atelier-r celebrates the ruinous helfstyn castle with a corten steel intervention

atelier-r celebrates the ruinous helfstyn castle with a corten steel intervention

atelier-r presents its newly completed reconstruction of the czech republic’s helfstyn castle palace. rising in stone high above the moravian gate valley, helfštýn castle is the second largest complex in the czech republic after prague castle. first built during the 14th century, the ruins of the renaissance palace closed down due to the severe safety hazards such as falling masonry and structural degradation. the design team seeks to renovate the palace and introduce a new roof. the national heritage institute insisted on the preservation of the building in the state of a ruin. the new roof could only extend as high as the level of the peripheral walls.

helfstyn castle
images by boysplaynice



atelier-r 3D models the helfstyn castle based on thousands of drone photographs, allowing the team to map all the plaster and masonry modifications. the team strived to compliment the historical building with the contemporary architecture that would focus on both practical use and aesthetic appeal. in order to immerse the visitors in the original renaissance palace, atelier-r inserts new sightseeing routes into the already existing gaps in the ruins, connecting the ground floor with the newly accessible higher levels of the palace. three basic materials are incorporated along each level of the building. the roofing is made of glass on steel beams, the staircases and footbridges have been made of corten steel and the ground floor paths are made of polished concrete.

helfstyn castle



atelier-r inserts flat glass roofs within the walled chambers of the helfstyn castle ruins. the wide-open sky was the key inspiration when choosing the material for the roof. the use of glass introduces perfect daylight conditions to the interior of the palace. the team chooses to work with the sanded glass for a couple of reasons. this strategy offers ease of maintenance while the flat dispersed light compliments the exhibitions inside the palace. atelier-r intentionally leaves out some of the spaces to enhance the spirit of the impressive ruins and encourage the visitors to look up to the sky. 

helfstyn castle



what once used to be a roof now becomes the new sightseeing route. being this close to the construction details of the original palace and as high as the top of the walls allows the public to admire the historical significance of the sight and the sheer views of the surrounding region. the team at atelier-r chooses a material that is timeless. corten is a special iron alloy that undergoes corrosion, matures, and celebrates the texture of the old historic walls.

helfstyn castle helfstyn castle helfstyn castle helfstyn castle helfstyn castle helfstyn castle


helfstyn castle helfstyn castle helfstyn castle helfstyn castle helfstyn castle




project info:


project title: helfštýn castle palace reconstruction

architecture: atelier-r

location: týn nad bečvou, czech republic

completion: 2020

photography: boysplaynice


lead architect: miroslav pospíšil

project manager: martin karlík

design team: robert randys, lucie rohelová, adéla tomečková, milena koblihová, daria johanesová

structural stability of historical constructions: ladislav klusáček

structural stability of newly inserted constructions: jan lukáš

rehabilitation of the damp parts of historical walls: pavel fára

contractors: hochtief CZ and archatt památky

steel and corten construction: zámečnictví sloupský

glass construction: bubeník 1913

concrete floors: AAP hranice


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