JULY 2022

Development newsletter!!!

A new quarter will be built between Ostrava city centre and Vítkovice

A new city quarter for 12,000 people is set to be built in Ostrava, including a nature park, direct access to the Ostravice River, and a brand-new boulevard that will create a direct link between Ostrava’s city centre and Lower Vítkovice. This is the long-term future of a brownfield known locally as “Pod Žofinkou”, the former site of a 19th-century ironworks. The City of Ostrava and the owner of the land (the company Pod Žofinkou s.r.o.) recently gave a joint presentation of a conceptual study for the future utilization of this strategic location, drawn up by a consortium of urban planners and architects (4ct/koucky-arch.cz/Sendler/Špilar).

The site is bordered on two sides by railway lines and on one side by the Ostravice River. At present it is closed to the public, so it represents a substantial barrier to movement in the area. The optimum scenario as outlined in the conceptual study is for the site to eventually serve up to 12,000 new users (including around 7,600 permanent residents). The brownfield will be redeveloped for multifunctional use – with a combination of residential units, offices and services.

Bisecting the new quarter will be a mile-long boulevard with tram lines running along it, which will create a direct link between Ostrava’s city centre (Smetanovo náměstí) and Lower Vítkovice. This means that the project will ultimately have a positive impact far beyond its own boundaries.

On 18 June the Gong auditorium in Lower Vítkovice hosted a debate about the future of this development zone. Representatives of the city, the authors of the conceptual study, and other guests presented their shared vision for the future development of Ostrava’s wider urban core.


Ostrava’s “skyscraper” will undergo a complete reconstruction

The City Assembly has decided to sign a contract with the investor First Skyscraper s.r.o., which will carry out a complete reconstruction of the city-centre high-rise block known locally as “the skyscraper”, as well as building a new parking garage on the site. Both projects must be completed within no more than five years, i.e. by 2027.

The City’s aim in reconstructing this iconic structure on Ostrčilova Street is primarily to expand the range of apartments available in the city centre, including municipal apartments for rent, while also improving parking provision for residents of the block and other buildings in the vicinity. The project will also contribute to urban revitalization by breathing new life into a building that has remained vacant for many years, gradually falling into dereliction.

The reconstruction project was designed in 2020-2021 by the AI DESIGN studio, headed by the architects Eva Jiřičná and Petr Vágner. It retains the structural fabric of the existing building, converting it into a residential block which will contain 75 new apartments ranging from studio (1-room) units to luxury maisonette-type apartments.


Visitors to Ostrava’s zoo will be able to use a new parking garage from next year

Visitor numbers at Ostrava’s zoo and botanical park continue to grow, and this brings problems with parking. Especially at weekends, the zoo’s current parking facilities are completely unable to meet demand. The situation is now being addressed by the construction of a new parking garage; work is set to begin in the upcoming days.

The new garage will be situated between two of the zoo’s current parking lots (no. 2 and no. 3). Once complete, it will provide 200 new parking spaces, making visitors’ experience much more comfortable if they arrive by car. The garage will include toilets (including barrier-free facilities).

The winner of the tender for the construction contract was PSG Construction, which committed to build the garage within 43 weeks. This means that by May 2023, the zoo will be able to offer substantially improved parking facilities.

The garage will have two levels (including roof parking), and its upper surface will be on the same level as the existing parking lots (nos. 2 and 3). For the next six months, the construction work will cause complications at parking lot no. 3 (which is the furthest away from the entrance to the zoo), which will be closed to the public from 20 June.


The City will help fund the “Black Cube” project

Ostrava’s City Assembly has approved the provision of 150 million CZK as a subsidy to support the “Black Cube” project, which will create a regional research library incorporating a centre for digitalization and innovation. The recipient of the funding will be the Moravian-Silesian Region, the project coordinator, and the agreement to provide the subsidy was formalized in a 2018 memorandum concluded between the City, the Region and the Czech Ministry of Culture.

The new library building will be home to a modern educational institution that will develop and apply innovative solutions in library management and smart technologies. Besides the digitalization of the current stocks of the Moravian-Silesian Research Library, a wide range of documents and artefacts from other libraries, museums and galleries throughout the Region will also be digitalized and made available to the general public.

The “Black Cube” project is now awaiting the issue of a construction permit. The project team is also working to access additional funding from the EU’s Just Transition Fund. The relevant call for funding applications is likely to be announced in the autumn of this year, and the Moravian-Silesian Region will submit its application as soon as possible. Construction should begin in 2024, with completion scheduled for 2027.

