New Town Hall Prague 7
The new Town Hall building introduces a new level of transparency and inclusiveness for the local community and the whole district to participate and affect the democratic process.
Team: Irgen Salianji, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Marina Kounavi, Antony Laurijsen
The project for a new Town Hall in Prague 7 is proposing a long term vision to reinvent the administration and bureaucratic process. The building is designed as a flexible spatial system to facilitate open plan office layouts that introduce the notions of informality and creativity in the interaction between public servants and citizens. Town Halls have been spaces of governmental formality and lengthy bureaucratic procedures for decades, however they will obtain a more public and informal character as the advancements in technology and the rise of social media will transform not only the legislative process and governmentality, but physical space itself. In such a context of future projections, we propose a clean and flexible building that organizes the generic administration work-spaces in the centre of its floor plan, and instead the workstations that involve interaction with the citizens are positioned on the perimeter and the facade. Both symbolically and functionally, the perimeter of the floor plans becomes a social condenser, a zone of public life and encounters - an architectural space and a facade animated by the activities of daily life in a public institution that is transforming and is being transformed by the citizens of Prague District 7.
The new facilities of the Town Hall will bring density and activity into the whole neighbourhood. In terms of aesthetics, the building is making a contrast to the surroundings with its clean form and abstract appearance. In terms of function and activities, however, the new Town Hall building introduces a new level of transparency and inclusiveness for the local community and the whole district to participate and affect the democratic process.
TOWN HALL ORGANIZATION
The new Town Hall building is organized vertically as a gradient of public openness and accessibility on the lower levels and segregation of more administrative functions on the upper ones. Equally on the floor plan of each level, the inner spaces of the building are housing office spaces for administration employees and the outer ones open plan desks for employees and departments that deal with clients and citizens.
The terraces of the building are a strong part of the urban alignment and the identity of the building, therefore they are further highlighted in the new scheme. Some of the lower terraces become continuation of the public route of the building and are open to citizens, and other have a limited accessibility only to the employees of the building. All off them are resurfaced and landscaped, so that they become welcoming and attractive to visitors.