Thermal Insulation Double Glazing Stops the Excessive Heating on this Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague | OV-A

Thermal Insulation Double Glazing Stops the Excessive Heating on this Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague | OV-A

Czech based OV-A architectural studio, founded by Jirí Opocenský and Štepán Valouch, has recently built the crystalline footbridges stretched between the two historical buildings of the University of Chemistry and Technology‘s complex in Prague. Although architect Antonín Engel envisioned and proposed to build two massive brick bridges supported by arcs and pillars in 1936, his vision was never entirely fulfilled. In 2017, the University of Chemistry and Technology held an invited architectural competition for the design of the current bridges to complete the original idea and connect the two ICT buildings. Read on SURFACES REPORTER (SR)‘s post to know the construction process of these two similar-looking, but geometrically different crystalline footbridges:  

Light Glass Bridges of a Crystalline Shape

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

The buildings are connected by light glass bridges of a crystalline shape. The three-dimensional grid of steel pipes acts as a tension between the old buildings.

The grid connects a rectangle with a hexagon, which refers to the world of organic chemistry - the benzene nucleus.

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

The crystalline appearance of the connecting bridges carries the sculptural quality and lightness that complements the two existing solid classicizing buildings.

24 Meter Above The Street

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

Both the almost transparent bridges are seemingly floating above the 24 meters wide public street beneath them as their supporting concrete columns are entirely hidden underneath the historical façades of the CTU building.

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

The glazed crystals become a new brand of the ICT, they show the dynamic inner world of the Czech leading chemical-technological university.

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

The bridge structure of both the footbridges consists of a simple girder placed on two reinforced concrete pillars, which are attached to the existing buildings and hidden under their facades.

The pillars are based at the base of the buildings on a foundation distribution board supported by micro-piles.

Thermal Insulation Double Glazing in the Exterior

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

The diagonals of the steel structure serve as strut and tie rods and thus help to lift the central section of the bridge. The construction is glazed from the exterior with thermal insulation double glazing with a sealed joint.

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

The full ceiling of the footbridge strengthens the structure and prevents excessive overheating. The floor with a concrete layer dampens the vibration of the structure. The footbridges are closed by automatic glass doors.

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

The steel structure of the footbridge was brought to the site in one piece as an excessive load. During the transport, it was necessary to lift the tram trolleys.

Crystalline Footbridges Connecting the UCT in Prague

At night, tram traffic on Evropská Street was interrupted. After transport to the site, the structure was mounted on a support in a few hours by a mobile crane with a load capacity of 40 tons.


Steel construction of footbridges / Albet metal
Wooden historical casement windows / Kaiser / historical building of the ICT
Fireproof aluminum windows imitating historic casement windows / Dasip / historical building of the Institute of Chemical Technology
Cast Teraco / Secores / restored historic floors in ICT buildings

Products and Brands

PLANICLEAR glazing (8mm) / footbridge cover — Saint-Gobain
automatic sliding door with S805 — Spedos operator
PVC floor Sphera element 50000 white / footbridge floor — Sphera
Motion sensor Wallixie PIR IP 54 / footbridge entrance areas — A-Light
Motion sensor PIR 360 ° / entrance areas of the footbridge — A-Light
Ceiling lamp Rundo / entrance rooms of the footbridges — HALLA
PVC roofing + L profile / footbridge roofing — Alkordesign

About the Studio

The OV-A architectural studio was founded by Jirí Opocenský (1978) and Štepán Valouch (1977) in 2007. The studio's objective is to find unique answers to clients' unique requests. Every developer, location and construction agenda offers new contexts and new perspectives. The studio works on diverse projects, from the designing of family houses to the urban layouts of the centers of municipalities. The studio is the general designer of all project phases, entailing the pilot study, the building permit process and implementing documentation, including oversight. Both of the studio's agents are architects authorized by the Czech Chamber of Architects (CKA). The studio collaborates with a stable selection of specialized project engineers.

Project Details

Studio- OV - A                            
Principal architect and author: Jirí Opocenský and Štepán Valouch
Project location: Studentská street, Prague - Dejvice
Project country: Czech Republic
Project year: 2017-2019
Completion year: 2020
Built-up Area: 205 m2
Client: University of Chemistry and Technology
Photographer: BoysPlayNice
Collaborator Design team: David Balajka, Romana Bedrunková, Magdaléna Havlová, Antonín Pokorný, Anna Schneiderová
Structural Engineer: Jan Blažek / V-CON
Contractor: Metrostav
Steel structure, glazing: Albet metal

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