The 4BLOK residential complex was built several years ago on the site of the former Tesla factory inPrague’s Vršovice neighbourhood. Its walls hide a surprisingly spacious shared courtyard.
4BLOK, designed by the Chmelař architekti studio, respects the scale and volume of the surroundingcity blocks. In Vršovická Street, the architects followed the height level of the adjacent buildings; in thedirection perpendicular to this street, the building rises along with the terrain; and the north-westcorner of the block is the highest. The ground floor offers space for commercial units to activate life inthe street. The residential block is not closed: the openings in the building mass ensure enough daylightcomes in and the block is in contact with its surroundings. This is why, unlike a typical city block, thisblock’s courtyard is not a shady space.
COURTYARD FOR BOTH LITTLE ONES AND BIG ONES
The inner courtyard and the strips of public greenery along the ground floor streets were designed bythe Šmídová Landscape Architects studio. Rows of trees have been planted in the streets adjacent tothe residential building, and the green spaces in the streets are delineated using different types ofundergrowth. The extensive vegetation consists of resilient perennial species able to withstand urbanconditions. The inner courtyard has been designed as a private green space for the block’s residents.The most conspicuous design element is the central part of the courtyard with large stepping stones,spaced out in such a way as to leave room for strips of lawn, ornamental grasses and trees. This lendsthe space a feel of lightness and airiness. The design includes outdoor furniture and play equipment.Private yards are separated from the courtyard by wire fences and gabion walls planted with climbingplant species. The greenery extends to the roofs, for which spacious rooftop terraces planted with grasshave been designed. The cooperation between architects and landscape architects has led to a solutionthat admirably connects the residential building with its exterior and achieves a favourable effect forthe residents’ community life.
Text: Jolana Říhová, Photo: Yellowcircle