Vltava Waterway / ATELIER 8000

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Vltava Waterway / ATELIER 8000
© Jan Mahr

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Vltava waterway / atelier 8000
© Jan Mahr

Project Details:
Location: River Vltava, Czech Republic
Type: Public
Architects: ATELIER 8000 – Martin Krupauer – Jiří Střítecký, Czech Republic
Cooperation: Pavel Kvintus,Vít Hanold
Photographs: Jan Mahr

Architect’s Statement:

In the Czech Republic, the current trend is revitalizing embankments, bringing water and streams back to the fabric of cities under the motto ´River back to the People´. The project “Making the Vltava waterway navigable” thus played its role in initiating this effort; it supports and introduces life back to the water sheet and its surroundings – this is the natural associate part of the project.

Vltava waterway / atelier 8000
© Jan Mahr

More than ten years studio Atelier 8000 has started forming an idea to make the river Vltava navigable. The vision of Atelier 8000 was to design the navigability of the river Vltava on a unified typological base and then apply this typology along the whole Vltava waterway. A unified design of water inventory was used for the whole waterway’s railing, pole lights, fencing, elements of communication technology and technical equipment of marinas, elements of traffic communication, and so on. Architecture of buildings designed by us is subject to a unified concept and especially design of the control towers.

Vltava waterway / atelier 8000
© Jan Mahr

The river Vltava and accomplishing this goal is a heartfelt matter. We hope that after all those big projects developed in our country (such as the D1 highway) this waterway will also fall into their ranks, introduce development to the Povltavi region, and promote our country in Europe. We think that connection to the sea is important for one’s feeling of individual freedom, freedom and generosity of the whole society, as well as for democracy – the team of architects from Atelier 8000 points out.

Vltava waterway / atelier 8000
© Jan Mahr

Control towers České Vrbné, Hluboká nad Vltavou, Hněvkovice
Control towers are part of the Hluboka nad Vltavou and Ceske Vrbne ship lock and the Hnevkovice Dam. The control towers got a unified look – austere metal-clad rectangular prisms are complemented and visually softened by a lace of coloured membranes resembling stretched sails of sailing boats or lumpy water. Harmonizing with the surrounding nature and the delicately installed new technical shape is the basic criterion of these control towers. These structures build on a premise that it is important to respect a landscape and not push it back; on the contrary, contextual and harmonic structures must be built in this very specific environment.

Vltava waterway / atelier 8000
© Jan Mahr

Hluboka nad Vltavou sport marina:
The Hluboka nad Vltavou sport marina well uses the existing river Vltava meander. Its shape was respected, sediments were excavated from the riverbed in the area in question, and only partial corrections of the outline had to be performed. The marina is divided in two connected basins (the permanent one for small ships + reference vessels). Higher trees cover bank edges and the island’s surface.

Vltava waterway / atelier 8000
© Jan Mahr

Vessels are tied at the allocated section along the perimeter usually to timber jetties founded on steel piles. Jetties are situated along the hill’s foot and locally connected to the shore by small bridges. A boat ramp is designed for launching boats.

A landmark of the marina is the entry building with an elaborately designed lift bridge.
Part of the marina is also a boat parking lot. It is on the left bank above the entry to the marina; it consists of two tight-coupled pontoons.

Vltava waterway / atelier 8000
© Jan Mahr

Ceske Vrbne marina:
Contrary to the previous marina, Ceske Vrbne (for small boats and a reference vessel) is newly excavated on a green field along the river Vltava waterway. Permanent stone-paved jetties are allocated along the marina’s perimeter. There is also a boat ramp here with an area for a crane and a lift bridge connecting the marina to the waterway – the first lift bridge in the Czech Republic ever. Another positive feature is the local petrol station.

Vltava waterway / atelier 8000
© Jan Mahr

Part of the Ceske Vrbne port is the Control Tower with the information and service centre. Subtle structures of pedestrian bridges and shading elements complement the simple, firm block. The front façade of the building facing the port is dramatically articulated while the remaining three sides of the rectangular prism are clad in stone veneer. From the river Vltava side, the building is recessed in a mound establishing the riverbank. Both marinas are connected to local roads and a biking trail lining the marina.

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