The building located in the hearth of Karlín represents a significant part of local industrial heritage. Its genius loci recounts the story of the renowned car manufacturer Praga. The building has been transformed into a workspace named Praga Office & Garden. Architectonically, it has been a project of the klik architekti studio, which designed the new solution of the space drawing inspiration from car industry. “The investor’s vision was to create a unique space that would merge the industrial character of Karlín with the boutique identity of the brand Scott.Weber workspace.
It was a seemingly simple assignment, but it required a search for the design boundary between these two concepts,” says the architect Ivo Kratochvíl from the klik architekti studio. Nowadays, there is a tendency to design untraditional and creative office environments. “Going to work should bring you joy, and workspaces need to motivate people to work.
I believe that due to the current situation workspace centres will be even more popular than before. People need and want to return to an office environment, yet they will expect the same comfort they have at home.” explains Kratochvíl. The historical building in Karlín meets all these demands. The building is exceptional for its appearance commemorating the industrial growth this neighbourhood experienced in the past.
It has been converted into a flexible workspace for companies and independent professionals. The new solution follows the industrial atmosphere set by the car manufacturer Praga. An undisputable benefit of the building is its flat layout creating an interesting, almost home-like, atmosphere in the interior, when you are in a parterre between a street and garden.
When working on the design, we focused on floor openings and its playful visual division,” says Kratochvíl. The interior concept is inspired by the history of workshops, and rawness of car industry in contrast with delicacy and luxury of finished cars, yet everything has been adapted to contemporary work-related needs in a modern-day office. For example, the workshop where cars were assembled has been reflected in the interior by creating a free-layout lounge area which provides a perfect space for creative meetings. “The layout of the lounge area was directly inspired by the operation of a workshop.
Another interesting element is the shaping of the central bar which is based on shapes of bodyworks and Ford’s assembly line,” describes Kratochvíl.
The history of the building – the former assembly shop of Praga cars – was also a source of inspiration for the materials used; these are concrete, metal, stone, lacquered steel, brass details, cognac leather and terrazzo.
The materials are typical for Praga cars as well as workshops. The materials are represented in the entire design and they are also used for furniture and the interiors. We decided to keep the maximum of concrete walls and cement blocks and we complement the concrete floor with contrast rubber zones, similarly to the original workshop.
There are three dominant colours in the interior referring to the typical colours of Praga bodyworks. When it comes to details, the common features are leather upholstery and brass components that draw inspiration from the traditional cars,” claims Kratochvíl. Praga Office & Garden does not include just the industrial building.
Its workers and their clients have an option to relax in the sunny Sprint Lounge with a coffee shop which leads to a spacious garden. The garden can provide for business meetings or lunch break. Another interesting place referring to the history of the compound is a game zone which features a parked car converted into a sofa. Praga Office & Garden is an inspirative work environment that provides for various forms of usage. “For the client the Praga Office & Garden building is one of the very first deeds when they are represented straight in a parterre of a building, so it was crucial to create a visually attractive space and adapt the interior to perceptions from the street and garden,” adds the architect Ivo Kratochvíl.