Corso Karlín

DATE: 2001
LOCATION: Prague, Czech Republic, EU
OLD USE: Factory
NEW USE: Office center


History

The industrial space is located in the Prague 8 municipal district of Prague. Formerly an independent town until 1922, the district was home to many industrial functions.[1]

(Re)Developer

Ricardo Bofill, the renowned Catalan architect, was born in 1939 in Barcelona. In 1963, shortly after graduating from the Barcelona University of Arqitectura and Scholl of Geneva, Bofill formed an international team of architects, engineers, sociologists, writers, movie makers and philosophers and thus founded Taller de Arqitectura. Over the past 40 years, the studio has gathered valuable experience in the fields of urban planning, architecture, landscaping, interior, furniture and product design. Among prestigious projects undertaken by Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arqitectura are the Christian Dior headquarters in Paris, the headquarters developed for Cartier, Decaux, Axa, the Shiseido company headquarters in Tokyo, Donnelley skyscraper in Chicago, and the international airport in Barcelona, and many other.

Real Estate Karlín Group (REKG) was founded in 1997 by Serge Borenstein, Charles Butler and the Marc Rich Real Estate Group. REKG focuses its investment and development activities especially in Prague 8, namely Karlín and Libeň districts, where the company owns a sizeable amount of real estate. The company’s plans include developing tens thousands of square feet to provide new spaces for office, retail and residential purposes and leisure facilities in the mentioned areas. REKG pays close attention to the quality of architectural design in all of its projects it plans and executes, and due to its approach to quality, the company has received the “Best of Realty” and “Building of the Year” awards.

Outcome

As part of REKG’s plan to modernize the district, Taller de Arquitectura used its previous adaptive reuse experience to complete the renovation of Corso Karlín. The original building has been preserved and its base renovated. The new roof is of glass, and red stucco arcades highlight the composition of the existing ground floor. The aim here is to maintain a dialogue between light and shadow, solidity and transparency; between the language of classical architecture and modern materials.[2]

The area, once marked by dirty industrial spaces, is now breathing easier with a new life focused on business. The conversion of Corso plays out this conversion, opening up the building to its surrounding area and bringing in lots of natural light. By reusing the building, REKG and Taller de Arquitectura have been able to solidify the district’s past as well as future.

[1]Wikipedia
[2]Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura

Images courtesy of Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura.