The tallest tower in the Czech Republic will help transform a former coal city

Ostrava And The Crystal Gems

The tallest tower in the Czech Republic will help transform a former coal city

Hammering home the Czech city of Ostrava’s transformation from an industrial coal and metal mining center in the 20th century to the modern metropolis it is today, CHYBIK + KRISTOF (CHK) has revealed plans for the Czech Republic’s tallest building: Ostrava Tower.

Subtly shaped like an X, the 56-story, 771-foot-tall tower is the latest piece of urban infill for Ostrava, as industrial lots have given way to new residential and cultural buildings such as Steven Holl’s 2019 concert hall. Inside the 1.05-million-square-foot tower, CHK has alternated public and private programming across alternating floors.

Flaring at the base and pinnacle and cinched at the waist with a 90-degree turn between the top and bottom, each of the three points contains public spaces; a barrier-free ground floor to allow for a seamless transition for pedestrians from the plaza at base level and the local bus terminal, and a public bar, cafe, and restaurant with panoramic views of the city at the very top.

ostrava tower, a tall building cinched at the waste
Ostrava Tower will sit both next to a bus terminal and at the base of a bridge, anchoring the city’s core when it opens in 2027 (Courtesy CHYBIK + KRISTOF Architects & Urban Designers)

In between those two terminuses will sit residential units, offices, a hotel, retail, and a “congress centre,” according to CHK.

“Rethinking the typology of the skyscraper,” said architect Michal Kristof, co-founder of CHK, in the project’s announcement, “and its function to serve the public and activate the urban environment, one of our core missions was to create a positive social impact in the heart of Ostrava. The studio’s intention was to create a simple but powerful form that acts as a beacon into the city center.”

close up view of crinkled glass curtain wall
The top floor will feature a public bar, cafe, and restaurant below a canopy that matches the zigzags of the tower’s form (Courtesy CHYBIK + KRISTOF Architects & Urban Designers)

Recalling the crystalline facade of Studio Gang’s residential One Hundred tower in St. Louis’s Central West End neighborhood, Ostrava Tower will be wrapped in a “jittering,” pleated glass facade that closely follows the jagged floor plates of each story. Aside from the aesthetic flair, increasing the complexity of the tower’s edges also corresponds to an increase in viewing angles. A copper-colored metal brise-soleil will top the roof deck and undulate with the same sharp curves of the building below while shading guests.

Ostrava sits on the border of Poland at the center of the Moravian-Silesian metropolitan region, which is home to nearly one million. Once Ostrava Tower is complete in 2027, the building will be visible from across the city, helping both fill a vacant gap in the urban core and serve as an entrance to the business and entertainment areas.