Atelier-r is one of the most renowned architectural practices in Olomouc, Czech Republic, founded by Miroslav Pospisil. The designers are committed to the development of high quality contemporary architecture and urbanism, always paying special attention to the purpose of what they create and the impact on the environment in which they operate.
Atelier-r has received several awards, including the 2018 Czech Architect Grand Prix for the Vista Optik building, an honourable mention in the 2013 Czech Architect Grand Prix for the Slavic Grammar school, as well as many awards in annual competitions in the Olomouc region.
One of the firm’s recent projects is the restoration and renovation of Helfštýn Castle. Situated above the valley of the Moravian Gate, the 14th-century Helfštýn Castle is the second largest complex in the Czech Republic right after Prague Castle. In 2014, the ruins of the Renaissance palace had to close its doors to visitors due to serious safety hazards caused by falling walls and the deterioration of the general structure. For these reasons, the Olomouc region, the de facto owner of the chateau, applied to renovate the palace and build a new roof. However, the National Heritage Institute insisted on preserving the building in its ruined state, so it was only possible to reconstruct the roof partially and not beyond the level of the peripheral walls.
The studio responded to the request of the regional and national authorities by proposing a project that went beyond mere technical reconstruction. The architects succeeded in completing the historic building with a contemporary architecture that focused on both practical use and aesthetic appeal.
In order to offer visitors the feeling of being immersed in the ambience of the Renaissance palace, new tourist routes were inserted into the existing empty spaces between the ruins, connecting the ground floor with the new accessible upper levels of the historic building. The roof was made of glass on steel beams, the stairs and walkways were made of corten steel, while the ground floor paths are made of polished concrete.
The project completed in 2020 brought Helfštýn Castle back to visitors and citizens of the Olomouc region, giving new life to an important element of the area’s artistic and cultural heritage.