Plans for Czechia’s tallest skyscraper back to square one

The former industrial city has halted the original project and will hold a contest for a new design.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 28.02.2023 10:29:00 (updated on 28.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Plans to create Czechia’s tallest building in the former industrial city of Ostrava have been sent back to the drawing board, literally.

The already-designed Ostrava Tower won’t be built, and an architectural competition has been called to create a replacement. Instead of opening in 2027, the new complex won’t welcome residents until 2032 at the earliest.

The Ostrava city administration announced on Monday that a new architectural competition will take place to find a design for a skyscraper complex that integrates into the surrounding neighborhood. The winner should be chosen by June 2024, and then the lengthy permit process will begin.

Developer RT Torax had presented designs by Czech architectural studio Chybík+Krištof, and construction was supposed to start in 2022. The building near the Nová Karolina shopping center was to have had offices, apartments, a hotel, and a wellness center. It was originally planned at 238 meters tall, but that was later reduced to a maximum of 175 meters.

City officials say the plans kept changing, and the requested changes would have had a negative impact on the surrounding public space. The developer refused to address the city’s concerns.

Ostrava Mayor Tomáš Macura told news server Tech Crunch the city saw no choice but to start over with a new design process. “Future development is crucial, and we now consider the architectural competition as the only way to find a permanent and high-quality solution for the city,” Macura said.

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The competition will include designs for not only the building complex but also connections to public spaces, routes for car and bicycle traffic, and pedestrian routes. The city will participate in the selection of independent jurors.

The height so far has not been specified, but it is likely there will likely be two towers instead of a large one, so the weight can be more evenly distributed.

Further details on the building requirements will be made public in June this year when the contest rules are officially announced. RT Rotax founder Tomáš Häring told Czech Crunch the company hopes to start construction as quickly as possible but that the new construction law could cause delays in the permitting process.

Currently, the tallest building in Czechia is the AZ Tower in Brno, at 111 meters. Prague’s City Tower is just behind it at 109 meters. Developer Trigema will build a 135-meter-tall multifunctional high-rise building near Prague’s Nové Butovice metro stop, which is still in the planning phase.

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