A significant win for the practice, the announcement comes shortly after Tintagel Castle Footbridge in Cornwall, which WMA designed in partnership with Ney & Partners, reached the shortlist in the RIBA Stirling Prize 2021, a British prize for excellence in architecture.
The competition was anonymous and the jury, which included the city architect Michal Sedláček, and Brno’s Deputy Mayor Tomáš Koláčný, praised the slender structure and generous flood park.
The site is a post-industrial area north of the city centre, which is soon to be transformed into a vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood. The bridge will continue a newly planned street on the north bank, connecting it to the south bank, the site of a former industrial estate which will be regenerated into a new cultural hub.
The sinuous steel bridge with steel deck is cost effective and materially efficient, and therefore also sustainable. It has a low-lying form to sit unobtrusively within the re-landscaped riverbank.
The bridge has been carefully orientated on the north bank to run alongside the chimney tower of Briess Malthouse, which will be saved as an emblem of the area’s industrial heritage.
Designed in partnership with engineers Buro Happold, the bridge has an efficient structure. It consists of two integral side spans, connected in the middle by a central span supported on shelves cantilevering from the side spans. This system enables the bearings and movement joints to be positioned above the 100-year flood line, minimising damage or premature deterioration. The main longitudinal steel girders consist of welded trapezoidal sections of variable height supported by double V-shaped piers, made of reinforced concrete. The use of trapezoidal hollow boxes increases the stiffness of the cross section of the bridge. A white painted steel soffit accentuates the sleek design.
The multi-lanes bridge deck has a span of 28m, and it widens slightly on the outer curves to create stopping points and resting places for pedestrians. Four lanes three metres wide, two in each direction, are designated for car traffic, with the outermost lanes designed primarily for trolleybuses. The main steel girder of the bridge superstructure separates motorised traffic from pedestrians and cyclists. There is a one-way cycle lane in both directions and a separate pedestrian zone running along the perimeter of the bridge.
The balustrade is designed to be lightweight and permeable, made of tapered, sloping flat steel plates that overlap the bridge deck and give it a slim, minimal appearance. The top rail is set to a height of 1300mm (for cycling) with a handrail at 900mm and a guideline 120mm above the pavement surface.
The bridge has been designed to sit within a wider soft landscaping scheme to mitigate flood risk by preserving the wild and natural character of the riverbank. This provides a counterpoint to the rest of the river which has been canalised throughout most of the city, making access impossible. At the Svitava Bridge crossing pointthe river basin will be widened to create more permeability, opening up entry points for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and swimming. The planting scheme is designed zonally and features meadows, woodland and levelled planting to create a buffer to alleviate flood risk as well as improving biodiversity.
William Matthews, Director, William Matthews Associates, said: “Our winning scheme conceptually responds to the flow of the river with a slow sweeping sinuous form. The structure is simple, efficient, and not overtly expressed. It will sit in harmony with the towering fine brick chimney of the Briess Malthouse that will be preserved.”
Markéta Vaňková, Brno Mayor: “The construction of the new bridge, which is more than 50 metres long, could take place in two to three years. It will allow public transport to cross the Svitava River in two lanes and offer two more lanes for car drivers. On both sides there will be separate separated cycle paths and space for pedestrian traffic. The cost of the project is estimated at more than CZK 220 million.”
Michal Sedláček, the city architect: “In our evaluation, we particularly appreciated the slender steel structure of the bridge and the generous flood park extending the riverbank to both sides. The solution is simple, spatially generous, flexible, sufficiently permeable for different types of visitor movement and has great potential to act as a bio-corridor.”
Deputy Mayor Tomáš Koláčný: “Historically, the area was dominated by industry, one side of the river belonged to the production in Brno Zbrojovka, the other side to Zetor Motor Works. The potential for the transformation of the waterfront is therefore great for the city and its residents – instead of neglected brownfields, new apartments, offices, services and new greenery will be added. Thanks to the long-term cooperation between the private and public sectors, investment will also cover part of the costs of public infrastructure.”
A new bridge will be built between the former sites of weapons manufacturer Zbrojovka and Zetor motor works in Brno at a cost of CZK 220 million. Its form was designed by the British studio William Matthews Associates. The design was selected by an expert jury in an architectural competition, the results were approved this week at a Brno city council meeting.
We’re looking for urban infrastructure (flood protection) project coordinator. You will work on key projects for the development of Brno. Join the multi-profession team of the Brno City Chief Architect’s Office!
Who we look for
In case of interest in this job offer, email your English CV to address [email protected] by 15th April 2022, the email subject should state CV Project coordinator.
