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Top UK talents to design Czech housing scheme

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Seven British architects among those selected to work on The Oaks, a €400 million, 220-home development on the outskirts of Prague

A clutch of the UK’s most exciting architects have been selected to work on a new 220-home scheme in the Czech Republic.

The Arendon Development Company has selected Coffey Architects, Duggan Morris Architects, Eldridge Smerin, Hall McKnight, Haptic, John Pardey Architects and McGarry-Moon Architects to work on projects on the outskirts of Prague, together worth €400 million (£314 million).

The seven British firms were chosen alongside Czech practices ADR, AI Design and Cigler Marani from more than 100 northern European practices in an invited contest organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants.

The scheme, masterplanned by US practice Edward Durell Stone Jr and Associates (EDSA), is set to break ground in spring 2015 and expected to take five years to complete.

The 140ha site lies within a hunting estate in Popivičky about 20km south-east of Prague.

Robert Davies, formerly of Treasury Holdings and now chief executive of Czech-based Arendon, said: ‘As we did our research it became clear that Czechs value well-crafted, contemporary design, both local and international.

‘Also, we were aware of a rich tradition of new residential communities in the country from the inter-war period, such as the Bata development in Zlin. So there was an opportunity to showcase good residential design, both from the Czech Republic and from across Europe, and give young designers a leg-up.’

The Oaks: Duggan Morris' Central Bohemia

The Oaks: Duggan Morris’ proposals

In total, 24 international practices were shortlisted for the competition, from a long list of more than 100. A dozen were from the UK. The longlist focused on northern European practices in ‘an arc from Iceland to the Benelux countries’, responding to Arendon’s interest in seeking out emerging practices as well as more established firms.

Shortlisted practices included: ADR (Czech Republic), AI Design (Czech Republic), Architektura (David Kraus) (Czech Republic), Cigler Morani (Czech Republic), Coffey / Architects (UK), David Mikhail (UK), Duggan Morris Architects (UK), Eldridge Smerin (UK), Hall McKnight (UK), Haptic (UK & Norway), James Gorst Architects (UK), Jarmund Vigsnaes (Norway), John Pardey Architects (UK), McGarry-Moon Architects (UK), Mudrik Architects (Czech Republic), NORD Architects (UK), Paul de Ruiter, (Netherlands), Peter Barber Architects (UK), Piercy & Co (UK), Stempel & Tesar (Czech Republic), Studio Olgoj Chorchoj (Czech Republic), Studio Pha (Czech Republic), Tham and Videgard Architects (Sweden) and Werner Sobek (Germany).

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Looks an interestingly varied design. It would be nice to see more of that here.

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  • 'The Oaks' - really? - at Popovicky?
    Perhaps we can expect a bosky residential development in Surrey or Berkshire called 'Duby' or 'Doubrava' - or is an English name seen by the developers as a selling point?

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  • A review of all the submissions for this interesting scheme would be really welcome. It appears a truly fascinating exemplar that we might all learn a lot from.

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