Internship report in the office: (tanslated from French)
HLAVÁČEK & PARTNER, L.t.d. (Prague, Czech Republic)
aJ E 201 GARD 1-2 012
During my exchange year in Prague, I took the opportunity to do my master’s internship there. I spent three weeks in a young and very active architectural firm. Under the responsibility of Michal Hlaváček (architect and entrepreneur) I had the opportunity to experience enriching and educational professional tasks, although the experience was short. The language barrier was certainly a challenge (exchanges were done in English) but enabled a dialogue and that would not have been possible in any other context. Established in 1992, the office HLAVÁČEK & PARTNER, L.t.d. specializes in architecture, urban design and interior design. This family business is based in Prague (Staropramenná 16), and is run by: Martin Hlaváček (architect), Michal Hlaváček (architect), Lucie Hlaváčková (administration, accounting),Pavla Hlaváčková (architect). The team also consists of 24 employees: Václav Čermák, Marek Dolejš, Petra Dušánková, Karel Hanzlík, Petr Herman, Martin Hlaváček, Michal Hlaváček, Lucie Hlaváčková, Pavla Hlaváčková, Zdeněk Holek, Ludvík Holub, Hana Hrbáčková, Oksana Krynytska, Ilona Matějíčková, Lenka Menclová, Karel Musil, Jaroslava Stojanová, Drahomír Stroupek, Petra Svobodová, Daniela Šimková, Michal Širmer, Ondřej Šmejkal, Veronika Trachtová and Libor Votoček. The office collaborates with engineers and a number of specialized professionals. The team is committed to providing a comprehensive service in the development of construction and implementation. Entire documentation is provided at all levels, including legislative negotiations. The interior design is prepared at an important level of detail. Consequently, the activity of this architectural office is varied. The projects are diverse in terms of scale, context and program and are established mainly in Prague and its suburbs. We will see a series of examples illustrating their work.
Hangar-Aviation Museum Architect: Michal Hlavacek In cooperation with: Lupač Paul, Louis Holub, Karel Musil Location: Mlada Boleslav Project: 2009 Pictures: Paul Lupač
Underground houses Pocernice Architect: Michal Hlavacek In cooperation with: Michal Hlavacek, Dalibor Hlavacek, Vaclav Krulis Location: Prague Project: 2007 Pictures: Philippe Ĺ lapal
Urban design-Renovation of the Old Town Squere of Boleslav Architects: Michal Hlavacek, Dalibor Hlavacek, Zdenek Holek, Peter Herman, Louis Holub, Paul Lupaฤ, Karel Musil, Thomas Lark In cooperation with: Veronika Psotkovรก (sculptor) Location: Mlada Boleslav Project: 2008-2010 Pictures: Michal Hlavacek
Housing Tatarkova Architect: Michal Hlavacek In cooperation with: Zdenek Holek, Andrew Kamenicky, Vaclav Cermak, Vlastimil Mládek, Martin Kabátník Location: Prague Project: 2005-2006 Built in: 2006-2008 Pictures: Philippe Šlapal
image: Kbely (Prague 19), aerial view (source google earth) site of the project “Residential Kbely”
site of the project “Residential Kbely” (source google earth)
Taking advantage of the network created at the Faculty of Architecture CTU (Czech Technical University), I got in touch with this office through a design studio teacher. The internship struggled to be accepted, as the system in the Czech Republic is not used to an exercise of this length (very short). The advantage for an office to take a young inexperienced student, of which it will not benefit from the training, under its wing is indeed questionable. It was nevertheless agreed to give me this chance and I am very grateful. When arriving to the office, I first spend a large part of the day waiting for the person who would be my tutor since he had gone on a construction site. Without a computer, without being presented to the staff and especially not being able to communicate with my colleagues who did not speak English, I started to wonder if the fact that I was accepted in their team would be beneficial for my learning and their work. After M. Hlaváček arrived, he invited me to join him and a colleague. He told me about a contest, gave me the documentation (in Czech language), on which I would work for the three following weeks, the delivery date being three days after the official end of my internship. It is a project of 84,000 m2 of housing and amenities. I first panicked a little: working alone on a scale that I have never dealt with, with a deadline that seemed impossible! I quickly convinced myself that this is simply a good exercise. I could not imagine an office of this size to give me, who has no experience, a project of this size if they hoped to win or even enter the competition! I took my time and I worked hard on it without stressing of the amount of work or the date of the delivery. I think it was a good approach, freeing me of the stress that stifled my creativity. Much to my surprise, at 11.30am on the Monday of my last week in office, M. Hlaváček came up to me and told me to print, that I would present the project to the entire office at 1pm. Panic on board, I spent the rest of the morning trying to do somewhat of a layout, put everything in the correct scale and finally sent it to the correct printer! Thanks to the practice of presenting in front of a jury during my studies I feel quite relaxed knowing that it is a simple exercise. Presentation, questions, answers...everything goes pretty well. Delighted to see the audience interested in what I produced I answer questions with pleasure. After the meeting M. Hlaváček asks me and a collaborator to come see him in his office. The conclusion of the presentation is the following: content with the project and the work, Michal Hlaváček decides that it will be presented the next week in the competition. Aware that I would never be able to finish in time on my own, he assigned Veronika Trachtova to work with me.
