Five apartment buildings front the water in the Czech Republic where a marina brownfield used to stand. The designers, QARTA Architektura, say these sustainable buildings are created to evoke the atmosphere of a local “Liben-style Amsterdam.” The location of the site is unique as it’s a narrow peninsula flanked by green banks leading up to the waterfront.

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Apartments built on a reclaimed brownfield marina

So what are brownfield areas? Well, they are coastal regions that are redeveloped from polluted or previously inhabited industrial operations. Instead of displacing coastal environments and biodiversity, these areas are cleaned up and rehabilitated for more sustainable use without damaging green areas.

Related: Sluishuis is a striking 442-apartment building on the water

Aerial view of the docks and apartments built on water

Therefore, the transformation of this marina brownfield has turned the spot into a new contemporary residential area with green space. The apartments also face a river flowing through Prague. To help shield the apartments from the nearby tram and street noises, the designers utilized both the green space and administration buildings as a buffer. The development was located here to connect it to bike paths, parks and the river.

Docks in front of the apartment complex

By being so close to the water, residents can paddleboard, fish or sail here. In addition, the river is relatively calm and becomes a location for ice skating in the winter. The surrounding neighborhood has full public facility infrastructure already in place, including a theater and art studios and several parks.

From right to left shot of the apartments with white walls

The design for the Liben Docks reflects the regeneration of this former dock area. Unlike previous housing that QARTA focused on green living, this complex is designed to focus more on an urban lifestyle. Meanwhile, the buildings follow the island’s shape in two rows to naturally form a street between them. The design mimics one commonly seen in the Netherlands, with the street formed by spaces in front of apartment building entrances and front gardens that have abundant green plantings.

Separate buildings within the complex

The Liben Docks are four stories with a glass-walled penthouse on the top floor of each building. There is a total of 150 apartments divided by 12 separate entrances for a more pleasant lifestyle experience. Each floor has a maximum of three apartments.

Stairway with trees and apartments behinds

Parking is located underground, which required underground waterproofing. The designers say this was a challenge, but placing the buildings on the water surface required a complex technical solution anyway. The Liben Docks has a number of flood prevention systems built into the design. The lower apartments are protected by retaining walls with a mobile flood prevention system. Each house also has mooring rings for stabilizing boats in the marina.

Balconies outside of the apartments

Further, balconies and terraces complement the front gardens, linking the indoors to the outdoors and encouraging time outside. Flowing waves inspired the balcony design and reflected the water theme here. Recycled metal panels and textured plaster also reflect the marina history of this location.

Pearl varnishes in brass and silver with gray plaster finish the marina-inspired look of the buildings. Metal panels made of self-supporting double shells are designed with “bubble perforation” to refer to the water’s surface. These apartments bring healthy life back into the area and honor the environment.

+ QARTA Architektura

Images via BoysPlayNice