ČEZ Arena Culture and Sport Palace
ČEZ Arena, the former Culture and Sport Palace – one of Ostrava’s dominant buildings – is a major facility for sports and cultural events that was officially opened in 1986 and recently underwent reconstruction and modernisation. The facility is served by access roads from Prague and Brno, and also by the main roads from Slovakia and Poland. The design of this impressive multifunctional arena was awarded through a competition won in 1977 by architect Dědeček Vladimir, who had already designed a number of important buildings in Slovakia. The building, which was to have both sports and cultural functions, underwent further reconstruction in 2004 to meet the new safety standards and its name was changed from Kultury Palác Sportu to ČEZ Arena. In December 2008, the Arena hosted the group stage matches of the Men’s World Floorball Championships. The facility is also capable of hosting large concerts. However, its main use is as an ice hockey rink and is the home of the local club HC Vitkovice.
It is a large hi-tech building intended for use as a public space with a deep horizontal incision on the façade connecting the two lateral high vertical blocks. Two of the most interesting features of the project are the steel roof mounted on bearings instead of being fixed directly to the main structure and the curtain wall cladding. Cooperativa Ceramica d’Imola was tasked with restructuring part of the external facade of ČEZ Arena using the ceramic tile curtain wall system. The tile collection used for this project was „I Quarzi“ from Monoceram Ceramica, which gives the surface the exclusive look of a living, pure and artfully textured stone. The external curtain wall was constructed using tiles of a single grey colour and a single size, 50×50 cm, in order to emphasise the monolithic effect of the two main towers of the structure. The visual sensation is that of a natural stone installed with an extremely modern composition on the façade of this introverted construction.
Another important construction characteristic lies in the fact that ČEZ Arena can be reconfigured in 46 different ways for organisation requirements. The Arena uses unique technology including a vertically adjustable podium and retractable seating areas. In the space of a few hours, the facility can be converted from a modern ice hockey or ice show rink to a space ideal for indoor sports (two tennis courts, basketball or volleyball court, five-a-side football pitch, cycle track or polo court) or an auditorium for concerts. It is also an ideal place for trade fairs and company events. The arena’s capacity is 9,000 seats, but if the rink is converted into seating for concerts, the capacity can be increased up to 12,500.