The Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal in Brno, Czech Republic has been redesigned by CHYBIK + KRISTOF Architects & Urban Designers. The redesign of the bus station was aimed at bringing light to the original brutalist identity with modern and functional entities in conjunction with the current needs of the site. 

Renovation Of Brutalist Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal In Brno completed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF - Sheet1
Central bus station_httpsworldarchitecture.org

History of the bus terminal 

The Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal was designed in 1984 and built-in 1988. During the post-war era, the architectural style was Brutalism or “béton brut”. Brutalism refers to the exposed concrete architecture symbolising progressiveness and experimentalism. 

The bus station ever since 1988 acted as the regions central node and bus station for transport to different cities. The building was privatised in 1989. Due to the high maintenance cost of brutalist architecture, the bus station was difficult to maintain and upkeep.

Design ideology 

Over the years, brutalist architecture has suffered due to lack of upkeep. Many such structures like Hotel Praha and Burroughs Wellcome have been demolished or are at risk. This attitude towards historic structures has polarized architects and scholars like CHYBIK + KRISTOF.

CHYBIK + KRISTOF was founded in 2010 by Ondřej Chybík and Michal Krištof. The firm before commencing the project, the firm has previously completed the 19th-century greenhouse in Brno with steel lattice and Manifesto Food Market in Smichov.

“Demolitions are a global issue,” said co-founding architect Michal Kristof.

“Our role as architects is to engage in these conversations and demonstrate that we no longer operate from a blank page. We need to consider and also work from existing architecture – and gradually shift the conversation from creation to transformation.”, said CHYBIK + KRISTOF. 

The studio has a longstanding engagement in preserving architectural heritage. The firm is a flag bearer for restoring existing structures while enhancing and updating the structures for the modern social fabric of the city. 

Design interventions 

“Receptive to the station’s central role in the city’s social fabric, the architects demonstrate their responsibility and commitment to driving constructive social change,” said CHYBIK + KRISTOF. ‘ Social awareness’ is at the heart of the firm and can be evidently seen in the design of the terminal. 

The firm grew aware of the state of the central station and presented a design proposal for the private owners. The social dynamics were identified and the various stakeholders like the architect, private and public partners were identified and engaged with. The user-centric conscious design with holistic as well as technical approaches were highlighted. The aim was to move beyond a mere construction process. 

Renovation Of Brutalist Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal In Brno completed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF - Sheet2
view of the roof_httpswww.wallpaper.comarchitecturebrutalist

Transparency and accessibility were at the heart of the design. The functional layouts were redesigned and updated in accordance with the current social needs. 

Design interventions

Renovation Of Brutalist Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal In Brno completed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF - Sheet3
transparancy using glass walls_httpsworldarchitecture.org

The Central bus station is a transitional space and acts as a point of entry and departure between the different cities. As transportation hubs become the sneak peek of the city, the bus station was in dire need of some update. The firm focused on the integration of the structure of the station with the city and urban fabric. 

“The role of the architect begins prior to the first sketches. Fully understanding the social dynamics at play in every project is at the heart of our practice,” stated co-founder Ondrej Chybik. 

Renovation Of Brutalist Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal In Brno completed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF - Sheet4
accesability to the station_httpsworldarchitecture.org

“With this in mind, we as architects assume a crucial role in both the inception and materialization of a project – we are here at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. Instigating a dialogue; resolving the existing shortfalls – social, economic, cultural, and deeply political; bringing forward innovative and inclusive solutions – it is our responsibility to step out of our studios and onto the streets,” added Chybik. 

The firm proudly presented the original structure, made by architect Radúz Russ while adding transparency to the outer walls. By removing walls, space becomes safe, accessible and adds comfort. The angularity of the original structure is contrasted with the organic wave that mirrors the flow of vehicles. 

Renovation Of Brutalist Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal In Brno completed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF - Sheet5
spatial layout of the station_httpsworldarchitecture.org

The original square floor plan is followed. The main hall is reconfigured and made open devoid of walls. Parking spaces for buses and individual bus stops are also added. A second entry is also added to the street level. An information office, waiting and ticketing areas in platforms and orientation systems for the disabled are also added to the functional layouts. The main structure is painted white with lights added.

“While our familiarity with the city of Brno proved to be a real asset, our engagement for this project resonates with architects internationally,” said Ondrej Chybik and Michal Kristof. 

“Beyond a functional concern, the architects’ role is rooted in understanding, deconstructing and responding to the shortcomings that often form our social structures – that is, our role is intrinsically social, based on ‘people.’ Ultimately, by revisiting the past, engaging with the present and projecting to the future, architects can, and must, be catalysts for change,” they added. 

The structure is now a dynamic and functional hub allowing for an open flow of locals and passengers. This creates a complex and intrinsic social hub. CHYBIK + KRISTOF have once again succeeded in revamping a once lost gem. 

Renovation Of Brutalist Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal In Brno completed by CHYBIK + KRISTOF - Sheet6
httpswww.wallpaper.com

References 

  1. World Architecture Community. 2021. CHYBIK + KRISTOF completes renovation of brutalist Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal in Brno. [online] Available at: <https://worldarchitecture.org/article-links/evpve/chybik–kristof-completes-renovation-of-brutalist-zvonarka-central-bus-terminal-in-brno.html> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
  2. ArchDaily. 2021. Zvonarka Central Bus Terminal / CHYBIK + KRISTOF. [online] Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/961268/zvonarka-central-bus-terminal-chybik-plus-kristof> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
  3. designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2021. CHYBIK + KRISTOF breathes new life into brutalist zvonařka bus terminal. [online] Available at: <https://www.designboom.com/architecture/chybik-kristof-brutalist-zvonarka-bus-terminal-05-06-2021/> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
  4. AFASIAARCHZINE.COM. 2021. CHYBIK + KRISTOF. [online] Available at: <https://afasiaarchzine.com/2021/05/chybik-kristof-central-bus-terminal-zvonarka/> [Accessed 21 May 2021].
  5. Magazine, W., 2021. Brutalist bus terminal redesigned in the Czech Republic. [online] Wallpaper*. Available at: <https://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/brutalist-zvonarka-central-bus-terminal-chybik-kristof-brno-czech-republic> [Accessed 21 May 2021].

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