Sugar Factory

The point of departure for the revitalisation of the former sugar refinery was the distinct industrial heritage of the site, its conditions and relationship to the surroundings as well as immediate needs of the local community. Through high-quality placemaking, gradual phasing and introducing public content and greenery to the site, the concept creates an attractive destination for the public with a wide range of services for the community that is both just and economically feasible.

The two-stage competition was organised by the Slapanice council, seeking to revitalise a former sugar factory area, transforming it into a new social and cultural centre for the locals.

Context and industrial heritage

Slapanice is a town located a few kilometres from Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic. Without a distinct centre and due to its location, the town is predominantly a residential suburb, generating a large number of daily commuters travelling to Brno for work, services and culture.

Originally built in 1872, the sugar factory remained operational producing raw sugar until 1931, later replaced by cardboard production. Since 1998 the complex has been leased to smaller companies, becoming a municipal property in 2017. It has played an important role in the history of Slapanice and its tall chimney is a distinct landmark for the citizens.

Central lagoon with a pier and orchard
Brewery with outdoor seating overlooking the urban forest
Southern square with water features, a sculpture park, a playground and an open air theatre

Restoring identity to the local community

To retain its legacy and to enhance the identity of the place, we asked ourselves the question: What could be the most sustainable way to revitalise such site, preserving its spectacular memories to give this place its own and unique identity?

The main objective was to establish a new social and cultural centre for Slapanice, integrated in its surroundings, gradually offering rich and versatile content. The new vibrant public space in the sugar factory complex is an innovative hybrid post-industrial landscape. It is designed to respond to a combination of proposed functions and programmes, creating a variety of spaces suitable for use by everyone. The central area is divided into several “landscape pockets”: the spill out zone by the silo, the fruit tree brewery, the event square in front of the marketplace, the new waterfront and the sports facility.

Adaptive re-use

The project creates an interplay of interesting functions and activities through extensive transformation and re-use, where places and buildings receive new content and become interconnected. Each component was assessed individually to find a creative future use. Construction restrictions associated with land contamination have made possible to design a new urban space combining different types of public spaces and ways of working with greenery and the adjacent watercourse.


The project is an international collaboration between Kjellander Sjöberg, KOGAA and Open Fabric.