Chybik + Kristof to design new Czech venue


Czech Republik Jihlava new arena Image: Chybik and Kristof Architects & Urban Designers

Architecture and urban design Chybik + Kristof Architects & Urban Designers have won the public competition to design and build the Jihlava Multipurpose Arena – one of the largest sports and leisure complexes in the Czech Republic.

Ahead of a scheduled opening in 2023, construction work on the arena which can fit in 5,600 spectators is due to begin in 2021. The facility will come up on the site of the existing ice hockey stadium in Jihlava which was built in 1956 – Horácký zimní stadion.

Apart from staging ice hockey games, the venue will play host to cultural events and music gigs. A four-building multifunction center with an adaptable ice rink, rooftop running track, gym, sports academy, hospitality establishments and shops will be integrated as part of the project and will also form part of the complex.

Chybik + Kristof’s design for the arena will revisit the existing structure of the building. The arena will be located on the border of Jihlava’s historical center and it is hoped the project will breathe new lease of life into an area of the city which has been long neglected. The facility will complement the nearby park and university.

Two of the four buildings that will comprise the complex already exist.

Open-air walkways and green spaces will connect the four buildings. The existing rectangular stadium will be fully rebuilt, with the sports academy to also be maintained as an integral part of the site.

Adjoining the arena, a hospitality building will come up, providing guests a full view of the complex. The building will consist of a restaurant, hotel, gym and office spaces and will play a key role in providing an exalted overall experience to guests on event-day.

Founding architects Ondřej Chybík and Michal Krištof stated, “We envisioned the Jihlava Multipurpose Arena as a deeply versatile complex, whose various functions are reflected at once in the technical structure, the landscaping and the aesthetics of the buildings. In integrating multiple purposes, we took significant consideration of their various audiences, thereby seeking to reflect the city’s diverse social and generational communities and to encourage their interactions. More than a center for sports and events, the arena is a social campus for the city – used by the people, thereby designed for the people.”

Bringing together sports, culture, and social venues, the project reimagines the existing site as an urban sociocultural campus. In fact, once completed, the structure will act as a “public platform open to a variety of audiences for a diverse range of activities, in an effort to revitalize this long-neglected area of the city.”

The versatile space blends within its surrounding urban landscape through the introduction of several public spaces nested throughout the buildings.

A transparent and fluid transition between spaces, the arena encourages new initiatives and lays the foundations for free movement and interaction.

The sports academy will be totally repurposed to host new functionalities. It will serve as a versatile space – at the same time it can play the role of a hockey rink, exhibitions and events hall, and concert venue.

The development will cost 30 million EUR and will also boast oval running track, gym, 24 locker rooms, 36 sky boxes, eateries, bar, eight small establishments to cater to the foodies, hostel, fan shop and eight offices.

To make a long story short, the Jihlava Multipurpose Arena is an everyday space, an urban sporting, cultural and social campus for visitors of the arena, athletes, students of the academy and varsity, as well as for the general public to invest – “As the four buildings’ complementary and interconnected functions contribute to this, they share a distinct red metal grid façade, formed by apposed triangles.”

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