Friday, May 11, 2012

1st Vocational Day in Ostrava - Aaron

Today was our first vocational day in Ostrava.  I was very fortunate to spend my morning with Ing.arch. Ales Vojtasik, of OSA Projekt, a very successful architect here in Ostrava.  His son, Jindrich, an architecture student at Ostrava Technical University joined us to translate for me.  I was able to visit several developments in Ostrava.  One of the most recent projects for OSA Projekt was "The Orchard" project.  This complex consists of 3 office buildings and a hotel and was developed on land that was previously deteriorated by industrial plants.  The central idea of the project was to highlight green space as an important element in urban development.  The complex includes a roofed front lawn with an outdoor cafe, a reflecting pond and several courtyards.  The exterior of the buildings are also colored with enamel glass panels for significance of earth (brown and green) and air (white).

Our next stop was to the new shopping mall Karolina, the center is named after the coal mine that was once there, but closed down several years ago.  The mall features lots of outdoor space as well as open interiors.  It also overlooks a green space, with a park that is part of the development.  New construction is in progress all around this area.  The expansion of the green space, as well as residential space, and the new City building are all current projects under construction.  I was impressed with the ideas to redevelop the areas of run down mines into new urban spaces for everyone to enjoy in the city of Ostrava.

This is a view  of the City from an outdoor terrace at Karolina shopping center.

This is a view of the green space/park from an outdoor terrace at Karolina shopping center.  The building is part of the old mine that will be renovated as an addition to the project in the future.

Additional residential and retail construction beside Karolina shopping center.
I truly enjoyed my time spent with Ales and Jindrich this morning and I was very excited to see construction and development in another country, and also excited to see how mines and industry that no longer exists in the city of Ostrava are being made into such successful developments.
There is one other huge development I was very excited to see with our team today that totally took us all by surprise!  I will leave that blog for another member or myself to elaborate on a little later.  For now, it's been a fantastic, but tiring day and I'm ready for some sleep, because tomorrow holds another fun filled adventure here in Ostrava!

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