kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

The conversion project preservers the external shape and proportions of the original 1980s canteen building. The main intervention is the creation of a generous central hall – a social center of the faculty, illuminated from above, with daylight coming in between the trusses of the skylights.

Charles University Faculty of Humanities Headquarters

The external structural glazing is designed primarily as an effective acoustic protection against the noise from a six-lane ring road in the immediate vicinity of the building. Double-skin façade allows for natural ventilation and regulated sun shading of the interior space. Rounded glass corners are a link to the original architecture.

– Kuba & Pilař Architects

Charles University Faculty of Humanities New Headquarters Photographs
kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

kuba pilar new headquarters of the faculty of humanities cu david korsa

© David Korsa

Text by the Architects

The original canteen and dormitory buildings by the architect Karel Prager are only the torso of an unfinished university campus on the banks of the Vltava River. The canteen itself was never fully used as intended. The 1980s building, built using a demanding lift-slab construction method with its deep central square disposition, had an indisputable architectural quality at the time of its construction. However, a radical change was necessary to accommodate new needs of the Faculty of Humanities.

The conversion project preservers the external shape, height and proportions of the original canteen building. The main intervention is the creation of a generous central hall, illuminated from above, with daylight coming in between the trusses of the skylights. The hall is the heart and the social center of the faculty which spatially connects all three floors of the building. The entrance, located on the level of a raised plateau, enables a simple connection of all floors by two differently shaped one-flight staircases. Cantilevered galleries along the perimeter of the hall provide access to seminar rooms, teachers’ offices and two lifts with fire escape staircases. The lowest level of the hall accommodates large common lecture halls, auditorium, faculty’s library and the deanery.

Prevailing materials in the interior are exposed concrete combined with a fine metal ceiling mesh, black floor screed and white wooden elements and furniture. The space is dominated by a variably set seating furniture in orange.

The external structural glazing is designed primarily as an effective acoustic protection against the noise from a six-lane ring road in the immediate vicinity of the building. Double-skin façade allows for natural ventilation and regulated sun shading of the interior space. Rounded glass corners are a link to the original architecture.

The conversion of the canteen is a part of a large complex which includes two high-rise dormitory buildings sharing a common base. Completion of the outdoor areas, access roads and greenery will be a subject of the next stage of the construction.

Charles University Faculty of Humanities New Headquarters Plans
ground floor plan

Ground Floor Plan | © Kuba & Pilař Architects

section b

Section | © Kuba & Pilař Architects

Charles University Faculty of Humanities New Headquarters Image Gallery

About Kuba & Pilař architekti

Kuba & Pilař architekti is an architectural studio founded by Ladislav Kuba and Tomáš Pilař in 1996. The studio ranks among the most recognised ones in Czech Republic. Their buildings have been awarded nine times the Grand Prix of Society of Czech Architects – the most prestigious national award for architecture.

The first significant public commission of the studio was the building of Library of the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno, which won the main award Grand Prix 2002 and many other awards. This project was followed by other successful architectural competitions, built projects and awards. The Faculty of Chemical Technology, University of Pardubice, which won the main award Grand Prix 2009, Residential Estate Na Krutci in Prague, Omega Department Store in Brno, Apartment Building on Kostelni Square in Ostrava, projects of Moravian-Silesian Research Library in Ostrava, The Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen are among the most significant. In 2021 their conversion of the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague won again the main award Grand Prix of Society of Czech Architects and was one of the finalists of the Czech Prize for Architecture 2021. The work of Kuba & Pilař architekti has been nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award five times and published in both national and international periodicals.

The starting point of their architectural design is the relationship to the context, the content of the building, which they transform into the relevant material and visual form. Harmony between content and form is not just a phrase for them. They emphasize the art concept of their design. They concentrate on the detail, which eventually transforms the abstract intention into reality.

  1. Authors: Ladislav Kuba, Tomáš Pilař, Martin Klimecký
Cite this article: "Charles University Faculty of Humanities Headquarters Renovation / Kuba & Pilař Architects" in ArchEyes, January 19, 2022, https://archeyes.com/charles-university-faculty-of-humanities-headquarters-renovation-kuba-pilar-architects/.