General Financial Directorate

The aim of the architecture competition was to revamp the existing building of the General Financial Directorate and complete its premises at Příkop 25 in the city of Brno. From the beginning, we took an approach that looked at the premises and the building on a wider scale of the city. Rather than the premises of the GFD, we were primarily interested in their context – the urban block of which the existing GFD building is a part. The most important quality of the proposal was therefore encoded directly in the competition brief, which was an opportunity to densify the wider city centre. The office building remains a part of the vibrant centre, and its extension creates a new opportunity to work with the urban inner courtyard. We believe cities today still have a lot of room to grow – in, not out.

It was through gradual prototyping that we came up with the final version of our architectural intervention. It relies on an elementary mass situated on the axis of the block, giving the impression there is another row of buildings just behind the existing structure. It does not cut the space of the inner courtyard in two, though – the space between the yards and the gardens continues to flow unobstructed. The parterre is open due to the mass being carried above it by columns. The proposed design has a car park with a sufficient number of parking spaces situated within the open parterre. That said, the designers have taken into account the current emphasis on sustainability and the possible gradual decrease in the number of cars in cities — the car park can then easily be transformed into a walk-through garden.

The interior design is a spatial experiment. It responds to the needs of the users of the building. It is based on the traditional concept of an office building comprising three layout sections (a corridor with offices on either side), which we decided to reconfigure. The corridor is conceived as a vibrant space that extends and expands around the staircases and means of vertical circulation and shrinks and recedes around the utility rooms.

The corridor therefore ceases to be a transportation route and is turned into a space where employees of the office meet and interact. We have taken the same approach to the design of the lobby, which connects the new building to the existing office building. It is conceived as a flexible space that can be turned into a number of meeting rooms, a conference hall or a canteen, that can easily be extended outside – to a wild garden.

GFD Brno


project: General Financial Directorate
location: Brno
team: Oskar Madro, Ondřej Machač, David Helešic, Miroslav Malý,
Pavla Nesvadbíková, Daniel Struhařík
status: finished competition, 2nd place
topics: transformation of the three layout sections, turning the hallway into
a creative space, spatial research, urban densification, working with
spatial and urban model
based on: competition, 2nd place