The 9th edition of the Urban Project of the Year competition was organized by the ABF Foundation, whose goal is to support the development of architecture and construction. The public award for the year 2023 as well as the award of the National Center for Construction 4.0 goes to the SMR Teplator project by architect Michal Postránecký.
The Teplator facility is designed for a newly patented technology that will make a major contribution to the energy sector by producing heat for district heating with clean energy. It uses the spent fuel of nuclear power plants and further uses its residual energy efficiently. When basic safety regulations are applied, the building can be placed in urban systems without affecting its immediate surroundings.
„Because we wanted to have a nuclear reactor that was also aesthetic, we chose the Czech-American architect Michal Postránecký, who founded and leads the Centre of City of the Future at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics of the CTU in Prague. Winning in two categories shows that it was the right choice,“ says Professor Radek Škoda, the head of the Teplator scientific team, about the success.
The goal of the project was to show that it is possible to place an object with technology near cities, or in cities, for example in industrial areas on their outskirts. The attractive form of the entire architectural solution was chosen primarily for the purpose of popularizing this technology, which is the only one of its kind in the European Union.
„We first met with Professor Škoda almost two years ago at CIIRC CTU, where we both work. He approached me to see if we could do a quick sketch for Teplator, a project that was still in its infancy. I provided him with a very simple visualization within a few days, which of course corresponded to the quality of the time I had for it. At the end of last year, the people from the Teplator project contacted me again saying that we could collaborate on a significantly more advanced study that would give the unique technology an „iconic“ face in order to attract the attention of not only the professional but also the non-professional public,“ explains Michal Postránecký , author of the project proposal.
The complex includes the main technological building of Teplator, an administrative center and a visitor center. The water tank can be used for recreation, but also as a safety reservoir for heat accumulation. „Teplator is safe enough that there is no need to be afraid of it. At the same time, we wanted to show that a technological unit for energy production can also be an interesting architectural work, the appearance of which also decorates its surroundings. I believe that we succeeded,“ explains Postránecký.
The shape was chosen on purpose, the roof (a kind of crust or shell) above the building has not a protective function only, but gives the space for green plants as well.
„The Teplator team called the proposed object a Trilobite. Although it was not my idea, I like the name,“ smiles architect Postránecký, adding: „One of the main reasons why I enthusiastically accepted this challenge was that it is a Czech project with high added value and the world currently looking at the back! I appreciate being approached and being given complete freedom. In doing so, I was carefully guided by Radek Škoda and also Ondřej Šimek, the designer of the scientific team, who patiently explained to me what was happening within the reactor and what elements were part of its unique technology. I didn’t even know how good it could be to work for nuclear physicists and engineers,“ concludes Michal Postránecký.
The winning design of the Teplator project together with other awarded works can be seen at the exhibition, which is installed in the ABF Foundation Gallery in Prague until September of this year.
Photo: ABF Foundation and Teplator.