The City of Brno has launched an open international contest to overhaul the banks of the River Svratka
Open to all architects and urban planners able to practice in Europe – the competition seeks ‘thoroughly considered’ proposals to upgrade a three kilometre stretch of the river which rises in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and converges with the River Svitava in central Brno.
The project aims to boost access to the ‘dull and functional’ river – which currently has poor connections to the historic Moravian city – by delivering a series of green interventions which promote social interaction and natural ecology. New flood defences to protect surrounding residential and commercial districts will also be required.
According to the brief: ‘This competition, taking as its goal the project of making the river Svratka more accessible while increasing the protection of property and lives among the citizens of Brno, is part of the city’s vision for future development. As a result, we expect from the designs a strategic conception of an approach to planning the banks of the Svratka accompanied with a plan of considered “acupuncture” interventions reflecting the changing character of the north and south banks from the east to the west.
‘The design should also not forget the highly diverse social composition of the residents, who will use the embankments for strolling, sports or cultural activities in all possible forms and in all seasons of the year. In other words, the contestants are asked to present, in addition to the plans of the landscaping and flood protection, a program for the use of the land under discussion as a whole and in its parts – a kind of palette of scenarios and possibilities that suggest what could take place in this area.’
Founded around 1000, Brno is today the Czech Republic’s second largest city with 810,000 inhabitants. The riverside settlement is a major centre of the country’s judiciary – hosting the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court. It is also home to 13 higher education institutions and around 89,000 students.
Key landmarks within the city include the 1928 Brno Exhibition Centre with a capacity for 60,000 visitors, the hilltop 13th century Špilberk Castle and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s suburban Villa Tugendhat.
Submissions should cover the entire riverfront area between the Riviéra swimming baths, exposition grounds and Kamenná kolonie suburb up to the rail viaduct between Pražákova and Uhelná. Proposals must incorporate new public spaces, landscape improvements and flood protection measures.
Judges include local architect and urban planner Aleš Burian, Brno deputy mayor Martin Ander and Susan Kraupp of Vienna-based SK Architektur & Stadtplanung.
The overall winner will receive around £17,650 while a second place prize of £12,800 and third place prize of £9,600 will also be awarded. All prize winners will be invited to negotiate for the design commission. A further £6,400 will be shared between further teams receiving honourable mentions.
The submissions deadline is 3.30 pm local time (CET) on 28 February.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information
Ing. arch. Igor Kovačević, Ph.D.
U Půjčovny 4
110 00 Prague 1
Tel: +420 222 222 521, +420 603 810 083