Development newsletter!!!

The Grossmann villa will undergo a complete renovation

In November 2021, work was launched on the long-awaited renovation of the Grossmann villa in Ostrava. Following a public tender, a contract has been signed with the building contractor MORYS s. r. o. When evaluating the bids, a key criterion for the City of Ostrava was whether the bidding company had sufficient experience of working on similar projects to renovate historic buildings, parks and gardens. The renovation project at the villa will include extensive restoration work. The cost will be around 88.9 million CZK (excluding VAT). The renovation is scheduled for completion in November 2023.

The project has been prepared by the PPS Kania studio and will restore this grand villa to its former glory, returning it to its original layout and restoring its most historically valuable features. The work will ensure that the building is reconstructed and renovated with the minimum possible intervention in its original structures. The façades will be restored to their original appearance, and the structural renovations will retain all the original structures of historical value.

Among the tasks facing the project team is the complete renovation of the basement areas, including an original ETNA 351 boiler which forms part of the hot air heating system. Other tasks will include the reconstruction of the main staircase (one of the showcase elements of the interior) and the restoration of the built-in furniture. When the restoration is complete, the villa will offer five rooms for accommodation and social events, and there will also be a guided tour route.

The villa (located on Na Zapadlém St. close to the Moravian-Silesian Regional Authority building) dates from 1923. It was the family home of the architect and building contractor František Grossmann. When it was built, the villa was the most opulent private residence in the entire city. Unfortunately, it witnessed the tragic fate of its owner, who fell into dire financial difficulties in the early 1930s and took his own life (along with his wife).


A multi-functional building is planned for a site next to Nové Lauby

At its session on 10 November 2021, Ostrava’s City Assembly approved plans to sell a plot of land near Masaryk Square, with a total area of 1 405 m², to the developer Laserové léčebné centrum s.r.o. (a laser plastic surgery clinic). The investor met the requirements specified in the proposed purchase contract and carried out the necessary archaeological survey, so now the contract can be signed.

Besides containing the clinic itself, the multi-functional complex will also provide post-operative care, short-term accommodation for visitors, long-term accommodation for medical staff, a restaurant and a relaxation zone, which will be open to the general public, ensuring that the building will become an integral part of Ostrava’s urban community life. There will also be an underground parking garage.

It was necessary to hold discussions on the architectural proposals submitted by the investor, primarily because the proposed height exceeded the limit specified in the relevant regulations. However, the investor explained that the height profile of the new building had been designed in order to fit in with its neighbouring structures. The upper floors will be set back from the street line, ensuring that the building will not prevent light from reaching block I of the Nové Lauby project. The final version of the plans does not violate the requirements of the heritage authorities (the new building is located within Ostrava’s central urban heritage zone), and it is also fully in accordance with the City of Ostrava’s zoning plan. The contract states that the construction work must be completed no later than 2027.

Visualisation: LLC 


The newly built CONTERA Park Ostrava D1 in Hrušov will be partially robotized

Ostrava’s Hrušov district is becoming a magnet for investors. Besides GLP, which began building its logistics park in October on the site of a former chemical plant, work on another logistics centre was already launched in February 2021. The centre is being built on a former brownfield site by the Czech/Slovak developer CONTERA, and it will be one of the largest and most modern logistics facilities in the Czech Republic. The sports equipment retailer Sportisimo will be relocating its distribution centre to the new complex.

CONTERA Park Ostrava D1, whose name refers to the D1 motorway that passes by the site, will be completed in 2023, and according to representatives of the company, all the work is proceeding according to the schedule. The roofs are already complete, as are the industrial floors and the technical infrastructure systems built into the ceilings. Another key phase is now fully underway – the installation of technical equipment.

The largest building at the park (90 000 m2) will be occupied by Sportisimo. It will boast state-of-the-art equipment: the “high bay” section of the building will use robotized systems instead of human workers. Using sophisticated software, goods will be transported from the pick tower (where goods are selected and prepared for dispatch) along 6 kilometres of conveyers. The high bay will be 23 metres tall, making it unique among logistics facilities in the Czech Republic. The pick tower (with five levels) will offer a comfortable working environment thanks to its A/C system and the glazed façade which will let in plenty of natural light.

Besides Sportisimo, CONTERA Park Ostrava D1 will also be home to AT Computers, Plzeňský Prazdroj and VAS Solutions. The park will create over 1 300 new jobs. Contera plans to build halls for warehousing and light industrial production, as well as flexispace buildings, which combine warehouse space with office/commercial premises. The company already runs two other logistics centres in the region: CONTERA Park Mošnov and CONTERA Park Ostrava City, and this year it launched construction work on the Organica smart office building at Nová Karolina in Ostrava’s city centre.

Photo: Contera.


