Czech based OV-A architectural studio, founded by Jirí Opocenský and Štepán Valouch, has recently built the crystalline footbridges stretched between the two historical buildings of the University of Chemistry and Technology‘s complex in Prague. Although architect Antonín Engel envisioned and proposed to build two massive brick bridges supported by arcs and pillars in 1936, his vision was never entirely fulfilled. In 2017, the University of Chemistry and Technology held an invited architectural competition for the design of the current bridges to complete the original idea and connect the two ICT buildings. Read on SURFACES REPORTER (SR)‘s post to know the construction process of these two similar-looking, but geometrically different crystalline footbridges:
Light Glass Bridges of a Crystalline Shape
The buildings are connected by light glass bridges of a crystalline shape. The three-dimensional grid of steel pipes acts as a tension between the old buildings.
The grid connects a rectangle with a hexagon, which refers to the world of organic chemistry - the benzene nucleus.
The crystalline appearance of the connecting bridges carries the sculptural quality and lightness that complements the two existing solid classicizing buildings.
24 Meter Above The Street
Both the almost transparent bridges are seemingly floating above the 24 meters wide public street beneath them as their supporting concrete columns are entirely hidden underneath the historical façades of the CTU building.
The glazed crystals become a new brand of the ICT, they show the dynamic inner world of the Czech leading chemical-technological university.
The bridge structure of both the footbridges consists of a simple girder placed on two reinforced concrete pillars, which are attached to the existing buildings and hidden under their facades.
The pillars are based at the base of the buildings on a foundation distribution board supported by micro-piles.
Thermal Insulation Double Glazing in the Exterior
The diagonals of the steel structure serve as strut and tie rods and thus help to lift the central section of the bridge. The construction is glazed from the exterior with thermal insulation double glazing with a sealed joint.
The full ceiling of the footbridge strengthens the structure and prevents excessive overheating. The floor with a concrete layer dampens the vibration of the structure. The footbridges are closed by automatic glass doors.
The steel structure of the footbridge was brought to the site in one piece as an excessive load. During the transport, it was necessary to lift the tram trolleys.
At night, tram traffic on Evropská Street was interrupted. After transport to the site, the structure was mounted on a support in a few hours by a mobile crane with a load capacity of 40 tons.
Steel construction of footbridges / Albet metal
Wooden historical casement windows / Kaiser / historical building of the ICT
Fireproof aluminum windows imitating historic casement windows / Dasip / historical building of the Institute of Chemical Technology
Cast Teraco / Secores / restored historic floors in ICT buildings
Products and Brands
PLANICLEAR glazing (8mm) / footbridge cover — Saint-Gobain
automatic sliding door with S805 — Spedos operator
PVC floor Sphera element 50000 white / footbridge floor — Sphera
Motion sensor Wallixie PIR IP 54 / footbridge entrance areas — A-Light
Motion sensor PIR 360 ° / entrance areas of the footbridge — A-Light
Ceiling lamp Rundo / entrance rooms of the footbridges — HALLA
PVC roofing + L profile / footbridge roofing — Alkordesign
About the Studio
The OV-A architectural studio was founded by Jirí Opocenský (1978) and Štepán Valouch (1977) in 2007. The studio's objective is to find unique answers to clients' unique requests. Every developer, location and construction agenda offers new contexts and new perspectives. The studio works on diverse projects, from the designing of family houses to the urban layouts of the centers of municipalities. The studio is the general designer of all project phases, entailing the pilot study, the building permit process and implementing documentation, including oversight. Both of the studio's agents are architects authorized by the Czech Chamber of Architects (CKA). The studio collaborates with a stable selection of specialized project engineers.
Studio- OV - A
Principal architect and author: Jirí Opocenský and Štepán Valouch
Project location: Studentská street, Prague - Dejvice
Project country: Czech Republic
Project year: 2017-2019
Completion year: 2020
Built-up Area: 205 m2
Client: University of Chemistry and Technology
Collaborator Design team: David Balajka, Romana Bedrunková, Magdaléna Havlová, Antonín Pokorný, Anna Schneiderová
Structural Engineer: Jan Blažek / V-CON
Steel structure, glazing: Albet metal
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