Statement of the contest: “Residential Kbely”, due on the 27th of June 2011 Kbely is located in the north-eastern outskirt of Prague, 10km from the city center. This village is 278 meters above sea level. The territory has 1043 addresses and 6654 inhabitants. According to a study conducted by the “Economist Business Magazine”, Kbely was named 2010’s most interesting location in Prague in strategy development. There are currently sports facilities, two military airports, the aviation museum and a park of 3,5 hectares with lakes in the city center. The territory is generously connected to Prague and its surroundings through a series of public transport: a bus, a metro (Letnany), a railway station Zastacka CD, from which trains to Prague’s main train station run every 20 min, Ohou Mladoboleslavsko road (used by airplane pilots) which directly connects Kbely to the Teplice highway (North Bohemia). The project itself is connected with bus lines: 185, 259, 269, 302, 375, 376 and 378. The metro Letnany is 6 min walking distance and the village of Kbely is crossed by a bicycle path leading directly to Prague (A44).
1/Investors Skanska a.s. Divize Skanska Reality Libalova 1/2348, 149 00 Praha 4 2/Entrepreneur … 3/Urban conditions / architecture The goal of OJSC Skanska is to implement, in the concerned territories, a residential complex of high architectural design and composition as well as optimal housing, a functional layout of individual apartments for future residents. The project will be well integrated in the present territory, will meet the family housing standards, will meet the Class B standard in the evaluation of energy performance of buildings (see Czech building code) and meet the requirements for low-energy housing. Green Space: The design solves the overall concept of landscape, taking into account the existing vegetation in the area and the departmental requirements (see legislation in the Czech Republic). Parking: The parking entrances will be designed such that the operation of the parking will have minimum impact on the housing units. Ramps will respect the minimal slopes. Outdoor parking spaces will be on the main road. The project will meet the minimum requirement of one parking space per unit. Landscaping: Landscaping will be minimum on the plot and adjacent areas. As part of the execution of the landscaping, mass transfer will be minimal.
4/General requirements The concept of residential complex includes residential buildings and an important part which will be used for commercial purposes. This area should be concentrated in the area near the road, entering the residential complex. All areas outside the residential buildings will be designed so that it is possible to assign separate houses. Area: Skanska investor’s demand for the territory: reach a minimum of 84,000 square meters, while respecting the functional areas. The maximum size in this area should not reach more than 95,000 square meters. - In terms of functional use of housing, we assume “low cost” with a standard size defined below. The size of the apartments in the different categories should not exceed the maximum limit. -Plan, in the concept of the project space for collecting and storage of rainwater on the land without having to be connected to a stormwater drainage. -Create semi-closed/semi-private residential buildings -Focus on: the quality of the architecture, especially the functionality and economy. -Respect the surrounding buildings. -Minimize communication and circulation paths. -The houses are well-designed in respect of orientation. 5/Building concept -Maximum 5 levels above ground. - Half-basement, considered to be completely open - Separate toilets (possibility to integrate the toilet in the bathroom in smaller units).
