Richard Meier & Partners
In Prague, global business is largely conducted in the central historic district of Nove Mesto, but a superblock in nearby Pankrác Plain has long promised to become its modern high-rise counterpart—the Czech equivalent of Pudong or Canary Wharf.
Skanska's $10.8 million purchase of the City Green Court project from the real estate investor ECM in 2010 was a milestone in the Pankrác Plain transformation. As part of the sale, ECM included a schematic design and zoning permissions for the eight-story office building it had commissioned from Richard Meier & Partners (RMP). Yet Skanska's vision, which embraced sustainability, was in marked contrast to ECM's brief.
“We essentially had to start from the ground up in terms of structure, mechanicals, and the module,” says Dukho Yeon, RMP associate principal. “The massing is the same, but the approach is completely different.” RMP reworked the 175,500-square-foot building's systems. The south and west facades feature a Cubism-inspired composition with stainless-steel fins, angled to minimize thermal gain. A stair-lined atrium is central to the building's natural ventilation strategy, guarantees daylight, and fosters healthy, interactive movement between floors.
The Czech Republic's first LEED Platinum building, City Green Court is 56 percent more energy efficient than required by code, and consumes one-quarter less water than comparable facilities. Equally important from a business standpoint, Skanska leased 80 percent of the building's rentable space to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), before it was completed. Besides increasing the size of its office, the LEED-certification goals also embodied PwC's corporate sustainability mission.
When construction ended in 2012, with the building 95 percent occupied, Skanska sold City Green Court to Deka Immobilien for $74.5 million. Skanska did conduct two more transactions, however: it rented the remaining space for its own satellite office—creating a LEED Platinum–certified interior—and it tapped Richard Meier & Partners to design a property next door.
Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP
475 10th Avenue
New York, New York 10018
Phone: 212 967 6060
Fax: 212 967 3207
Size: 175,500 square feet
Construction cost: withheld
Completion Date: November 2012
Client: Skanska Property Czech Republic
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect of record:
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Optimal Engineering Spol s.r.o
Curtain Wall: Skanska AS
General contractor: Skanska a.s.
Photographer(s): Roland Halbe
Metal/glass curtain wall: assembled and installed by Skanska LOP
Rainscreen: Aluminum Rain Screen system assembled and installed by Skanska LOP
Precast concrete: assembled and installed by Skanska a.s. – concrete structures
Wood: Podzimek a synové, spol s.r.o.
Moisture barrier: Paul Bauder GmbH&Co
Curtain wall: assembled and installed by Skanska LOP
Metal doors: HSE spol, s.r.o. Fire-control doors
Security grilles: HSE spol, s.r.o.
Suspension grid: solid ceilings Knauf, tile ceilings Ecophon
Demountable partitions: Skanska LOP
Wall coverings: Gypsum plaster – Knauf
Special surfacing: self-leveling screed by Techfloor s.r.o.
Floor and wall tile: floors Rako Taurus, walls, Rako Color One
Raised flooring: ProInterier s.r.o.
Reception furniture: Custom made reception desk and wall cladding, lounge seating by Arper
Task lighting: Zumtobel
Exterior: Bega, Erco
Dimming System or other lighting controls: Zumtobel