The Slavia - Federal and Cultural Centre in České Budějovice

CZ, 2019-2020, in collaboration with Chaix & Morel et Associès and CA Pichler ZT GmbH, 1st prize in architectural competition

The Slavia - Federal and Cultural Center is getting a new façade and a new performance space. Its existing historical façade will remain, with the main entrance overlooking the Malše river, while a new modern façade will face the city center. The reconstruction of the interior respects the historical symmetry of the space, as well as the division of the wings, while adding modern functional elements such as a generous foyer, emergency stairs, and elevators.
The structure and material design of the protected building will remain largely intact, complemented by a spacious foyer interior. The new extension, including the main hall and a smaller blackbox performace area, elongates the existing structure by about 8 meters. The modern concrete structure features a transparent façade made from glass and aluminum metal sheets.
An integral part of this project was the revitalization of the parking level floor which was previously used for operational purposes and the creation of a barrier-free exit onto the new two-story garden level. Looking out on the park and the historic center of the city are a restaurant and a café/co-working space. The ground floor also houses a blackbox and facility storage areas. The garden level, with its restaurant and co-working space, functions as the informal hub of the cultural center. It is the link between the interior and the world outside, inviting visitors to linger for a drink after their visit and drawing people in to attend small-scale performances or to use the co-working space.
The first and second floors are connected by the main hall and its foyer, which is accessible via the historical main entrance on the side facing the river. For reasons of acoustics, the main hall is rotated 90° towards the museum and the park. The expansive main hall, the main new architectural element, can be clearly seen from outside as it emerges from the original outline of the historical building. Immediately beyond the main stage, there is a large window framing a beautiful view of the park and the city beyond.