Tallest building in Czech Republic to undergo facelift

AZ Tower

The tallest building in the Czech Republic, the N Tower in Brno, is to undergo a facelift. The building’s new owners have announced a competition among students of architecture from the Brno University of Technology. The winning design should become a template for the planned reconstruction.

The tallest building in the country, formerly AZ Tower, now called N Tower, was completed in 2013, and has remained unrivalled on the Brno skyline. The orange-white skyscraper in the city’s southern district, has 30 floors and reaches a height of 111 meters. “Unlike most skyscrapers, which usually resemble glass prisms, this building is different – it has an unusual shape and is lined with ceramics” Brno’s chief architect Michal Sedláček told Czech Television.

AZ Tower | Photo: Benoît Rouzaud,  Radio Prague International

The building offers a wide range of uses. The base includes a fitness centre, shopping mall and car repair shop. Beneath the surface, there is an extensive parking lot, while the uppermost floors serve as offices, company headquarters and luxury apartments.

The unique design of the façade as well as its environmentally friendly nature, placed it among the top ten contestants for the Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2013. However, its new owners say a building of this nature deserves a more modern look.

In search of inspiration, they have announced a competition for students of architecture, asking them to put forward suggestions how best to modernize and upgrade the tallest building in the country, basically without any restrictions.

The proposed changes should concern the area in front of the main entrance, the foyer and the roof. Students have so far sent in fifteen different projects suggesting various modifications. There are works proposing a lookout tower with a glass floor, a modern café with an unrivalled view and even a smoke device that makes you feel like you are in the clouds.

The winning student proposal should serve as a template, and would have to be approved by all co-owners of the building.

On the jury of esteemed architects, which will pick the winner, will be the author of the building, Gustav Křivinka.

The reconstruction is expected to start within two years at the latest and the costs are expected to reach tens of millions of crowns.