Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Richard Meier & Partners Third Building Breaks Ground in Prague, Czech Republic and Receives LEED Platinum Pre-certification

New York, NY, February 22, 2011 Richard Meier & Partners Architects is pleased to announce the construction of City Green Court which has recently started last September 2010. This is RM&P’s third building within the Master Plan of Prague 4- Pankrác that began almost a decade ago with a local Czech developer and named the CITY Project. Based on RM&P’s Master Plan of the superblock on the Pankrác Plains, this once neglected area of Prague has now been transformed into a multi-functional, vibrant and revitalized business, commercial, and residential district filled with green public spaces and amenities. City Green Court has been modified and re-designed to the new owner Skanska’s sustainability goals and high standards to achieve the highest level of LEED certification. The project has recently received a LEED Platinum Pre-certification.

With City Green Court, Richard Meier & Partners completes the northwestern corner of the superblock along M. Pujmanové and Hvĕzdova Streets with a cluster of three buildings. Conceived as a geometric volume in dialogue with the near context, City Green Court also offers respected contrast to the surrounding buildings. Like its earlier siblings City Tower and City Point, it is inspired by the language of Czech Cubism with an expressive façade that responds to issues of conservation and sustainability articulated with forms reminiscent of this avant-garde movement. When completed in early 2012, it will be a welcomed and key addition to the Pankrác superblock.

“We are working together to make City Green Court a benchmark for green building design in the Czech Republic, said Richard Meier. “This assignment has been particularly challenging as it also meant addressing the historic beauty of Prague and at the same time creating a modern image of the City for its future.”

Distinctive vertical solid panels with fins angled according to the sun’s orientation are integrated into the design of the curtain wall, emerging from both the south and west facades to minimize solar heat gain and to provide balanced shading and comfort within the interiors while maximizing daylight and views. In contrast, the north and east facades do not need solar protection: shading is unnecessary to the north, and City Tower, the adjacent high rise standing on the neighboring site shields the building to the east. White spandrel glass replaces the fin panels producing facades which are calm, sleek and uniform. The four facades when juxtaposed create a harmonious and dynamic envelope that can be perceived differently from close and distant vantage points. The eight-story building is organized around a central sky-lit atrium surrounded by highly efficient office floor spaces. To the south, a grand canopy marks the formal entrance to the building that leads into a single height lobby which then opens into the multi-story atrium. Atop the seven office floor plates, the partial mechanical penthouse level is covered with an extensive green roof and a skylight. Nestled in the atrium is a singular black olive tree and green ivy wall, with bridges spanning above from one side of the space to the other while a free standing stair connects the first four floors promoting movement and interaction, and encouraging less use of elevators. The exterior and interior of City Green Court are intertwined visually and physically with landscape elements spilling into and reappearing in the atrium.

“Skanska Property Czech Republic, our Associate Architect CUBOID and our local consultants in Prague are fast becoming experts in green building design,” said Partner in Charge Dukho Yeon. “With its tautly composed form and elements, City Green Court embodies a certain discipline and restraint; designed within the framework of Skanska’s green initiative. We hope that we continue to educate each other and influence future development with a critical outlook on architecture and social responsibility.”

City Green Court is expected to achieve LEED platinum certification in the Czech Republic by drastically reducing energy consumption. In addition to the very efficient building envelop, some of the most important measures towards LEED certification include natural ventilation of the atrium during the summer, state-of-the-art mechanical systems, reduction of water runoffs and storm water collection, green roof, indoor air quality control and the use of local and recycled materials.

“We are proud to cooperate with Richard Meier & Partners Architects on the redesign of City Green Court to meet the growing interest in green, modern and flexible office space that offers a stimulating work environment,” said Britta Cesar, Managing Director of Skanska Property Czech Republic, and continued: ”Together with the enthusiasm and commitment from Richard Meier & Partners Architects we managed to achieve LEED platinum Pre-certification.”

“Above all we hoped this Master Plan for the Pankrác Plains would be a catalyst for growth, said Richard Meier. “After 10 years of hard work and dedication we are now seeing the result – which is an incredibly robust neighborhood, a new urban fabric rich with activity, and an optimistic view of urbanism for Prague.”

About Richard Meier & Partners Architects
For over four decades, Richard Meier & Partners has been appointed to create important public and private buildings. Led by the Pritzker-Prize winning architect, our projects have received 30 National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects and over 50 from the New York AIA and other regional chapters. The firm is well known for the The Getty Center in Los Angeles, Federal Courthouses on Long Island and in Phoenix, the Jubilee Church in Rome, and the iconic Charles and Perry Street Towers in New York City. We have produced important office buildings and headquarters in the United States and across Europe for companies like Canal+, Siemens, KNP, Daimler Benz, Olivetti, Renault, and SwissAir. We have built almost 20 museums, including the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and The Burda and Arp Museums in Germany. We currently have projects underway in the US, Central America, Europe, and Asia, as well as a large residential tower in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel. Most recently we have been awarded the Edie & Lew Wasserman Eye Research Center at UCLA in California.

For more information on the work of Richard Meier & Partners, please visit www.richardmeier.com or contact press@richardmeier.com

About Skanska
Skanska is one of the world’s leading project development and construction groups with expertise in construction, development of commercial and residential projects and public-private partnerships. Based on its global green experience, Skanska aims to be the clients’ first choice for Green solutions. The Group currently has 52,000 employees in selected home markets in Europe, in the US and Latin America. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, Skanska’s sales in 2010 totaled SEK 122 billion.

Skanska Commercial Development Europe is one out of 14 business units within Skanska. The mission is to initiate and develop real estate projects such as office buildings and logistic facilities. The main focus of operations is the large metropolitan areas in Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Skanska Commercial Development Europe is divided into three local companies: Skanska Property Czech Republic, Skanska Property Hungary and Skanska Property Poland. More information about Skanska Commercial Development Europe can be found at www.skanska.com/property

Skanska Property Czech Republic, s.r.o has been operating on the Czech market since 1997 and has developed a number of office buildings and retail warehouses in the Prague area. Skanska’s office building Nordica Ostrava was the first building in Czech Republic to be awarded the GreenBuilding certificate for energy efficiency.