Ostrava: work begins to transform the former municipal slaughterhouse into a modern art gallery

7/4 2020

This legally protected cultural heritage site will undergo a complete reconstruction to a design by the Polish studio KWK Promes, headed by architect Robert Konieczny.

Ostrava: work begins to transform the former municipal slaughterhouse into a modern art gallery

Ostrava's historical slaughterhouse complex: visualization

The long-awaited transformation of Ostrava's historical slaughterhouse complex has begun. The work will be carried out by the building contractor Zlínstav, the winner of the public tender. 

The design won an architectural competition held by the City in 2017. Ostrava-based studio MS-projekce was closely involved in drawing up the detailed construction plans under the supervision of Jaroslav Habrnal. The work is scheduled for completion by the end of next year.

Ostrava's Mayor Tomáš Macura explained the importance of the project at this time:

"Regardless of the coronavirus outbreak, we are continuing to launch new investment projects. We can afford it, as in previous years we have managed to substantially reduce the City's debt levels while also building up our financial reserves. We can overcome the economic impacts of the current situation. The expected shortfall in the City's income as a result of various preventive measures will be compensated by savings in current expenditure – not by cutting back on investments."

Zuzana Bajgarová, Deputy Mayor with responsibility for investments, added:

"We are aware that investments by national and local or regional governments will be of key importance in helping to keep the economy functioning and stimulating its future growth, so we are doing everything possible not to reduce our levels of investment. The building contractor Zlínstav has also confirmed that it is able to implement the project according to plan. The first two months will involve demolition work on existing structures, and that phase will be followed by work on the interiors, historic façades, and other work according to the schedule."

The historic slaughterhouse will become a new complex consisting of five interlinked components – some new, some old: they include the original cool store, a second cool store built at a later date, the slaughterhouse itself, and a covered atrium. A 1926 building will be demolished, as its poor technical condition means that it is beyond rescue; a brand-new structure will be built in its place.

The new gallery complex will have six exhibition halls which will be able to function either separately or integrated into a single space. The rotating walls will allow the gallery space to be extended into the outdoor areas.

The City of Ostrava began preparing the slaughterhouse project almost five years ago. In November 2016 it purchased the historic complex from its private owner, the Bauhaus company, along with the company's DIY store and adjacent land for a total cost of 80 million CZK.