To the Zevo for education, from the Zevo to the countryside...

Transformation of the area into a modern operation with both historical and modern layers. The landscape is a unifying element of the development area. Sustainability, reuse, and responsible resource management.

The addressed area lies on the border between the city and the open countryside. It is surrounded by residential buildings, industrial areas, and agricultural landscapes, most of which are designated for the future development of the city. The proposal aims to create a naturally recreational space of citywide significance. Residents of České Budějovice can comfortably spend their day exploring the Vráto Area, enjoying summer swimming, observing nature, and engaging in sports activities.

The intention of our design is to open up the waste incineration plant to the general public and create an attractive destination while ensuring the smooth operation of the plant. We have supplemented the technological facility with a rooftop scientific IQ hall featuring an interactive exhibition focused on science and advancements in the field of circular economy, training rooms, and workshops for additional programs for elementary and high schools, as well as the general public. We emphasize the reuse of materials – a portion of the structure is preserved as industrial heritage and utilized as the entrance object, facade sheets are used on the facade of the new incineration plant, and concrete and asphalt rubble are employed in the landscaping of terraces and surroundings.

The visitor is guided along the ramp to the glass elevators leading through the technological hall directly to the exhibition. After the tour, visitors descend through spiral rooftop terraces to the entrance restaurant, enjoying views of the surroundings along the way. The complex is integrated into the broader pond landscape, which becomes the recreational backbone of the developing area. In this newly conceived landscape, a cluster of three structures is placed – the incineration plant, the entrance object with a coal-loading bridge, and the chimney. Everything is unified by the red color, complementary to the ubiquitous green, symbolizing the transformation from old to new. The chimney, a prominent feature in the city’s panorama, signals a new development initiative in the eastern part of the city.

The incineration plant area is divided into a closed section for ensuring the plant’s operation and a section for the public. The central field of the highest part of the existing boiler house is preserved, exposed on a steel structure, and used as an entrance point and crossroads to various parts of the complex and the broader newly conceived landscape. On the ground floor, a restaurant is inserted into it, with a children’s playground, a pond, a chimney with a climbing route, and a parking lot within its reach. The deep coal bunker is transformed into an ‘Event and Art space’ – the existing transfer building serves as an entrance to the underground, which is cleaned and preserved to host specific cultural events. The landscape smoothly enters the complex, connecting the new incineration plant with its surroundings, and simultaneously unifying the entire area into one entity with a network of roads and bike paths. The pond system is transformed into a connected system, where each pond has its own landscape-forming role. Kamenný rybník is purified, featuring a new beach. The theme of small architecture is the recycling of materials and heat, utilized in the wetland wellness area. Points of interest in the landscape include a bird observatory, pastures, and recreational meadows.


The addressed area is situated on the border between the city and open countryside. It is surrounded by residential developments, industrial areas, and agricultural landscapes, with a significant portion earmarked for the future expansion of the city. The goal of the proposal is to create a naturally recreational space of citywide significance. The residents of České Budějovice can comfortably spend their day exploring the Vráto Area, engaging in summer activities, observing nature, and participating in sports. The design is conceived to minimize the intrusion of natural landscape elements with residential components. Residential aspects seamlessly integrate with the city, enlivening the entry points into the landscape and inviting residents to engage. The emphasis is on providing high programmatic variability. The natural elements in the landscape form an interconnected system to the maximum extent possible, allowing undisturbed movement for wildlife and offering a diverse mix of vegetation.

The proposal approaches the addressed area as a whole, seamlessly integrating the landscape into the city, making the city a non-destructive part of the landscape. The design seeks connections between individual components and aims to link them into a functional whole. The new waste incineration plant area not only has a negative impact on the surrounding landscape but can also enrich it and enhance its attractiveness. The existing wetland landscape is protected from the negative effects of human activity. The pond system is transformed into a connected system, with each pond serving a distinct landscape-forming role. The road network sensitively reflects the territory it traverses. Facilities are distributed with consideration for the character of the environment into which they are integrated. The theme of the new architecture revolves around recycling waste materials and waste heat. The architecture adopts the facade of the existing heat plant. Waste heat from the incineration plant is utilized in the nearby wetland wellness facility.