Český Krumlov – Centre Horní Brána

The new civic centre of Český Krumlov is being built in the district of Horní Brána that has been marked by inappropriate traffic interventions. The area is home to several important civic buildings, although these are scattered randomly and access to them is more driver-friendly than pedestrian-friendly. The current situation is not compatible with the model of a functional city and the idea of a pleasant space of human scale. However, the site offers valuable panoramic views of the historic centre, for which people are willing to travel halfway around the world.

Project: Centre Horní Brána
Competition result: 2nd place
Authors: Pavel Hnilička, Petr Bočan
Collaboration: Marie Záhorová, Terezie Mervartová
Cooperation: Magdaléna Myšková Kaščaková, Josef Filip
Client: The city of Český Krumlov
Solved area: 6 ha
Year: 2023

The scale of the new centre draws inspiration from the “old” town and connects the solitary buildings into a diverse urban structure. The clearly defined edges around the new square create a dignified space worthy of the size of the town.

The attractiveness of public spaces and the lively ground floor of the buildings encourage the locals and passersby to stay and linger both during ordinary days as well as while enjoying festive events and markets.

All this with the ubiquitous visual connection to the historic skyline of Český Krumlov – a legacy left for us by past generations.

The basic urban planning idea of our proposal is to define the center of gravity of the new city center. Its location at the intersection of Objížďková and Nemocniční streets is based on the existing routes that connect the location with the surrounding area and the historic core. In our proposal we are modifying the traffic intersection and putting a "protective block" of buildings in its northern part. Along with the newly designed masses it then clearly defines the space of the new square on three of its sides.

In the western part, the space then opens up into a green belt with a view of the local castle. The edges of the houses and the greenery of the square are purposefully shaped to enhance this unparalleled view and not to disturb it in any way. The diverse architecture of the buildings and their smaller scale guarantee the square's friendliness and livability