Шукаємо координатора проекту у сфері міської інфраструктури – захист від паводків. Ви працюватимете над ключовими проектами для розвитку Брно. Приєднуйтесь до професійно різноманітної команди міського архітектора.
Що ви будете робити?
Кого ми шукаємо
Ми пропонуємо вам
Якщо вас зацікавила запропонована вакансія, надішліть нам своє резюме англійською мовою на електронну пошту [email protected] до 15 квітня 2022 року, у темі напишіть CV Project coordinator.
We’re looking for a new colleague for the Trnitá District department. You will work on a project of the biggest city district which will become one the best districts in Brno. Join the multi-profession team of the Brno City Chief Architect’s Office!
Who we look for
In case of interest in this job offer, email your English CV to address [email protected] by 15th April 2022, the email subject should state CV Civil Engineer.
Шукаємо колегу у відділ «Новий квартал». Ви будете працювати над найбільшим міським районом, який буде одним з найкращих у Брно. Приєднуйтесь до професійно різноманітної команди KAM.
Що ти робитимеш
Кого ми шукаємо
Якщо вас зацікавила запропонована вакансія, надішліть нам своє резюме англійською мовою на електронну пошту [email protected] до 15 квітня 2022 року, у темі напишіть CV Civil Engineer.
We’re looking for a new colleague for the Traffic Engineering department. You will work on key projects for the development of Brno. Join the multi-profession team of the Brno City Chief Architect’s Office!
Who we look for
In case of interest in this job offer, email your English CV to address [email protected] by 15th April 2022, the email subject should state CV Traffic Specialist.
Шукаємо колегу у відділ транспорту. Ви будете працювати над ключовими проектами для розвитку міста. Приєднуйтесь до професійно різноманітної команди KAM.
Що ти будеш робити з нами?
Кого ми шукаємо
Ми запропонуємо вам
Якщо вас зацікавила запропонована вакансія, надішліть нам своє резюме англійською мовою на електронну пошту [email protected] до 15 квітня 2022 року, у темі напишіть CV Traffic Specialist.
The four architectural studios involved in the project will present their visions, reflections and design ideas. The winning designers from the Dutch studio Benthem Crouwel International will also be present. Benthem Crouwel are the design studio behind award-winning train stations in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and The Hague. According to the concept of the winning design, the new railway station will become a new gateway to the city and a positive impetus for the development of the emerging Trnitá district on the banks of the River Svratka, and Brno residents will get a modern rail hub with sufficient capacity to guarantee further development of railway transport from the city.
Benthem Crouwel Architects are the design studio behind award-winning train stations in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and The Hague. According to the concept of the winning design, the new railway station will become a new gateway to the city and a positive impetus for the development of the emerging Trnitá district on the banks of the River Svratka. Brno residents will get a modern rail hub with sufficient capacity to guarantee further development of railway transport from the city.
The decision of the expert jury, which included architect Eva Jiřičná and urban planner Peter Gero, was approved this week by the City of Brno and the Railway Administration. As the organizer of the competition, the Brno City Architect’s Office will exhibit all the submitted designs at the Brno New Town Hall at the end of September.
According to Benthem Crouwel Architects, the design incorporates smooth integration into the city’s public transport network and enrichment of public life in the new district, intended to be a comfortable and easy place to live and travel, with a range of transfer options and an iconic design for the station itself that strengthens the identity of the city of Brno, while also being functional and looking like a train station.
“In the opinion of the jury, the winning design combines a reference to historic public buildings with a modern interchange and quality public space,” said the City Architect Michal Sedláček, a member of the jury. “It emphasizes the Brno genius loci and a careful assessment of the practical functioning of the new station building and its surroundings.” According to Sedláček, during the competition the jury recommended some refinements to the design to meet the strict requirements for the new station.
The award-winning main train stations in Rotterdam, Amsterdam or The Hague are all connected by their author – the Benthem Crouwel Architects studio. “The authors of the winning proposal will play a supervisory role in the processing of the project documentation for the new building. They will guarantee that, when completed, the new train station will not only be the pride of South Moravia, but also a place the passengers will be able to truly enjoy. The new main train station building is currently expected to be completed sometime between 2032 and 2035, when a part of the new Trnitá district will be completed as well,” says Mojmír Nejezchleb, Deputy Director General for Rail Modernisation from the Railway Administration.
Smooth integration into the city network and improved public life in the new district, comfortability and ease of use with excellent interchange options and a presentable building that strengthens Brno’s identity. This is how the winners of the international competition from the Benthem Crouwel Architects studio imagine the new main train station in Brno.
