Korunní Dvůr in Královské Vinohrady

A new residential development in the "Royal Vineyards" brings modern living to one of Prague's most charming historical quarters

This is a sponsored article provided by CERES, one of Prague TV's trusted real estate partners.

While Prague's Old Town is known to tourists around the world for its stunning architecture and charming cobbled streets, it isn't the most popular area with foreign buyers. Due to its limited size and strict rules on renovations, there are, simply, limited new purchasing opportunities.

Only a kilometer or so up from Old Town, the district of Královské Vinohrady is far more popular. Not far from the center, and with its own architectural charm, it was traditionally a home of the wealthy and, since the fall of Communism, has sprung back to life with a vengeance. The name, which loosely translates as Royal Vineyards, harks back to the 14th century, when acres of grapevines covered the area's sunny slopes.

Under Austrio-Hungarian rule, the territory eventually gave way to development, most significantly in the late 19th and early 20th century, providing Královské Vinohrady with the outstanding fin de siècle buildings, churches and squares we see today.

Located well into Královské Vinohrady, on the edge of an exclusive villa district on a gentle south-facing grade, a project called Korunní Dvůr combines the peaceful attributes of the area with excellent proximity to the city center. Korunní Dvůr is actually a complex of historical and modern buildings, arranged primarily with older buildings on the periphery and with an inner courtyard area (dvůr means courtyard), essentially creating a secure, gated community.

The developer, Africa Israel, has both the weight of international experience behind it as well as an intimate knowledge of the area. (Its Palác Flora shopping center, which it built in the neighboring district, was resoundingly successful and immediately added a sense of renewal and vitality to its surroundings.)

Accordingly, the company entrusted the reputed architecture firm CMC to design a project that took advantage of the desirable locality while respecting its genius loci. The principal historic component of Korunní Dvůr is a brewery from 1890, complete with authentic brick smokestacks, that has been fully converted into modern living space. A row of historic buildings on the northern flank, along Korunní street, one of Vinohrady's main arteries, is designed for commercial use and shields the inner courtyard area from the street's bustle.

The architecture of the modern buildings, including a tower in the courtyard and a lower (five to seven floors) row of "villa" buildings on the southern edge, stresses clean lines and provides a stimulating contrast to the brick-smokestack charm of the brewery.

Inside, high-quality standard materials, state-of-the-art facilities, and a choice of oak, beech, mosaic or ceramic tile floors help create a serene but luxurious living environment. Large double-glazed windows from floor to ceiling let light flood in, and as the entire project is on the southern grade, in most cases only the weather can be to blame for lack of sunlight. Most of the flats have either balconies or winter gardens, in some cases both, and there are terraces of varying sizes on the ground and upper levels. The overall design cleverly left some open spaces and as a result a surprisingly large number of units afford views beyond the nearby buildings to distant hills of Prague.

So far the project has been warmly accepted; a grocery store, several shops, and some offices have opened and a fitness center is soon to come. The southern side of the property is foliated, and the courtyard, itself landscaped, offers access to a small park on the east side. Secure underground garage parking offers 450 spaces. The project's 250 units started to sell even before construction began, but to date approximately 35 percent are still available. The average price is 66,000 CZK/sqm.

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