Glass school, Klatovy, Czech republic

by Ivona Náterová from Faculty of Architecture, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
Tutored by: Ing. Tomáš Novotný, Ing. Arch. Jakub Koňata, Ing. Arch. Tomáš Zmek

Author comments:

Two former textile factories – two objects, both from different eras, are completed with a third one. Accommodation in the historical one, education in the modular one and the glasswork with exhibition space in the new one. The new form is based on the archetype of a glasswork 'hut' which is also incorporates the gallery.
The site is nowadays occupied by abandoned textile factory objects. The project solves the plot as one entity by adding new object as well as using the existing ones. Glass school project refers to an old glass tradition in the region and also brings back the craft phenomenon towards young people, especially in terms of glasswork – a craft so distinctive for Czech republic.
The aim of the project is to create background for functioning of the entire glass school. The school contains of five different workshops including its own glasswork hut placed in the new building, which also includes a gallery where the school can present itself. It should also work as a support for the existing Glass Pavillion PASK in Klatovy. Moreover for the glasswork hut a commercial use is expected. The exhibition space is designed to be quite flexible therefore it could have various uses. The school also includes a technological programme to expand posibilities for the graduates. The art programme has, besides the glasswork specialization, additional specializations for fashion and product design and painting. It is presumed for the school to have regional impact.

Tutor comments:

Both our last year students thoroughly consider, as far as the town government and owners let them, which objects to preserve, their architectural and historical qualities. Finally, Ivona Náterová decides to preserve two of the abandoned objects and adds a third, new volume. As a new function for the objects, considering the town’s needs, she chooses to build a glass school. Her analysis is dedicated to studying of history of glasswork in Czech countries, and particularly glass schools. In the end she designs and draws in detail three objects.
Despite what the opponent of the project says, us tutors, we consider the whole composition to be a great contribution for the whole town. On one hand the reinforcement of the old town circuit, on the other hand the situation of the crossing of Podbranská and Tyršova streets – which is now less important and therefore clearly prefers the historical connection of the old town.
This was Ivona’s first project in our studio. Personally, I especially appreciate the conversion of an old textile factory, in which she managed to upgrade an abandoned „Baťa’s“ construction system into a functional distinctive contemporary architecture. Furthermore, I consider the archetypal, but contemporary portrayal of the glass workshop completed with a spectacular exhibition space to be an illustration of stunning spatial thinking. Finally, assembling of a functioning layout of a student dorm into existing floor plans is, for me, a surprising sophistication in terms of typology.

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