“In the jury’s eyes, the winning proposal combines the heritage of historic public buildings with the idea of a modern interchange hub and quality public space. It emphasizes the genius loci of Brno and carefully solves the practical functioning of the new station building and its surroundings,” adds the city architect Michal Sedláček, who also sat on the expert jury. “In addition, during the competition, we recommended that some parts of the proposal be further refined, so that the result will be even better in line with the current strict requirements for the new station building,” he adds.
“I am very pleased with the cooperation between the City of Brno and the Railway Administration on this key project,” appreciates Markéta Vaňková, the mayor of Brno, and emphasises: “The modernised heart of the Brno railway junction in its new location by the Svratka River will significantly affect the city’s further development. The network of tracks will be simplified, thus removing barriers and freeing up large areas in the city centre for parks, recreation facilities and housing. The historic railway viaduct will become an esplanade between the city centre and the transformed waterfront. The new station will be surrounded on both sides by high-quality public space and connected to the city centre by a new tree-lined boulevard and a tram line.”
First Deputy Mayor Petr Hladík mentions other benefits of the new station: “One of the goals of the new station is to enable fast interchange between trains, buses and urban public transport in one place. This also means creating favourable conditions for the planned high-speed railway in the direction of Prague, Ostrava and Vienna. At the same time, comfort for pedestrians and cyclists, passengers and the station’s new neighbours is of essential importance.”
Today, the railway junction in Brno no longer suffices in terms of capacity or technology and its modernisation is necessary. Without it, Brno would remain stuck in the last century, when the last substantial change took place as the freight through route was built here. Brno prepared the construction of the new relocated train station several times, but the plans have repeatedly been stopped by unfavourable circumstances such as the Great Depression, the Second World War or the occupation in 1968. “Demands for railway transport are significantly different than 180 years ago. Therefore, Brno deserves an investment in its future and the presented results of the international competition clearly show that the city will have the most modern train station in Europe,” said Deputy Mayor Tomáš Koláčný.
The new main train station is the most important part of the modernisation of the Brno railway junction. Its location by the river was decided on 30 May 2018 by the Central Committee of the Ministry of Transport. Earlier that year, it was chosen by the representatives of the City and the Region. The modernisation of the Brno-Židenice train station is also being prepared at the moment, which will move it closer to urban public transport and create a new terminal in Brno’s Černovice district on Olomoucká Street.
“The international urban transport architectural competition for the design of the New Brno Main Train Station was announced on 31 August 2020 and the jury decided on the winning proposals at a two-day meeting on 1 and 2 July 2021. It was the largest architectural competition in the history of the Czech Republic; the competitors were tasked with designing a station building, including a complete solution of adjacent public spaces, buildings for administration, housing and civic facilities, bus station, urban public transport terminal and pedestrian connection,” reminded Filip Chvátal, Councillor for Land-Use Planning and Development.
It was a two-phase restricted competition. A total of twelve teams participated in the first phase. Three were invited directly, the other nine were selected by an expert jury from forty-six submitted applications and portfolios of architects. Among them were, for example, the authors of stations in Vienna, Berlin, Rotterdam, The Hague, Bologna, London or Birmingham. In the first phase, twelve competitors prepared their competition proposals. Four of them were selected for the second phase of the competition, where they worked them out in more detail. The competition was organised by Brno City Chief Architect’s Office and the City of Brno and the Railway Administration were its joint contracting authorities.
The public will be able to see all the proposals from both phases of the competition at the exhibition in the cloister of the Brno New Town Hall. The exhibition will take place on 30 September 2021 with the participation of the winning team. A large model of the new Trnitá district will also be exhibited, which was used by the expert jury in the evaluation. The competition models of individual teams with the designed buildings and adjoining public spaces were inserted directly into the model.
Benthem Crouwel International B.V.
Daniel Jongtien, Martin Biewenga and Jan Benthem
Sdružení Pelčák a partner architekti – Müller Reimann Architekten
ingenhoven architects GmbH, Architektonická kancelář Burian-Křivinka, architekti Koleček-Jura
BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group + A8000 s.r.o.
All proposals can be found at https://kambrno.com/competitions/brno-new-main-train-station/
The City of Brno’s new zoning plan is now available to view as an online exhibition, as a joint project of the Urban Center and the City Architect’s Office (KAM), which also drew up the proposal. The online exhibition outlines the origins of the plan, and explains in detail its importance to the city.
