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Early 20th-century department store reinvented in the Czech Republic

Atelier 38 architecture studio has reinvented a building built in the early 20th-century. Located in the Czech town of Olomouc, the former furniture store is now home to the studios of the Czech Radio. Let’s see!

The department store of the furniture tradesman Franz Klein was built in 1911, designed by architect Christoph Glaser. The curiosity of the department store inspired by the Gerngross/Herzmansky store in Vienna was its monolithic reinforced concrete frame, which was considered both structurally and spatially progressive at the time. After having sustained damage in the war, the original all-glass Art Nouveau facade was refitted in 1946 with ceramic cladding following the design of architect Jaroslav Česal. In contrast, its central atrium space with the sales galleries remained intact during the centuries. During the communist regime in the 1990s, the building served its original purpose as a department store, but it was fitted with an insulated suspended ceiling, obscuring the original upper natural lighting.

The former department store was given a new function thanks to the Atelier 38 architectural studio, thanks to which a new symbol, the Czech Radio was placed in the historical center of Olomouc. The building had to be adapted to current static and thermal regulations, while designers have also paid special attention to preserving the original structure and decorative interior of the building. All interventions are clearly distinguishable in the strictly monochrome, white interior, which strongly contrasts the blue sky visible through the glass roof windows. In order to maintain a sense of openness—in the gallery space, where possible—glass partitions were used to separate spaces. The design and material choices of the studios were dictated by spatial acoustic requirements. 

Photos: Boys Play Nice

Source: Linka News

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