OV-A adds concrete interior to
Slavonice community centre

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Prague studio OV-A has added an extra storey and a cast concrete interior to a community centre in the medieval heart of Czech town Slavonice (+ slideshow).

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

The community centre was originally constructed as a clubhouse for the town's minority German population, prior to the Second World War.



OV-A was keen to retain its original character, as part of the expansion and refurbishment.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

A series of crumbling extensions added to the building throughout the 20th century were removed, while the interior – which had fallen into a state of disrepair following years of being unoccupied – was gutted to make room for more modern facilities.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

The architects raised the height of the building to increase the interior volume and to match the rooflines of the surrounding properties in the town's historic centre.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

"The original house was elevated by one floor to express self confidence of the new architecture and the new city house," said the architects. "The house brings serenity to the site and becomes one of the large volumes on the town's circumference."

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

Reminders of the structure's previous form can still be seen in the outline of brick-filled windows and a decorative gable occupied by a plaque and the date of the its original construction.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

A large concrete core inserted into the centre of the facility now divides it into two sections, with communal spaces on one side and rooms for quieter activities on the other.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

"The old walls envelope new life – the old shell was inhabited by a new animal," added the architects.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

On the ground floor level, a cafe is located on one side of the core, with a space that can be used as a children's activity area or meeting room on the other side.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

A concrete staircase ascends from the centre of the cafe space to a mezzanine level used as a foyer for the double-height auditorium located behind the central core.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

The second floor houses a study space with freestanding bookshelves at its centre and an office and meeting room along the external wall.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

The concrete core contains a lift and toilets on each level, along with various storage areas and small multipurpose rooms.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

Cast concrete surfaces throughout the centre are backed with wooden boards to improve their acoustic absorbency and prevent sound from reverberating throughout the building.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

Technical services are positioned at one end of the ground floor and in the attic, beneath the exposed underside of the pitched concrete roof.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti

Photography is by Tomáš Souček.


Project credits

Architect: Jiří Opočenský, Štěpán Valouch
Location: Slavonice, Czech Republic, Europe
Contractor: Podzimek a synové, s.ro.

Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti
Site plan – click for larger image
Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti
First floor plan – click for larger image
Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Municipal House Slavonice by Opocensky Valouch Architekti
Third floor plan – click for larger image