The Moravian-Silesian Research Library currently occupies temporary premises in Ostrava’s New City Hall. It welcomes around 900 visitors every day, but its current premises are inadequate to meet its operational needs. The basement areas (where the majority of the library’s stocks are stored) are also too damp for this purpose. The storage capacity has already been exceeded, so some of the stocks have been temporarily moved to depositories at other locations.


Ostrava hosted the Brownfields 2022 conference

The Brownfields 2022 conference, which recently took place in Ostrava, focused on industrial development. Discussions centred on the lack of suitable building land, the growing pressure to adopt sustainable solutions, and the need for systemic changes in the system of public funding for brownfield revitalization projects.

Ostrava was not a random choice to host the conference. The city has a clear development strategy that takes its inspiration from successful projects implemented by other European cities, and its ambition is to become a modern urban centre with attractive, high-quality architecture. The transformation of brownfields plays a key role in achieving this aim, and it enjoys strong support from local policymakers as well as among the general public.

One of the main topics discussed at the conference was funding, including new programmes to support brownfield projects that will soon be open for applications. With regard to the longer term, national government bodies should formulate a more clearly defined definition of brownfields for use in urban planning documentation, focus on channelling taxation revenues into brownfield projects, and introduce tax breaks for brownfield-related investments.


The Region will provide 300 million CZK for Ostrava’s new concert hall

The Moravian-Silesian Region has committed to provide the City of Ostrava with 300 million CZK to help fund the project to create a brand-new concert hall and modernize the existing City of Ostrava Cultural Centre. The memorandum of cooperation was signed in 2018 by the Region, the City and the Czech Ministry of Culture. As construction work draws closer, the City has asked the Region to provide its share of the funding, and the Regional Assembly has approved the funding to the full extent.

Construction work on the new concert hall is scheduled to begin during next year, and the construction permit process is currently underway. The City of Ostrava is now preparing the tender to select a contractor for the first phase of the work. The American magazine Architizer has ranked the concert hall among the ten most eagerly-awaited new buildings in the world.

In recent months, a series of acoustic measurements have been conducted by the renowned Japanese company Nagata Acoustics, using a scale model of the hall’s interior space to ensure that the acoustic quality of the hall will meet the most demanding standards. The 1:10 scale model was built by the Czech acoustic modelling company Aveton at its workshop in Mnichovo Hradiště. Now that all the measurements are complete, the model is set to be relocated to Ostrava, where it will be displayed to the public at the Plato gallery’s Bauhaus building.


The City Assembly has approved zoning changes

Ostrava’s City Assembly has approved change no. 3 to the city’s zoning plan and decided to draft an additional change (no. 4). These steps bring into effect a number of smaller-scale changes which have been discussed at the Assembly’s sessions during the past year.

Change no. 4 brings a series of zoning changes which will be of crucial importance for the city’s future development, particularly with regard to two development areas. The first of these areas stretches along Opavská Street and includes the location known as “Myslivna”, which is currently set aside for the future expansion of the Science and Technology Park (STP). The areas flanking Opavská Street where it enters the city can potentially be developed to ensure that the road becomes a properly scaled urban boulevard befitting its importance as a major transport artery. This, combined with the area’s proximity to the Technical University of Ostrava, is the motivation for the City’s decision to re-zone the area so that it will no longer be allocated to the STP. A feasibility study will be carried out as part of the drafting process.

The second location affected by the changes is the area between the Black Meadow complex (Černá louka) and Lower Vítkovice. This is an important location that has been undergoing a successful process of development in recent years. The zoning changes will make it possible to create a direct link from the city centre southwards to Lower Vítkovice, using land formerly occupied by heavy industrial complexes. The City commissioned a study from a team of experts headed by the architect Roman Koucký; the study outlines plans for a brand-new quarter where up to 12,000 people will live, work and spend their leisure time.

The zoning plan is a key strategic document that guides the city’s future development. It sets out requirements for land use and urban planning for various different types of zone, acting as a framework for future construction and development projects.


A tram line in Poruba will be modernized and planted with grass

Poruba will soon be the location of the longest section of modernized tram line in Ostrava. The line running along Opavská St. between the junctions with 17. listopadu St. and Martinovská St. (currently a traditional structure with the tracks mounted on sleepers) will be modernized to create a ballastless track, which will substantially reduce noise and vibrations. Ostrava’s Public Transport Corporation (DPO) will also plant grass on the line and renovate the passenger platforms at three stops: Telekomunikační škola, Poruba vozovna, and VŠB-TUO (on the route towards the city centre). The modernization will cost 236 million CZK, making it the corporation’s biggest infrastructure investment of this year.

