BUILDING WORLD magazine

Main Point Karlin
New gate to Karlín in 2010

Connecting the characteristic atmosphere of the locality with the dynamics of a new era. The harmony of natural, soft curves combined with otherwise straight-line, consistent architecture. 
This is Main Point Karlin, a unique, unmissable building which benefits from its location on the boundary of the city centre.

Main Point Karlin, a modern office building which already stands apart thanks to the unmistakeable character given to it by renowned Prague architectural practice DaM, will be developed over the next two years in Prague 8 – on the border of old Karlín and the rapidly developing Rohanský Island. 
The well-established business district, now headquarters to a number of renowned firms, is therefore set to expand by another attractive building which, in addition to offering almost 21,000 m2 of top-quality offices and 1,300 m2 of retail space, will, in particular, see a new standard in working-environment. Karlín and Rohanský Island itself is not only home to first-rate architecture but also to buildings characterised by their elaborate internal climate system and environmentally-friendly technology. Main Point Karlin is no exception and according to Jakub Jirka, project manager at PSJ INVEST, it will also offer several new solutions which will put the building a step ahead of the competition.

Environmentally-friendly buildings get the green light
In view of increasing energy prices and the resultant rising cost of running buildings, energy-saving technology is taking on increased importance. (This is further exacerbated by the upcoming law on obligatory building certification relating to energy consumption which is soon to come into force). 
PSJ INVEST is keeping with the times and applying technological innovations to the maximum. For cooling the building, for which energy consumption costs are practically highest, it uses water from the River Vltava, or rather from the sluice which passes under the building. “This system brings about massive savings in terms of operation costs – thanks to the temperature of the water in the river, which is also cold in the summer, it enables very cost-effective cooling even when consumption is low,” explained Jakub Jirka. 
Another new innovation is the use of induction units which are built into the raised window soffits and direct cool air to the glass areas – this reduces most of the thermal gain which comes primarily from outside the building. By contrast, extraction grids are located on the other side of the office and the air slowly and naturally flows and cools the entire room. 
“In contrast to traditional fancoil units we can therefore minimise differences in temperatures in the various parts of the room – approx. half a degree; therefore, what doesn’t happen is that at one end of the room someone is freezing and at the other end it’s too hot,” emphasises Jakub Jirka. The induction units have two functions: they act as HVAC while simultaneously supplying hygienically clean air from outside at the required humidity and temperature. “All of these features are used with one vision in mind – to create the most pleasant working environment possible,” says Jakub Jirka, adding that they also have advantages from an economic point of view. Instead of two systems (cooling and HVAC) there is only one in operation which again leads to energy savings. Given the fact that the induction units do not contain any mechanical parts, they are almost failure-free. This system is relatively commonplace in Scandinavia and Japan; and according to Jakub Jirka, it is comparatively new in the Czech Republic. A standard feature is now outdoor blinds which can either be operated automatically depending on sunshine intensity or individually for increased comfort.

Unmistakeable face
Besides elaborate technology, Main Point Karlin also boasts unique architecture. The unmistakeable character of the façade, with its diverse curves, clearly sets the building apart from the surrounding architecture at first glance. DaM studio was the winner of the architectural competition for the development of the site between the Pobřežní and Rohanské nábřeží main roads back in 2003. “The winning design was not bound by orthogonal shapes and took all the important features into account ranging from very efficient layout and functional division of space to connecting the building with the surrounding developments,” adds Jakub Jirka. 
Thanks to its natural shape, the building forms a natural transition between the original Karlín and the modern architecture characteristic of Florenc and Rohanský Island. The extraordinary outer curved areas of the façade, which is broken all the way around with large French windows, boasts perpendicular distinctive orange/yellow, white, silver/ grey and charcoal vertical pilasters. This gives the building depth and a dynamic varied appearance from the outside. 
An open inner atrium which rises to the tenth floor and spacious green roof-top terraces on the upper two retreating floors put the finishing touches. The building is sprawled at the edge of the archway to the existing footbridge to Rohanský Island, creating a large-scale roofed pedestrian corridor from Florenc and Pobřežní Street. This opens out onto a quiet green piazza off the busy road, a place for rest and relaxation. This is where the main entrance is located with its main reception area leading up to the offices.

Effective offices
Despite its natural look, the building boasts a very well-organised and functional layout. 
The first two floors, with their smooth façade and predominantly glass visible areas, can be used for an elegant showroom or retail space on one side, with a restaurant or staff canteen on the other. 
The third floor is intended for a spacious reception area incorporating a meeting point for business negotiations with a view of Rohanský Island and the river. Here visitors pass security turnstiles to three elevators and onwards to the upper floors. 
Modern offices are located from the fourth to tenth floors. The individual floors can be flexibly joined and subdivided and all three wings can function totally independently. Thanks to its above-standard sized floors of 2,700 m2, the building offers large-scale premises, primarily to large companies. That said, with three independent communication systems, the building can also be used effectively by six smaller companies, each with their own reception area, sanitary facilities and kitchenette.
The 1.35 module facilitates open space as well as individual offices which copy the circumference of the building and the inner atrium. This in turn enables sufficient natural light to enter at all times. The upper two floors, the most luxurious in the building, incorporate large roof-top terraces with panoramic views of the old town and Hradčany (Prague Castle district). 

The building is designed to ensure maximum safety with round-the-clock security and reception services, a security area with turnstiles and chip cards and separate elevators for the underground and aboveground floors. Some 350 parking spaces are located in three underground floors.

An undeniable advantage of the new project is its location. The building is located between two major roads Rohanské nábřeží and Pobřežní, making the city centre reachable within 5 minutes. The Magistrála main road and all the major motorways are also easily accessible. 
The Prague underground and trams are also just a stone’s throw away. Florenc metro station (two stops from Wenceslas Square) and where the B and C lines intersect is not more than 4 minutes walk away, the tram stop is less than a minute.

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