An open international contest has been launched to design an energy-efficient school in the Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic
The anonymous single-stage competition seeks proposals for a new nine-year education facility on a rural 2.5ha site in Louňovice, a small agricultural village 25km south-east of Prague
The 27,220m² project is backed by LOŠBATES – a voluntary union of five local settlements: Louňovice, Štíhlice, Babice, Tehovec and Svojetice. Proposals should include two classrooms for each year group along with supporting facilities and a small apartment block for staff.
According to the brief: ‘The elementary school is the dream and desire of all the municipalities associated in the volunteer union of LOŠBATES. The construction of the new school is an investment that does not have a similarity in the rich history of our communities. Though we are small villages, it is our desire to build a 21st-century school that will allow modern learning and inspire children to study.
‘We want a safe school and a school that will enable community use and will serve all our people for decades. The proposed solution should respect the chosen 2.5ha of building land, the surrounding area and the landscape character of the village of Louňovice. The layout of buildings and other structures must be such as to allow future extension of the school to 3 x 9 classes.’
The project aims to create a sustainable integrated educational facility for the five villages on an undeveloped site close to the main road leading to the capital.
Proposals should include an auditorium, library, gym, administrative facilities, caretaker facilities, catering and dining facilities, outdoor spaces, a sports field and parking lot.
Conceptual proposals to expand the school to three classrooms per year group will also be required along with access to the greenfield site, which is surrounded by small houses and forest.
The overall winner will receive £27,500 and there will also be a second prize of £19,000 and third prize of £10,300 along with several honourable mentions worth £3,400 each.
The deadline for submissions is 4.30pm local time on 26 March.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information
U půjčovny 4
Tel: (+420) 222 222 521
Eva Šmoldasová, the mayor of Tehovec and Josef Řehák, mayor of Louňovice discuss their ambitions for the contest
Why are your holding an open call for a new school for LOŠBATES?
Eva Šmoldasová and Josef Řehák
Current capacity of school facilities in our area (about six miles east from the Prague’s administrative border) is not sufficient. A demographic study confirms a steady increase in inhabitants so it is clear the existing schools will not be able to accommodate all the children from our and surrounding villages. We have created the LOŠBATES union (four municipalities with a total of around 3,000 inhabitants) to address this need. We have decided to build a school from scratch on a greenfield site. The competition is an opportunity to compare approaches and concepts and select the most suitable design.
What is your vision for the new school?
The main issue (and possible threat) of this project might be a shortage of finance, both in the initial investment and the day-to-day operation. That said, we hope that smart and modern design can help us here. We see the international and open competition as a way of sharing knowledge and vision, leading to a 21st-century school – welcoming, accommodating and just the best there is.
What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?
None of us mayors is an architect, so we put our trust in the competition organiser. We can imagine, however, that this could be an opportunity for emerging talented and eager practices to get their first significant commission. It would be a pleasure if they make their name with this project.
Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?
This will be, for a long time, our only interest and focal point.
Are there any other recent similar school you have been impressed by?
We don’t want to limit contestants’ imaginations. However, we like the work of the Czech studio Projektil and Dutch Atelier PRO, which is why we have invited these architects (Adam Halíř and Dorte Kristensen) to the jury.