Chýně New School

Chýně Loggia as City Building

There was a time when the construction of a Civic Loggia was the highest order of city building; a truly public space where citizens could gather for cultural events; commercial activities; political discussions; where they could gather in large numbers or in small close circles. A Civic Loggia speaks to the maturity & stability of the civic governance as well as the city’s prosperity & health. This proposal envisions Chýně’s new school and community centre as a civic loggia type, however, it is also very cognizant of reality of the economic realities & limitations of the 140 million CZK budget.

Parking Structure as Civic Loggia

To achieve the goal of creating not just a well‐functioning building, but to extend the project’s civic goals to provide for a strong community life, the proposal takes advantage of a simple and cost‐effective structural system; high performance precast concrete double ‘T’ structural system (aka ‘TT’). Commonly used for parking structures, the ‘TT’ system offers beneficial qualities, including rapid construction on site thus reducing building costs. While the system demands for repetition & regularity in the design of the building to achieve efficiency, this proposal opportunistically utilizes the system. The proposal creatively modifies the ‘TT’ section configuration to gentle arched extrusions rather than the utilitarian & common design. A colour pigment admixture to the concrete provides a warm hue to the interesting exposed structure. Efficiently laid out along the south & west as a double loaded corridor type, the ‘TT’ panels of the 2nd floor & the roof shift in section creating a two story high continuous colonnade on the street sides & a one story colonnade the other side. In effect, especially given the alteration of the ‘TT’ sectional design, two loggias are configured. First being the Civic Loggia whose height & continuity provides an appropriate & dignified public face. The second being the Garden Loggia which surrounds a full size football pitch & planted play area.

Civic Loggia & Garden Loggia

The Civic Loggia provides a grand covered entry to the school & the community center. At the curve of the structure, cast‐in‐place concrete radial beams resolve the geometry of the two converging wings & denote the location of Amphitheater Hall. Addressing the raise of grade, the stepped seating is accessible directly from the Loggia for public use, or internally from floor level. The Garden Loggia scales the structure down around the playfield side of the facility & provides a covered space for the children. Being one story, the top of the structure becomes the Garden Terrace and is an extension of outdoor play area. This amenity space is publically accessed in two locations; a stair that wraps up the Pool wall and from the east side of the Civic Loggia with a stepped plane that doubles as an outdoor performance space. With a connection along the east, a continuous loop is created. As alluded to above, the Pool roof is also connected to the Garden Terrace & is the location of the outdoor kindergarten play space.

Date: 2015
In collaboration with Weiss A+U and Dieter Janssen Architects

© 2020 Mina Hanna - Toronto, Canada