Best of Realty 2017: Besides a plethora of commercial projects, the jury also honors a church
Best of Realty, the longest running Czech real estate awards event, has been attracting an increasing number of nominees as well as guests over the years to the Czech National Bank’s Congress Center, its traditional venue. For the 2017 edition, the jury faced a demanding challenge of choosing the best projects out of 43 nominated in five categories. Projects completed after January 1, 2016 were invited to take part in the contest.
The jury evaluated each project’s location, urban and architectonic solution (including the interior layout), quality of realization and its commercial success. Under the auspices of the Association for Real Estate Market Development, the jury honored two residential projects, a new office scheme, a shopping center, a hotel, an industrial park as well as a small village church at this year’s awards ceremony.
The residential sector was the most active on the Czech property market in 2016-17, alongside the industrial and logistic warehouse development segment. A total of 18 nominations inspired the jury to divide residential projects into two categories based on unit volume, with six competing in the small project category and 12 fighting for top honors in the large project category. Villa Atrium Bubeneč in Prague 6, built by CODECO and designed by Pata & Frydecký architekti, won in the small project category, thanks to the quality of its architectural design. Dock River Watch 2, developed Crestyl and designed by Ian Bryan Architects, won in the large project group because of the developer’s long-term efforts to revitalize the worn-down area in Prague 8 into a vibrant and modern riverside neighborhood.
The modernization and expansion of the Chodov shopping center by Unibail Rodamco took the shopping center category. Shopping centers were not included in last year’s awards due to the country’s satiated retail property market, Pavel Kühn, the chairman of the jury, explained.
Mechanica, the office complex Penta developed in the Waltrovka area in Prague 5-Jinonice, walked away with the top award in the new office centers category thanks to its commercial success, attractive architectural design by Atelier Krátký, and the complex approach the developer took to revitalize the former industrial area.
Theresian Hotel & Spa in Olomouc, designed by architect Martin Libra and developed by Kysa rerum, won in the hotel category thanks to its architecture and popularity among guests.
CTPark Planá nad Lužnicí won in the logistic and industrial parks category because of its extraordinary ratio of green areas as well as the fact that the investment went up in a region that lacks a direct motorway connection but offers a sufficient labor pool.
The Award of Excellence went to the City of Litomyšl, which supports modern architecture and architects and is open to investing into long-term development and modernization. The Readers’ Choice Award went to Rezidence Waltrovka, a project Penta is developing in Prague 5 in cooperation with ADR, Chybik+Kristof Architects & Urban Designers and Rudiš-Rudiš.
As a pleasant surprise, the jury also chose to honor the unique St. Wenceslas Church in the village of Sazovice, near Zlín, with its Special Award. The village had been planning to build its first church since World War II. St. Wenceslas was designed by architect Marek Jan Štěpán and his team and financed by the donations of local entrepreneurs and residents. The architects designed a unique structure, which resembles a paper roll -- simple, full of light and timeless.
Next year, Best of Realty will celebrate its 20 anniversary, with projects completed after January 1, 2017 invited to participate.