Vysocany residential block in Prague

Team: Architects for Urbanity with TARI-Architects, Local, Bianco Architects, Sara Simoska Arhitektura & Grupo H
Client: Penda Real Estate
Status: Competition project
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Program: Housing, commercial & public space
Area: 24.000m2


We propose a distinct main idea in response to the competition guidelines, one that consists of a strategic approach , aimed at changing the paradigm of self-referential projects and that embraces a more collective and synergic dimension of architecture: -ego + synergy!

 We selected 5 young architecture firms in the European scenario that along with us, will constitute a special design team, able to respond to this important challenge in an innovative and original way! Each firm stood out in many international competitions, earning numerous awards and prizes. The complex will be divided into six buildings, each of them designed by one firm, with its own identity and past experiences, able to be part of a greater whole. As Aristotle said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Distance and different nationalities are not weaknesses, but the real strengths of the project! As for the Funen (Amsterdam) or the Vila Olimpica (Barcelona), this strategic approach provides a team of different architects able to transform divergences, different aspirations and requests into synergic actions.


The project area, placed in the north-eastern part of the City, is located within a distinctive urban fabric characterized by numerous courtyard blocks. The design starts from the existing building placed in the southern part of the area: the empty boundaries facing the adjacent streets will be built up in order to re-define the typical closed block of the surrounding fabric, outlining a closed courtyard that would become the central green heart of the project. The continuous facades of the complex will be interrupted to ensure a permeable ground floor, that can become a public garden accessible and freely used by the neighbours, contributing into making the entire project seen as a recognizable residential complex in the city. The courtyard will be a public garden that is how ever privately owned and managed by the commercial activities placed at the ground floor of the complex and facing towards the adjacent streets and the courtyard itself. This solution will not only provide a comfortable green space for the residents, but also it will decrease the managing costs, making the apartments of the new residence “blok šesti” more appealing.

The green central area is not a regular courtyard but a public garden where it is possible to meet and socialize not only with the other residents of the buildings, but with the entire neighbourhood, to play with your kids in the playground areas, to do different sports in the basketball field or in the open air gym, to relax while reading a book or having a drink in the cafeterias, or to simply cross through the courtyard. This is the way to make the complex become a new piece of the City!


The residence “blok šesti”, is composed by six buildings, each of them assigned to a different architecture firm, that present particular features: the corner solution, the relationship with the main street, the connection with the new central garden, with the surrounding residential and public buildings and with the near public park. All these characteristics inevitably required a “tailored” design, that with the sensibility and unique background of each firm, will generate six special buildings that together define a recognizable residential complex, one that stands out from the homogenous urban context.

The idea to have a well distinguishable place aims to ease the process of identification of its own inhabitants , empowering the sense of belonging not only of the residents of the complex but also of all the neighbours, and, at the same time, promoting a regenerative process of the whole area.


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