Prague’s Barrandov film studios
Largest studios in Europe – pride of the Czech dream factory
Prague’s Barrandov studios are as important to Czech cinema as Hollywood is in America. Founded in 1931, they now have an excellent name in world film-making. Since last year the Czech dream factory also boasts the largest studio in Europe, the work of Hans-Paul Architects, proving that even large practical buildings need not look monotonous or boring. The main feature is an unusual façade of Koramic Migeon Actua.
The Barrandov district, named after French palaeontologist Joachim Barrande, has an individual charm. Film studios were founded in the Thirties on a terrace above Prague by Vaclav Havel, father of the former Czech president, aiming to create an architecturally modern garden town. A restaurant was soon followed by villas for film stars and businessmen. More importantly, modern studios for making films with sound were built. The whole studio district became an example of functionalist architecture.
The creators today had to pay special attention to this, as well as to the requirements for a building to meet the high demands of the world’s film-makers. The challenge for Filip Ziegler and his company Hans-Paul Architects was by no means easy.
Massive and blunt façade
At the premises of these legendary studios, the attractive large building took shape in which the new studio is located. It has been built with moderate and practical shapes but it is still elegant, with an eye-catching red covering giving the large façade a soft structure.
The front wall is over 100 m long, interlaid with three solid blocks creating pillars of grey bricks supporting the whole mass. They have blue doorways to allow entrance of fi lm sets and technology. The 40 m side walls and the 100 m back wall are even more blunt, the red façades broken only by grey brick technical rooms with staircases and an overhead corridor joining up to other film studios. There are no windows, as light could be a problem when filming.
“We used 36,000 m² of clay roof tiles for the facings. It is a very nice material, easily fitted and only needing a minimum of care,” says architect Filip Ziegler. Paradoxically, Koramic clay roof tiles were only used for the façades; the roof is of a different material.
Everything for the needs of film makers
The interior is strictly suited to its purpose: a modern soundproofed film studio of 4,164 m² and 14 m in height, offering film makers ideal resources and comfort. Even the wooden floor is practical, allowing easy installation of sets. Unique dismountable soundproof walls allow the 100 m to be divided into three separate studios, each with its own entrance.
The interior architect was only able to give his fantasy free rein in the space for the film makers. The boldness of other parts of the building contrasts with the brightly coloured accessories in the areas for technicians and actors. The corridor floor design looks like a strip of film.
- Max Film Studio, Barrandov Studios, Prague (Czech Republic)
- Barrandov Studios, Prague
- Hans-Paul Architects, Prague
- Koramic partner:
- Beleta, Prague
- Clay roof tiles:
- Koramic Migeon Actua, 60% natural red, 40% multiblend
- Ester Havlová