BROUMOV (CZ) - Kostelní náměstí (Church Square) forms an important part of the urban composition of the original medieval town of Broumov in the Czech Republic. The St. Peter and St. Paul's Church stands in the middle of the square, dividing its space into two parts. The smaller, southern part is used mainly as a route to the town centre. The northern part is much larger and is used as a social space. Before the reconstruction, the square had a mainly grassy, slightly sloping surface. The architects flattened it out and turned it into an entirely paved area.
The new horizontal surface is the basic spatial element of the new layout of the northern section of the square. Chmelař architekti bridged the height difference with the sides of the square with a small 'staircase amphitheatre'. One side of the amphitheatre is supplemented by built-in benches, the other is lined by a row of lime trees. The southern square's paving slopes gently downwards along the side of the church. In the middle of the southern square is a new, eight-metre-long bench.
An important element of the new square layout is the integrated artificial lighting. The main lights in the northern square are directed underneath the amphitheatre seating. Fluorescent lamps cast an indirect light on the square, thereby emphasizing the different levels of the amphitheatre. The indirect lighting is complemented by lights embedded in the paving. The southern square is designed in a similar way. Fluorescent lamps are embedded in the long bench in the middle of the paved area. At night, the paving is pierced by a clear line of light running to the south of the church. After nightfall, the square undergoes a metamorphosis that changes its very sober daytime image into a magical nocturnal tableau. (Alexandr Skalický)