The work will take place in July and August 2022, and certain traffic restrictions will have to be imposed. Trams will not be able to run along the affected section of the line while the work is being carried out. The project is being co-financed via the Operational Programme Transport, which is contributing 85% of eligible costs.




A new park will be created at U Boříka in Ostrava’s Nová Ves district

A large grassy area in the Nová Ves municipal district is set to be transformed into a park, offering new opportunities for leisure and relaxation.

The park will be divided into a number of separate sections each with a different function. The main section will act as a new “village green”, situated at a point where several roads and paths meet, close to the pedestrian underpass leading to the northern part of Nová Ves. Adjacent to it will be a park area with a playground and facilities for various events – including an outdoor cinema and a skating oval.

New benches and small-scale sports facilities will also be installed, as well as a children’s climbing frame and a “speaking tube” telephone. There will be a kiosk and a slide built into the sloping ground, with the adjacent slope forming an ideal area for sledging in the winter. All the facilities have been designed to ensure simple and easy maintenance, offering good durability combined with timeless aesthetic appeal.

The work will also include landscaping and new plantings; the existing trees and bushes will be preserved to the maximum possible extent, and new species will be added to complement them.

The contractor has already signed the documentation and is preparing the site for work to begin. Provided all goes to plan, the park should be completed in late 2022 or early 2023. The new park was designed by the architects Ondřej Vysloužil and Ondřej Turoň and the landscape architect Andrea Ambrožová. The Vysloužil Architekti studio is the main contractor. The total cost of the project will be 17.2 million CZK.


The winner of an international art competition for the Bazaly mural has been announced

The City of Ostrava has announced the winner of the art competition to find a design for the mural above the Bazaly stadium. Street artist Jan “Bogy” Lörincz will create an original work covering a concrete retaining wall with a total surface area of around 1000 m².

The competition received 11 entries, all of which explored the dramatic transformation of Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region as well as commemorating the city’s most famous sports club, FC Baník Ostrava. The club is celebrating its centennial this year, and it is intrinsically linked with the Bazaly stadium, where the team used to play its home games. The City of Ostrava organized the competition in conjunction with the Moravian-Silesian Region, which is the owner of the wall and will coordinate the implementation of the mural project.

“It all began with the first kick-off (100 years of Baník), followed by the Big Bang and the emergence of life. The fossil deposits surprised a prehistoric family at the Landek hill by burning – the rocks burn! The heat from the black rocks attracts people from far and wide. The vision of a better life. Underground exploration. Blinded by a red flag. A key to a new era, and Ostrava’s present day.”

That is how the artist Jan Lörincz (Bogy) describes his design, which was selected unanimously by the members of the jury as the winning entry in the competition. The originality of the design will be complemented by a fresh and original technique: the artist will use pigments made out of waste materials from construction and mining near the site of the mural itself.

The implementation of the project will be funded by the Moravian-Silesian Region, which owns both the retaining wall and the road that runs parallel with it. Repairs to the wall have already begun, so the artist will be able to start work in mid-July.

The Bazaly mural is not the only project of this type in Ostrava that will enhance and enliven the city’s public spaces. A competition is currently being prepared for a mural that will be situated in a newly reconstructed pedestrian underpass at the Dřevoprodej tram stop. Work on the mural will begin when the reconstruction is complete, at the beginning of next year.


Ostrava will once again enjoy its vibrant Colours

After two years when the Colours of Ostrava music festival had to be cancelled due to COVID restrictions, Lower Vítkovice will once again host this hugely popular and internationally renowned event. The festival will take place from Wednesday 13 July to Saturday 16 July, and it will feature bands and solo artists from 32 different countries, representing a wide range of musical genres.

This year’s Colours will get underway with the Cirk La Putyka, featuring students from the Kyiv Academy of Theatrical and Circus Arts, and it will conclude with a concert by Martin Garrix. Other big names playing the festival will include The Killers, Twenty One Pilots, LP, Franz Ferdinand, Meduza and Kings of Convenience.

The festival will also include the traditional Meltingpot international forum. This year’s Meltingpot features over 200 speakers from all around the world. Among this year’s top guests will be Wim Hof (an extreme athlete known as “The Iceman”) or the former Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay.