State Opera House of Prague upgraded to modern times

State Opera House of Prague upgraded to modern times thanks to Wavin 

After almost three years of renovation, the historical Prague State Opera House reopened its doors January 5. Earlier thorough renovations took place in the 1970s, after which only small renovations were executed. Together with head contractor Hochtief CZ and subcontractor Instalace Praha, Wavin helped the government of the Czech Republic replace the distribution systems of the Opera House with the use of state-of-the-art technologies, ensuring a dampfree opera experience to future visitors. The reconstruction of the State Opera House began in Spring of 2017 and ended officially in the beginning of 2020. 

Preservation of cultural heritage 

Built in 1888, the historical State Opera House of Prague is a world heritage site, and an important cultural and historical neo-Renaissance building located in the centre of Prague. Fifty years of patchwork had left the building in a bad state of disrepair, for which an extensive renovation including a complete reconstruction of the inner carcass was needed. Graced by some of the most brilliant talents in the world like Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Felix Mottl, Arthur Nikisch and Felix Weingartner, the Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic (in lead of the Care for National Cultural Treasures programme) spared no expense in repairing one of Europe’s finest theatres, in order to deliver an optimal opera experience to future visitors. 

Resolving the dampness issue

Next to the visible reconstruction work (including the automation of stage elements, repairment of frescoes and paintings and the replacement of vinyl wallpapers by textile ones), some important less visible improvements were made. The most urgent matter was dampness throughout the building. The Opera’s distribution systems for water, electricity and heating (including heavy metal components) was completely ruined, resulting in a leaking water supply system. This in turn made the theatre a moist and unpleasant environment. Therefore the Opera’s internal system – including the electrical wiring, water, heating and waste - was in desperate need of an update.

Holistic and fast approach

The complexity of the reconstruction work required technical solutions for the water mains and drainage system, including the production and supply of atypical system elements. The entire inside of the building was taken down. Wavin used BIM (Building and Information Modelling) technology to design the technical installations from scratch. This way, new structures were developed for the Hot & Cold and Soil & Waste piping, inside the newly reconstructed interior of the Opera House. The BIM approach - delivering a digital blueprint - ensured Wavin to work fast and efficiently whilst producing the right amount of materials, resulting in significantly less waste. Moreover, Wavin was able to not only deliver single materials such as pipes and fittings, but also total complete and made-to-fit (prefab) end products that were constructed in the factory and easily implemented onsite. 
Working with professional supplier Wavin went smoothly. The physical presence of a technical advisor on a daily basis was a great value for the installation company
Instalace Praha

Low noise 

An example of such a made-to-fit solution was the installation work for the drinking water and heatin in the basement. They serve as backbone mains and consist of prefab system elements from the Wavin Fiber Basalt Plus system, that were constructed in the factory before implementation. 

The existing rainwater downpipes were replaced with the durable Wavin’s low noise solution Wavin SiTech+, that was best tested by an installation company and results were used as documentation for a final decision of Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic, comparing 5 other suppliers. Wavin SiTech+ reduces the acoustics of water flow whilst maintaining durable performance, ensuring minimal noise disturbance during shows. Which is essential for an optimal opera experience. 
Jan Eberle, Project Manager Wavin: “Wavin CZ is striving to assert itself and be seen as a more project-oriented organization. In terms of its character and importance, the Prague State Opera project is a means to confirm and prove our indispensable role on the market. We hope that this project will enable the opportunity to pursue our future business interests, goals and future ties.”