Investor: Brno Public Transport Company
Location: Czech Republic, Brno-Pisárky, Hlinky Street
Author: DKARCHITEKTI (David Kudla, Tomáš Fries, Filip Malý)
Building layout: 117 × 14.5 m, height 10.5 m,
Window size: 5.6 × 23.6 m
Built-up area: 1,612 sqm
Total area of interest on the premises: 6,650 sqm
Tracks area: 12,730 sqm
A new tram maintenance depot was built in Brno-Pisárky. The architects DKARCHITEKTI gave the building a highly distinctive look and also the technical solution is very unique – it goes beyond what we imagine under the terms "hall" or "depot". The distinctive facade panel segmentation was optimised for noise dampening and the large-format window opens up the premises of the Brno Public Transport Company to the public. Even the six-meter entry and exit gate, which matches the size of the tram, is a smart solution.
The prism-shaped building is 117 m long, including facade, and allows trams to pass through the whole building. Its facade is dispersing noise from trams riding on the adjacent track. There is only a single window with a size of 23.6 x 5.6 m, consisting of 24 glass segments supported by the spider system. The window cuts through the aluminium panel facade and shows the result of the working process: a cleaned and well-maintained tram. As tram maintenance is carried out until late at night, this window will tell a story about trams being made ready for tomorrow while other people have ended their working day.
The inner layout is open and adjusted to tram sizes and maintenance demands. There are two through-tracks inside the depot, designated for vehicle cleaning and maintenance. A red box is situated by the exit at the large window for staff backrooms and the command centre, controlling vehicle arrivals in the depot, the technological process and trams parking on the tracks.
The challenge for the design of the facade facing the adjacent road was to minimise noise in the public space. A facade cladding of perforated aluminium segments with a sound insulation layer underneath was eventually chosen. We were primarily dealing with the behaviour of sound waves and their reflection, and we analysed other buildings to determine how we can handle this structure. The segments are proliferated as pyramids with four walls, allowing noise dispersal thanks to aluminium sheet perforation. A similar solution is routinely used to dampen acoustic waves in interiors. It took a long time to fine-tune the contact between four segments in the valley and eight segments at the top of the segmented facade in the detailed design. The thing is that every segment is turned to a different direction. This small detail caused a lot of structural challenges. Feasibility and easy assembly were two essential aspects, so that the segments could be turned evenly all over the facade. The principle of perpendicular pins with round fixing plates was eventually applied. The design also featured facade lighting in multiple modes, including festive illumination for special occasions.
Entry portal and exit portal:
The entry portal and exit portal create a roofed space with a red aluminium cladding and folding power gates, perfectly integrated into the joints pattern of the cladding. The depot deserved more than a standard solution for these large gates, which is why this original solution (including the power drive) was developed. And what is the result? A portal without obvious voids having the size of a tram. The dimensions of the entry gate and exit gate are 5.2 x 5.8 m and 5.8 x 5.8 m, respectively.
Even though the tram maintenance depot is, by nature, a utility structure which must be practical and functional, we managed to achieve high aesthetic quality as well. We therefore give meaning to the term "industrial architecture".