Kotelna translates as the ‘boiler room’ and this building, conspicuous for its large red brick chimney protruding high above the rooftops, used to provide power for the surrounding factories of Karlin, now a rapidly changing area of Prague.
Silvestrin’s trademark design transformed the open-plan interior into a dynamic, three-level, contemporary office space, with a central atrium that enhances the natural light admitted by numerous windows.
At the same time, the spirit of the building’s industrial past can still be seen in the remaining chimney, the large skylight and the original facade and windows.
The chimney room has been kept as a void in its full width and height, in order to become an exhibition gallery: a filter between the outside and the inside working spaces.
The beautiful local Bozanovsky sandstone has been used to emphasise the entrance through classical means rather than trendy gimmicks.
The Karlin Group’s board of directors said: ‘We were looking for an architect who would enhance the building’s character, not destroy it, and Mr. Silvestrin immediately convinced us with his ideas.’