Ostrava’s city hall has a new central reception area

A new central reception area has been created in the grand vestibule of Ostrava’s city hall. The new reception will offer a better information service for visitors as well as improving security in the building. A key criterion was the quality of the architectural design; it was essential to create a reception that would be appropriate for the historic (and legally protected) interior of the vestibule.

Construction work lasted from June to October, costing 4.78 million CZK in total. The reception was designed by the architect Martin Tycar from the Prague studio znamení čtyř – architekti.

Ostrava can boast the largest city hall in the Czech Republic, with the tallest viewing tower. Last year it celebrated its 90th birthday; it was ceremonially opened on 28 October 1930 to mark 12 years since Czechoslovakia’s independence in 1918.


Opavská Street and 28. října Street are set to undergo a major transformation

Opavská Street and 28. října Street together form one of Ostrava’s main transport arteries, an east-west corridor linking two of the conurbation’s three urban cores – the historic city centre and Poruba. This artery is currently used mainly by road vehicles, but the aim of the transformation project is to open it up to pedestrians and cyclists as well as enhancing public transport provision. The public spaces along this wide and straight boulevard should be pleasant and safe for all users, and the shops and services lining the road should be vibrant and functional.

The planning and implementation of the project is being coordinated by Ostrava’s Municipal Studio for Urban Planning and Architecture (MAPPA), which began work on the preliminary analysis in the spring of 2021. The transformation will clearly be a long-term process, encompassing a large number of different activities from data collection to in-situ field surveys.

Besides bringing substantial changes including the re-organization of road junctions and the creation of new squares, MAPPA has also begun by focusing on small, “quick-win” alterations to surfaces or street furniture (new benches, paving slabs, etc.). Four such quick-win projects are already being implemented, and they will be completed by the end of this year. They are quick because they do not require a construction permit, and they can be implemented relatively simply – yet they can all bring a very positive local impact on the quality of public space, as well as making it possible to verify whether the changes work well in practice and should be adopted on a more permanent basis. Quick-win projects are currently underway at Smetanovo náměstí (near the Antonín Dvořák Theatre), at the Náměstí Republiky transport interchange, at Sokola Tůmy Street in Mariánské Hory, and in the small park near the Vozovna tram stop in Poruba.

The analysis will be summarized in a document that will help the City by providing a wealth of information to guide future decision-making on key changes and investments.


Karolina again ranked among the world’s most energy-efficient computers

On 15 November the American city of St. Louis hosted the 58th biannual ceremony announcing the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world. The most powerful Czech computer is Karolina, located at the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre in Ostrava. In the category evaluating the most energy-efficient supercomputers, she finished 8th in the world and 3rd in Europe.

The TOP500 rankings are announced twice a year at international supercomputing conferences. They also include the Green500 rankings, which evaluates supercomputers in terms of their energy efficiency. Karolina already achieved an excellent position (15th in the world) earlier this year, in the June rankings. Since then, further adjustments have been made to Karolina’s parameters, including the processor frequencies when different supercomputing applications are running in parallel. The 8th place finish (and 3rd place among European supercomputers) reflects the success of this fine-tuning.

grant competition is currently open at the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre; institutions can apply for free-of-charge computing time on one of the centre’s supercomputers for non-commercial purposes. The grant competition is announced three times a year (February, June, October), and it is open to employees of research centres and educational institutions. More information about the terms and conditions is available HERE.

Photo: VŠB - Technická univerzita v Ostravě 


Ostrava is attracting young talents and international experts

On 24 November 2021 the Spanish city of Málaga hosted the Global Startupcities Summit, which featured representatives of startups, entrepreneurs and cities – including the City of Ostrava. The Ostrava delegation presented the City’s projects supporting young talents and international experts.

The programme of the summit covered a range of topics including the role of startups in the circular economy, civil society activities on the global level, the international StartupVillages programme, global trends in talent attraction management, and a programme implementing a client-based approach to startups.

The main aims of the Global Startupcities initiative are to create new jobs, to stimulate new international job opportunities, to provide a platform for collaborative links among entrepreneurs, and to support the integration of innovation ecosystems on the European level. The City of Ostrava joined the initiative in 2019, becoming part of the innovation ecosystem that supports startups and helps them to network and form links with SMEs and large corporations.

Ostrava’s flagship project in this area is its talentOVA programme for education and talent management. Launched in 2016, the programme offers systematic support for talent management and creates a platform for working with exceptionally talented people in Ostrava. Besides this, Ostrava’s Expat Centre has already been up and running for more than a year, providing a support network for international workers in Ostrava, and the City has recently launched a brand-new project, the Global Experts programme, in conjunction with the Moravian-Silesian Region, the Moravian-Silesian Innovation Centre (MSIC) and local universities. The aim of this programme is to attract top experts and academics from other countries to the region’s universities and to create ideal conditions for the establishment of new research teams and study programmes. All these activities (and many more) form part of the City of Ostrava’s Education Strategy 2030. This strategic document sets out measures which will help Ostrava to become a hub of top-quality education at all levels, thus laying the foundations for the city’s future development – which will also help to stop the drain of creative and talented people from the city.


