New Town Hall Prague 7

Team: Irgen Salianji, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Marina Kounavi, Antony Laurijsen

The project for a new Town Hall in Prague 7 is proposing a long term vision to reinvent the administration and bureaucratic process. The building is designed as a flexible spatial system to facilitate open plan office layouts that introduce the notions of informality and creativity in the interaction between public servants and citizens. Town Halls have been spaces of governmental formality and lengthy bureaucratic procedures for decades, however they will obtain a more public and informal character as the advancements in technology and the rise of social media will transform not only the legislative process and governmentality, but physical space itself. In such a context of future projections, we propose a clean and flexible  building that organizes the generic administration work-spaces in the centre of its floor plan, and instead the workstations that involve interaction with the citizens are positioned on the perimeter and the facade. Both symbolically and functionally, the perimeter of the floor plans becomes a social condenser, a zone of public life and encounters - an architectural space and a facade animated by the activities of daily life in a public institution that is transforming and is being transformed by the citizens of Prague District 7.


The new facilities of the Town Hall will bring density and activity into the whole neighbourhood. In terms of aesthetics, the building is making a contrast to the surroundings with its clean form and abstract appearance. In terms of function and activities, however, the new Town Hall building introduces a new level of transparency and inclusiveness for the local community and the whole district to participate and affect the democratic process. 



The new Town Hall building is organized vertically as a gradient of public openness and accessibility on the lower levels and segregation of more administrative functions on the upper ones. Equally on the floor plan of each level, the inner spaces of the building are housing office spaces for administration employees and the outer ones open plan desks for employees and departments that deal with clients and citizens. 

The terraces of the building are a strong part of the urban alignment and the identity of the building, therefore they are further highlighted in the new scheme. Some of the lower terraces become continuation of the public route of the building and are open to citizens, and other have a limited accessibility only to the employees of the building. All off them are resurfaced and landscaped, so that they become welcoming and attractive to visitors. 


The ground floor plan of the Town Hall includes a wide entrance in the north facade of the building and houses key spaces of the program such as the information desk, cash office and register office. Being easily accessible and welcoming, the entrance of the building is adjacent to the public stairs of the building and the exhibition gallery which is spread along the perimeter of the floor plan. In contrast to the feasibility study, we propose that the cafe is placed on the southern western corner of the ground floor, so that is becomes a pleasant space for brakes and encounters for both employees and clients.







The public perimetric areas of the building contain a multitude of open pan offices  and informal meeting spaces. The acoustic treatment of the inner walls is here an important element to be considered, however the quality of the space and the public feeling it provides, compensate the effort.

All technical and utility spaces - such as kitchenettes, clock rooms and archive - are in the central core of the building. The central core also compresses the elevators, fire escape staircase and toilets, as well as archive spaces.



The ground floor plan of the Town Hall includes a wide entrance in the north facade of the building and houses key spaces of the program such as the information desk, cash office and register office. Being easily accessible and welcoming, the entrance of the building is adjacent to the public stairs of the building and the exhibition gallery which is spread along the perimeter of the floor plan. In contrast to the feasibility study, we propose that the cafe is placed on the southern western corner of the ground floor, so that is becomes a pleasant space for brakes and encounters for both employees and clients.

In the first floor of the building the clients can find the Departments of Social and Legal Protection, and the Children Protection Department. Also in the floor it is located the Foreigners and Minorities Department, as well as meeting rooms and kids corner. 
The second floor of the proposed scheme houses the Operation and Control Departments of the Town Hall. The IT Department is also located in the same level, as well as the Culture and Sports Department. 
The third floor contains also departments that are directly serving clients, such as  Municipality Properties Department, the Housing and Retail Department, and the Investment Department. The Legal and Education Departments complete the lout of the floor. 
The forth floor of the building introduces more administrative departments such as the Legal and Administrative Department, the Development  Department, the Living Development Department, as well as more the Department of Masterplanning.  In this floor the informal perimetric desks are being reduced since less clients need to visit the floor. 
The rest of the floors contain the rest of the Departments of the Town Hall, including the Finance and Accounting Departments on the fifth floor, and the Organisation  Department on the seventh floor. 
The mayor’s office, as well as the ones of his assistants and secretaries are located on the sixth floor. The Crisis Management facility is located in close proximity from the mayor’s office, on the seventh floor, together with Chairmans of Departments. 
The eighth floor of the building has been redesigned to function as a Ceremonial Halls, as the technical spaces that were located there were moved in the basement. 
The sustainability profile remains a critical integrated element of the scheme designed to meet the ethos and ambition of the City hall’s Sustainability Vision for the development. The scheme is designed to meet high energy efficiency targets which are an essential, core requirement: optimising natural and mixed-mode ventilation systems, exploiting the use of thermal mass in the building, using efficient and effective plant.

The massing of the building provides shading during the summer to the main windows. This reduces solar gain and means that natural ventilation will work better for more of the year; A double skin façade (DSF) is being used as part of the inlet air system: it serves as an enhancement to improve control of solar gains in the summer and preheats air in the winter – this is on the S facade; Daylighting is being enhanced through the use of a glass façade on North and South area of the building and the terraces; The building responds to different wind conditions to enhance natural ventilation; The stairs along the façade work as “lungs” of the building. They will manage inlet air temperatures entering the office spaces; An earthtube is being used to pre-heat / cool air. The efficiency of the earthtube is being augmented via geoexchange; Solar thermal tubes on the roof are being used to capture solar energy to warm the building in the winter.



1 comment:

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