The valuable functionalist colony Baba will undergo renovation

Photo: Institute of Planning and Development city ​​of Prague

The Prague villa colony Baba will undergo reconstruction

The First Republic functionalist villa colony Baba represents one of the most significant examples of Czech modernism. It is also among the six European colonies of the Werkbund project. These were created as part of the promotion of functionalist construction and offered experimental urban planning solutions as well as a modern way of living – financially accessible to a wide range of people. Baba is one of the most well-preserved, yet it faces problems related to outdated infrastructure. Now she will get the care she deserves.

The Baby location has been an urban heritage zone since 1993 and in 2020, together with other functionalist colonies of the Werkbund, it received the European Heritage label. However, the previous partial repairs in this area were not systematically coordinated, which is problematic in the long term in the case of such a valuable area. That is why Prague commissioned the creation of a conceptual revitalization study two years ago, which has now been approved by the City Council.

“Although Baba is an important and heritage-protected area and the architecture here is very well preserved, the public spaces have lost their original charm over the past decades, they are relatively run down and their total restoration is about to take place,” says First Deputy Mayor for Territorial Development Petr Hlaváček.

“The conceptual study was prepared mainly for the purpose of coordinating all interests in the territory. That is, of historical, architectural and urban planning interest and interest of local residents. Now we can combine and coordinate all ongoing parallel projects, the efficiency of the resources spent will also increase.” adds Hlaváček.

Photo: Institute of Planning and Development city ​​of Prague

The settlement of Baba is one of the six European colonies of the Werkbund project

The conceptual study was prepared by a multidisciplinary team led by ARCHUM architects. It presupposes a comprehensive reconstruction of the central area, which includes the urban heritage zone of Baba. The architects focused on preserving and developing the historical value of the area and improving the living environment for local residents.

The plan is also to reconstruct the technical infrastructure networks, which will also include rainwater management. The settlement is also awaiting the restoration of the surfaces and other parts of the streets and squares in order to strengthen the character of the place, increase safety, expand barrier-free paths for pedestrians and improve connections with neighboring parts of the city.

Acquiring the European Heritage designation also goes hand in hand with increasing awareness of this area. The study thus recommends creating an information center, which will be followed by an educational circuit for tourists. It will include a navigation system and the marking of villas. However, the entire circuit should be created in such a way that it does not disturb local residents.

“The process started with an analysis of the area, field surveys and an extensive questionnaire survey. And that both in the ranks of experts and especially among local residents. The public’s suggestions and comments were also collected during commented walks and at round tables with local actors. comments on public involvement Ondřej Boháč, director of IPR Prague.

The Baba settlement is unique in that, unlike other colonies, it consists of only individual houses built to measure for private investors. Among them were, for example, the then director of the Museum of Arts and Industry Karel Herain, the head of the department of the Ministry of Education and National Education Václav Maule or the graphic artist and designer Jaroslav Sutnar. The houses were designed by prominent architects of their time, Ladislav Žák, Josef Gočár, Pavel Janák, Oldřich Starý and others.

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Photo: Institute of Planning and Development city ​​of Prague / archive

The residential complex Baba was built in the thirties of the 20th century

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The article is in Czech

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