Type d’appartement Studio 1 chambre 2 chambres 3 chambres Total:
Pourcentage 10% 55% 32% 3% 100%
Taille d’un logement en m Min Max 27,5 38 45 52 65 73 75 85 120
Studio 1 chambre 2 chambres 3 chambres 3chambres/4chambres
Conclu: un peu dessu / triste d’avaoir travaillé seul
Project proposal: “Residential Kbely” 1/Challenges As stated by the investors of the project: “The goal of OJSC Skanska is to implement (...) a residential complex of high architectural design and composition as wall as optimal housing, a functional layout of individual apartments for future residents.” In addition to architectural design, other issues that are new to me were added to the project objectives. First of all, economic profitability mainly reflected by the necessity to meet a high density of housing. In addition, a large scale does not allow, as I was used to do in school, to go into the details and even composition of housing (for the competition). Indeed, the goal is to reach a master plan that meets the stated criteria, translating the future potential of the buildings to be built. Finally, a more technical dimension was necessary: for example each dwelling should be provided with a parking spot with easy access. 2/Intentions The first phase of the project, to familiarize myself with the subject, is to quantify the number of units and square meters: based on a 5-storey scheme, what does 84 000m2 represent on the site (see schematic diagrams next page)? The next step has been the implantation (building layout). The site is connected on one side by the access road access, the rest of the property line distinguishes the airport and a wasteland destined to be built in the near future. Access to the project is limited and domestic traffic is an important issue. To promote the activity and to create a sound and visual barrier, the 2000m2 of commercial space will be located on the edge of the site, road side. This space will be treated differently, offering a real opportunity to walk inside it and a visual and pedestrian permeability. The interior of the “block” will be exclusively reserved for the accommodation and facilities attached. The number of floors being limited to maximum five, the footprint on the entire site is important. To delineate the built spaces, green spaces will be created between each housing unit. Each apartment on the ground floor will be allocated a private garden and access to each building will be through a public space equipped with a playground. After much thought, it was decided to create an underground parking allowing creating the parking space necessary per dwelling and a large storage per apartment. A number of parking spaces ‘outside’ will be reserved for visitors (housing and commercial space). To facilitate the welcoming of new inhabitants and after discussion with the architects following my work, a children’s day care will be built in the heart of the project. It will be located inside one of the housing blocks bringing a certain dynamic during the day but above all giving easy access for the residents. A playground reserved and secured for this activity will be created.
Section: scheme for intentions Shops Circulations Dwellings
Layout plan: scheme for intentions
Plan: scheme for intentions (commercial area)
Layout plan: experimenting
Project proposal: â€œResidential Kbelyâ€?, 20/06/2011
Status before production of the final documents These documents reflect the proposal made to the whole office on the 20/06/2011. Following this presentation, Veronika TrachtovĂĄ worked with me to complete the graphic design and project communication. This step was the most beneficial for me. I was, for the first time during this training, confronted to the point of view of professionals and enjoyed the experience of a collaborator. She showed me how to use the sample files (AutoCAD and 3D) for the layout of the project and pointed out some elements of the project that needed to be adapted to Czech legislation (for vertical circulation and underground parking for one). During this phase some changes were made compared to the original proposal, including the commercial area. In addition, the overall volume of each building has been defined on the basis of a draft plan, diagram, and facade (in sketches).
Project proposal: “Residential Kbely”, 24/06/2011
image: sketchup view (no context)
Although short, this experience was very rewarding. I was pleasantly surprised by the confidence and freedom that M. Hlaváček gave me for this project. I first learned to trust myself, my ideas and my ability to communicate them. The magnitude and importance of the program were all new data which I had never worked with. I think this first exercise has been promising and reassures me even more since this type of constraints is in my point of view much more realistic for a young architect to be confronted with (as opposed to projects with free programs, without economic concerns). However, this type of short internship seems insufficient to learn the basis of our future professions. Accordingly, I think the tutor was reticent to give me work related to a project “in progress” in the office, which would request some amount of training. In addition, the language was a real barrier for team work and the fact that this type of internship is not common in the Czech Republic did not encourage the team to interact with me (also perhaps the lack of experience in teaching of the supervisor)... Aware of these issues, I was still disappointed not to have worked more closely with the team. Regarding the project, I think I managed to highlight the issues with strong potential. However, again due to the lack of time but also the lack of experience, the result produced is not finished in my opinion. The various elements in place need to be developed more to gain sense and credibility. As of today I have no information regarding the result of the competition. I have no illusions of any potential outcome. I am delighted to have participated in such a project and have grown from this experience.
Internship report in the office:
HLAVÁČEK & PARTNER, L.t.d. (Prague, Czech Republic) Léna JEGARD 2011-2012