Ostrava City Authority is the friendliest local authority in the region

For the third time in a row, Ostrava has been ranked first in the Moravian-Silesian Region as part of the Friendly Authority competition. Ostrava finished third in the entire Czech Republic, just behind the winners (Kolín) and the silver medallists (Žďár nad Sázavou). The competition, held annually by the Ministry of the Interior, is now in its sixth year.

The competition compares local authorities throughout the country, evaluating their approach to clients and the quality of the services they provide. The key category concerns the provision of services above and beyond what is legally required, as well as the provision of standard services to an exceptional level of quality. Taking into consideration more than 70 criteria, the competition jury assesses each authority’s attitude to its clients, its openness, the steps it took during the COVID-19 pandemic, its communication with the public, its digitalization of services, the involvement of the general public in municipal affairs, and the steps taken by each authority to boost its future sustainability.

This year, the City of Ostrava was praised for its programmes supporting local business during the lockdown, and in previous years it has won acclaim for its fresh communicative style, its participative approach to urban development planning, and its systematic and concept-driven measures to combat inappropriate advertising in public spaces (“visual smog”).



Ostrava’s Reuse Centre has celebrated its first year

The Reuse Centre in Ostrava, run by the municipal waste management company OZO and funded by the City, recently celebrated its first year of operation. The Reuse Centre collects various items whose original owners no longer need them, but which can still bring joy and utility to new owners – toys, books, sports equipment, furniture, pots and pans, and many other household items. These items are then offered to new owners for a small fee, which goes into a fund that helps to pay for the maintenance of greenery in the city.

During its short life, the Reuse Centre has become hugely popular, and it has found new homes for more than 43 000 items. As a result, over 831 000 CZK has been paid into the greenery maintenance fund!

The Reuse Centre has quickly built up an excellent reputation – not only in the local region but throughout the country. This is reflected in its recent success in the Building of the Year Awards. The centre is currently planning a series of swap-shops and workshops for the upcoming months.

 Photo: Reuse Centre Ostrava


New exhibition maps the transformation of Ostrava’s housing estates

Ostrava’s Municipal Studio for Urban Planning and Architecture (MAPPA) is currently hosting an exhibition showcasing the long-term sustainable transformation of the city’s housing estates. The exhibition will last until 14 January 2022. It was opened on 3 November this year, and it presents work by students of the Czech Technical University in Prague and Ostrava’s own VŠB Technical University, drawing on the results of a research project entitled “Housing estates – what next?”.

The students’ design proposals focus on the overall urban development of these areas, taking into account their potential, the limitations of future development, how various types of housing estates can change and evolve in the future, and how they can address the current need for sustainable development in the environmental, social, economic and cultural spheres. The exhibition also presents more detailed design proposals for civic amenities on housing estates. The aim of the student projects is to stimulate discussion and debate about visions for the future development of these locations.

Christmas is coming to Ostrava’s streets

As in previous years, Ostrava’s residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some wonderful Christmas decorations in the city’s streets and soak up a traditional Advent atmosphere. Despite the COVID-related restrictions which have prevented some community events from going ahead in the run-up to Christmas, Ostrava will still be decked out in a truly festive costume. This year, the city’s central square will host a real Christmas tree (from the nearby Beskydy mountains) instead of an artificial replica. Unfortunately, the lighting-up ceremony has had to be cancelled, but the tree will still shine out a greeting to passers-by throughout the Advent period. 

The square outside Ostrava’s city hall (Prokešovo náměstí) will not only feature its traditional Christmas tree; it will also be the venue for an installation by the Prague-based sculptor Erika Bornová (daughter of the famous Czech illustrator Adolf Born). The installation is entitled “The Great Gift – Angle of View”, and it is truly huge: 11 metres long/wide and 10 metres high. For several weeks, it will completely cover the statue of Icarus that is a year-round fixture outside the city hall. The work depicts a Christmas gift, a sledge, and Christmas decorations; in the sculptor’s words, these are items that link together all generations. Bornová’s aim is to transport us back to our childhood, a time when everything seemed huge to us.

Other places in Ostrava’s city centre will also be enjoying the Christmas spirit. In another city square (Náměstí Edvarda Beneše) will have an outdoor skating rink. The Silesian Ostrava Castle will host an exhibition of traditional nativity scenes, and there will also be unforgettable rides through the city’s streets in a historic tram (organized by Ostrava’s public transport company DPO).