza will eventually include an area now restricted as critical infrastructure. The heating plant will eventually become obsolete in its current function.
The canal of the Svitavský millrace will be freed and incorporated into the park landscape. The current bank walls will replaced by natural slopes. The water surface will be accessible to park visitors.
The unique industrial buildings in the public areas will gain new purpose in hosting a variety of activities for the public.
Heating plant conversation
One of these monuments is the current heating plant. According to the competition brief, this building should keep its current use as a part of critical infrastructure. Technology changes rapidly. Energy technology is becoming smarter, smaller and decentralized very quickly. Industrial buildings and equipment critical today may soon be obsolete and no longer considered critical. An investment in renovating an old building not suitable for modern technology is not justifiable. It has happened to many buildings in the area and will also happen to the heating plant sooner or later. Dedicating a high quality industrial building to art and culture is a proven concept in many contemporary cities.
By defining public spaces and buildings, we also define the border between public and private – the street line. We propose regulating private development at the street line (mandatory to build on) and maximum volume. The goal is to create a level playing field for new, concentrated private development.