Welcome to our back yard

12/11/2015 8:52 AM CET

New office buildings, while of course necessary, inevitably take up space in the urban landscape. But there is nothing that says that the space in between the buildings can’t be used for the greater good of the community.

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The Corso Court project in the Prague 8 district in the capital of the Czech Republic, is a prime example of what can be achieved when developers, architects and contractors think outside of the box. And when corporate community investment is planned and integrated into a project from the outset. The residents of Karlín, close to the centre of Prague, had been promised for years that the empty and run down plot in their community would be turned into something useful. And now that construction is nearly complete, the Corso Court project has not disappointed.

A garden for everyone

This project is the headquarters of Skanska´s three business units in the Czech Republic and as such serves as a showroom for our efforts. Recognizing the fact that there were not many green areas in Karlín, a big garden courtyard was planned behind the new office building.

A dominant feature of the garden is a landscaped seating area that can serve as an auditorium, and a large pergola that provides welcome shade during warm summer days.

The garden is not exclusive to tenants, on the contrary, it's accessible to everyone as a place to rest, work, gather or just have some fun. In fact, the aim is that it will serve as a playground for a wide range of community-related activities like concerts, plays and other events.

Full of features

In the garden courtyard, local residents as well as tenants, can enjoy free WiFi, charging sockets for phones as well as ping-pong and chess tables. There is also a bike sharing station as part of Karlín's community bike sharing system. Not to mention charging stations for sustainable electric vehicles. A restaurant in the building provides coffee, ice cream and attracts visitors from outside with high quality farmer´s fare and on-line delivery services.

Petra Machartová, Marketing & Communication Specialist at Skanska Prague, puts it like this: 'There are so many new and innovative features within the project that we've developed a special application through which users can order food, rent bikes and keep track of events in the area – it's an innovative way of connecting the building with the local community.'

The garden will be formally inaugurated during Christmas. Children from local schools will sing carols and visitors will be able to enjoy a huge Christmas tree and a Christmas market.

Points to the future

The Corso Court project reflects the trend towards offices that satisfies the young generation's demand for more interesting workplaces. And with the efforts to support the local community it points the way for the future. The property developer that bought the project claims that the garden and the innovative features were key reasons behind their decision to invest. Which just goes to show that corporate community investment makes sense in more ways than one – it's profit with purpose.