Bunker V37 is a project that presents a transformation of old military bunkers built on the former territory of Czechoslovakia before WWII. Around 10 000 fortresses of the so called “Řopík” bunkers were built in a network along the borders. Today most of them are unused and runned down, being abandoned for decades. The proposal aims to present a new use to these bunkers, a transformation in the smaller scale of how a single bunker can be transformed into a usable living space - but also in the larger scale of how the bunkers could serve as overnight cabins, info- and activity points with their placement along some of the national hiking routes in Czech.
Around 10,000 so-called 'Ropik' bunkers were built along the borders of former Czechoslovakia before World War II to protect the country against Hitler’s Germany and other enemies. Placed in a large network the bunkers created a system of fortification known as the Benes line along the borders. With the acceptance of the Munich Agreement 1938 the system was never used and the bunkers remained untouched.
The Řopík bunker is made of high-quality reinforced concrete with few openings. With a total construction area of 25 m2 the available inside floor area is only 8,5 m2, with exterior concrete walls up to 1,2 m thick. Due to its limited space and lack of daylight it is difficult to use the bunkers for anything else than military purposes in its original form.
CUT + LIFT =
SPACE + LIGHT
Due to its limited space and lack of daylight it is difficult to use the bunkers for anything else than military purposes in its original form. This proposal, contrary to making a new addition to the exterior of the bunker, explores the idea of keeping the bunkers form and integrity. The transformation lies in cutting the bunker horizontally and lifting the upper part to enlarge the interior space and to ensure daylight entering the space.
By cutting the bunker and lifting the upper part, it will be possible to use the bunker without major changes in its form
Lifting the bunker will reveal the interesting shape of the floor plan and increase the usable area to up to 24 m2 by creating a continuous bench from the thick concrete walls. The void from lifting the top part will be covered with glass allowing panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. By lifting the upper half of the bunker, the ceiling height will be increased and there are also possibilities to create a sleeping loft or extra storage. The main supporting element of the bunker is a continuation of the original structure where the central load-bearing walls are supporting the top part of the bunker.