The “Exhibition of 381,348 Spatial Planners” was set to take place in the Urban Center, but the ongoing epidemic situation means it has moved to a virtual environment. The name of the exhibition is a reference to the population of the city, as the organisers want to encourage participation in the public consultation over the plan.
The exhibition covers all aspects of the plan that are important for the development of the city. KAM identified nine “burning questions”, which are dealt with in detail, including urban greenery, the city’s allotment sites, and bicycle transport. The exhibition also provides information about strategic locations in the city where new buildings or even entire new neighbourhoods are planned, and the revitalisation and new uses of brownfield sites. The draft zoning plan views the city as a living and ever-changing organism.
Apart from designing the new Brno main train station itself – from the platform to the roof, the interior to the façades – the competing architectural teams had to submit concepts for connecting bridges and related public spaces.
They also had to identify the optimal location and appearance of a new bus station, public transport terminal, car parks, taxi stands, bicycle storage and pedestrian access. What’s more, as the construction will be part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), designs must account for a range of interconnections.
At the Brno University of Technology, a collapsible 3-D model of the existing site is now being built, using a range of thermoplastics and machine-tooled wood. The nearly “million-crown” model will be akin to a giant puzzle on a 1:500 scale, which the teams competing to design the train station can modify as they see fit.
Michal Sedláček, head of the Brno City Architect Office (KAM), told Czech Radio that the city had will use the 3-D models not only to assess the competing teams’ designs, but also to assess high-rise building projects that should sprout up in the new Trnitá district around the train station.
The model, representing an area of Brno two kilometers long and one and a half kilometers wide on 12 square meters, will be used by the expert jury to choose the winning design from the 12 currently being prepared. Experts from FAVU are constructing the model from wood, and by means of 3D printing. Two thirds of the terrain is already complete. The finished model will include hundreds of buildings, over 2,000 trees, train and tram tracks, and the river Svratka as a significant landscape element, all at a scale of 1:500. The competition teams will insert their proposed buildings and other elements directly into the model, allowing them to be evaluated from a vantage point and in the context of the whole district.
The twelve competitors are now working on their designs for the new station by the river. Four of them will be selected for the second phase of the competition, in which they will complete the proposals in greater detail, including physical representations of the competition area to be inserted into the model of the new district. In July 2021, the jury will select a winner and determine the order of the second, third and fourth place entries.
The entire finished model, including the winning form of the main railway station, will be presented to the public in the autumn of this year, where it will be the centrepiece of an exhibition of competition proposals.
The 3D map allows you to display up to 14 categories of buildings divided according to their purposes, such as housing, commerce, sports, recreation or gardens. It can be easily searched by address. Users can change the types of background map or enable shadows to be displayed based on current time. They can view information about multiple buildings at once, using the shift key. Even in a 3D model, buildings can be distinguished by their purposes, or even by floors as in the previous 2D applications.
In two years, information was collected on approximately 110,000 buildings, from which our data specialists calculated gross floor areas, roof type and height using spatial and statistical analyses. So far, they have modelled the historical centre of Brno as part of the 3D solution, and they are now working intensively to extend the map to the outskirts. The pilot 3D map project was presented for the first time in October at an exhibition called “381,346 Spatial Planners” in the Brno’s Urban Centre. Based on the feedback from its users, they want to continuously update the map.
Depth measurements using a ground-penetrating radar should now reveal the condition of the building and whether it can be saved. The test measurement of the first section took place on Tuesday, December 1, and it was organised by the Brno City Chief Architect‘s Office.
The test measurement of the first section includes the first five arches, i.e. about fifty metres from the Malá Amerika building to the south. The results of the first measurement will be available at the beginning of next year. If the measurement method proves successful, we plan to measure the entire route of the viaduct to the bridge over the Svratka River.
It has not been known for decades whether the original viaduct still exists under the railway embankment and what its condition is. Therefore, we were looking for ways to focus survey the construction under the existing track. If the viaduct can be saved, it will be a significant building and one of the dominants of the new southern district Trnitá. It will serve as a city esplanade from the centre to the Svratka River, similar to the famous High Line in New York.
The Viennese viaduct in Brno was built during 1838 by the Emperor Ferdinand Northern Railway as part of the line between Brno and Vienna. The actual brick viaduct with 72 arches supported a single track and it was a total of 637 metres long. It was followed by a five-arch bridge over the Svratka River, which preserved to this day. Only a few small sections of the original viaduct have been preserved, because during the widening of the track in the 1890s, it was largely buried and hidden in a massive embankment. Fifteen brick arches are preserved under the tracks and accessible from the Malá Amerika warehouse, others are visible in Nové Sady Street.