For all distinctive features of the two buildings, the newer BETA and the older ALPHA obviously belong to the same family. Erected amidst a newly developed city area, the BETA has no contact with the original environment except Vyskočilova St. It borders on neither old buildings nor the trunk road (known as 5. května). Apart from the above mentioned Vyskočilova St, the new development is surrounded by the pedestrian precinct of the Jih premises (leading to the future GAMMA Building) on one side, green vegetation of the future central park of BB Centrum Jih on the other side and, finally, the GAMMA Building, which is now under construction. In other words, situated in a friendly environment and homogenously attractive surroundings, the BETA may open freely into all direction. As there are no limiting and complicating factors, the building makes no distinctions between front and side façades – each of them is of equal importance and each of them reflects equal architecture. As I see it, this contributes to the quality of the building. (By contrast, the ALPHA is significantly influenced by the motorway in the immediate vicinity. As a result, the building had to be “stretched” and its façade was adapted, with lower windows and so on.) The façade produces a certain geometric pattern, which is evenly spread around the whole of the BETA and – instead of ending in itself – reflects interior zoning. Various heights of windows and their heads lead to adequate lighting for various zones of combined offices and, at the same time, clarity of the layout suitable for possible open-space offices. External blinds (both remotely and individually controlled) integrate window openings with the façade, confirming the impression that the BETA is a monolithic compact product.
The cone-shaped BETA closes the area from the north-west direction towards the green park. The shortest façade faces Vyskočilova St, where an atmosphere of a real city has been created, with an arcade accessible for the public and leading to shops and restaurants.
There are two atriums (covered and open) to create a very distinctive motif and provide light for the interiors. With their slim shape, the two atriums copy the exterior shape of the building, bordering on each other with an all-glass wall, which separates the covered atrium from the open one. The atriums have a cumulative effect of many space variations from various viewpoints, especially from the ground floor. Visually linked, the atriums are separated with a glass façade, a sun-breaker and a footbridge linking the east and west wings of the building. The overall effect of space and penetrating light is of great benefit especially to the entrance areas with trees. There is a catering facility (for the staff) facing this environment. In addition, the BETA is the first BB Centrum building to provide a real restaurant, naturally accessible for the public too. The covered atrium features natural materials such as stone (flooring) and timber (various panelling and lining) to counterbalance large glazed windows and skylights.
The top floor boasts a terrace accessible for those that are based in the building. While the ALPHA offers a very natural, mountain-like environment owing to the type of plants and the climate, the BETA has a terrace in the city style. The flanks of the terrace are made of high all-glass walls to enable people to relax there even under adverse weather conditions.
The BETA Building has nine above-ground levels and three basements. Like the other BB Centrum buildings, it has been designed to standards of modern office premises with adequate lighting, artificial ventilation and interior cooling. It has mainly office areas; nevertheless, there are restaurants and small retail spaces in addition to the entrance areas on the ground floor.
Jan Aulík, Master of Architecture, has designed most of the BB Centrum buildings, in concrete terms, buildings B, C, Office Park, Residence, Alpha, as well as the newly developed Beta. His architectural “Studio A” has been collaborating with Passerinvest Group on a long term basis, since they won the first urban competition for the BB Centrum scheme in 1993.
“Such a long-standing relationship proves beneficial as we have known and trusted each other. We have had the same way of thinking since the very beginning,” says Aulík. “Also this is why the final shape of BB Centrum buildings, including the BETA, differs only slightly from the initial drafts. On no account does collaboration with any client work so smoothly. In my opinion, it is to the detriment of the cause if the drafts must be subject to radical changes. Passerinvest Group does not place us under pressure. First and foremost, the building must serve its purpose as office premises, and both I and the developer are aware of this.”
STUDIO A, s. r. o., Jan Aulík, Master of Architecture
STUDIO A is an architectural office involved in a wide spectrum of design activities in the fields of urbanism, various types of buildings (particularly office and housing), reconstructions and interiors. Since established in 1990, they have been undertaking design activities from the site preparation to co-operation in construction works, playing a role as chief designer responsible for all project work and engineering. Born in 1958, Jan Aulík, Master of Architecture, graduated from the Faculty of Architecture, the Czech Institute of Science and Technology, and has been a registered architect with the Czech Chamber of Architects since 1993.