The Faculty of Arts of Masaryk University in Brno
Arne Nováka 1, Brno-centre
2010 – 2015
|Team:||Rastislav Balog (project supervisor), Pavel Dvořák, Kateřina Eiermannová, Petr Eliáš, Šárka Justová, Tomáš Machovský, Lenka Musilová, Petr Pelčák, Petr Uhrín (project supervisor), David Vahala|
|Art work:||Copies of the classical statues / sculptor Arnold Bartůněk,
Unrealized statue on the piazza / sculptor Arnold Bartůněk
|Awards:||2017 shortlisted for the Czech Architecture Award|
|2016 shortlisted for the Prize of the Club for Old Prague for a New Structure in a Historical Setting|
|Architectural Model:||Vladimír Jeník|
|Photographs of the model:||David Židlický|
The Faculty of Arts was placed into the building of the city orphanage after its establishment in 1920. It was added to, resulting in a mixture of buildings constructed around the circumference of the original institutional garden. We wanted to provide this divergent structure with a theme in order to allow a whole to emerge, a genuine university campus. Its centre, the former garden and today‘s courtyard, was chosen as a unifying element. We therefore designed its transformation into a university courtyard divided into a paved part, a plaza and a park.
The courtyard also became the centre of the campus as the newly designed entrance to the grounds leads into its plaza. It no longer leads through one of the many buildings, but instead into the space between them, into the central point from which one enters each of the structures.
Two of the buildings are new and provide the campus with comprehensibility and a formal unity. These structures run alongside Arne Nováka street from which one enters the grounds. One of these is completely remodelled and consists of the entrance for the entire group of buildings; the second, a new building, makes up its rear and serves to bring the group to a close both spatially and visually. The new structure also adopted the proportions of the window openings of the street facade of the existing building, which we, however, designed additions to and clad with clinker bricks. Both have parallel designed brick facades and the same set-up for the identical windows. They consequently form a new construction substance which defines and organises the grounds of the school and provides it with a unifying motif and character. The clarity and comprehensibility of its composition is supported by the plaster historical facades of both adjoining buildings which delimit the grounds along the side streets.
The new building is small in terms of volume, having been built on the site of a demolished provisional building from the year 1922. Its spatial core is a light-providing glazed ceiling and an open hall space cutting through all of the floors with a direct stairway in two scissor-like arranged flights. Classrooms are situated around them along with offices for doctoral students and research workers. An auditorium is situated on the ground floor and the library of the historical institute with the high open space of the reading room on the final floor of double the height. We wanted to provide the vertical, open public space in the centre of the structure with a utilitarian environment of a school whose dimensions and character would adequately correspond to the spirit of the academic world.
Our work was motivated by a desire to make a university grounds out of a heterogeneous mix of structures as well as an interest in creating a certain space in the topography of the city. This was only achieved, however, in part of it as the university obtained only part of the investment resources which it requested and consequently only half of the overall design was realized. Although the remaining part was built according to our study, the university, despite our disagreement, gave the project to another architectural firm in the further phases of the project, which carried out the work without our participation and different from our expectations.