PORR is taking on a challenging revitalisation project in the heart of Prague, which extends far beyond the scope of a typical renovation project.
In order to meet the requirements of a modern media building, only the supporting structure will be retained during the revitalisation of the old office building. Everything else is demolished and replaced by new, sometimes very sophisticated structures.
In less than 18 months, PORR is transforming a typical 90s office building near the centre of Prague into a modern media centre. The main tenant will be a media group which, with seven TV channels and six radio stations, is one of the heavyweights of the Czech media industry.The actual revitalisation work was preceded by an unusually long tendering process, over a period of more than six months. Together with the client, PORR used this time to work closely with the building technology department to develop the optimum redevelopment plan within a set budget. A 3D model of the complex steel structures was also created together with the subcontractor in order to optimise work processes on the construction site. In addition to the pricing, this thorough preparation for the project was one of the reasons that the contract was awarded to PORR.
The building consists of three above-ground and eight basement levels. The basement floors will house an underground car park, as well as a TV studio and several storage areas and technical rooms. In addition to the lobby, the ground floor will accommodate a supermarket and a further, 600 m² TV studio. The second floor will be the beating heart of the new media building. The main entrance, main news studio, several radio stations, a café and a pizzeria will be located here. The remaining floors will consist primarily of offices and ancillary spaces. Only the supporting structure of the original building will remain. Everything else, from the exterior walls and the technical and electrical installations to the lifts and interior fittings, will be demolished and replaced. The specific requirements of the future tenant’s news and radio studios are considerably higher than those for a typical renovation. For example, parts of the existing ceiling structure complete with columns will need to be removed and the new structure reinforced accordingly. The new roof is designed without columns, with the reinforced concrete sandwich panels suspended on a steel space frame. Due to the high requirements in terms of room acoustics, and the use of glazed partitions, special attention had to be paid to the airborne sound insulation.
The location of the building on the main thoroughfare through the city, as well as the densely built-up surroundings, has made construction a logistical challenge. What’s more, the supermarket needed to be operational while work on the rest of the building continued, and some of the spaces in the underground car park have been in use as public parking throughout the entire construction period.These unusual conditions need to be considered during all of the construction activity on site. All of the construction processes need to be designed in such a way as to minimise general disruption in the vicinity of the construction site. The construction site is supplied via an existing tunnel and using high-capacity construction site hoists installed in the current building atria.
With the revitalisation of this office building in Prague, PORR has secured an important endorsement for future projects. It is conceivable that, over the next few years, many more 90s office buildings will come onto the market for conversion throughout the Czech Republic.