Unique underground water reservoir in Brno – Žlutý kopec

Orientation of the main entrance and escape staircases to the VDJ on the Žlutý kopec.

The water reservoirs on the Yellow Hill near the center of Brno are a historical-technical monument, but they no longer fulfill their original purpose. This was the supply of tap water to the lower surrounding streets of the then-emerging official quarter, for which the water tanks were used for more than a hundred years. The water tanks are unique and special with their beautiful vaulted industrial spaces, which the city of Brno decided to reconstruct and make accessible to the general public.

Our company focused on the main entrance with the escape staircase of water tank 01 and the escape staircase of water tank 02 in Brno on the Žlutý kopec. The position field was determined by the GNSS RTK method, i.e. by using signals from satellites. Detailed points were then located using the polar method from the points determined by the GNSS RTK method. The accuracy of the measurements corresponded to the geodetic requirements. The output of the contract was accurate drawings of the escape staircases and the main entrance of the reservoirs in DGN, DWG, and DXF formats.

The construction of the oldest of the three underground reservoirs began in the autumn of 1869 and was completed in 1872. The reservoir was constructed of high-quality burnt bricks. The clay deposit then enhanced their impermeability. No steel, timber, or reinforced concrete was used in the construction and therefore stability and functionality had to be supported by a number of different types of vaulting. The construction of the second reservoir took place between 1896 and 1900 and the construction of the third and largest of the reservoirs (consisting of two separate tanks) was decided around 1913. Both are concrete.

In total, the reservoirs had a capacity of 20,000 cubic meters. They held water until 1997 and in recent years were used only to provide 'utility' water. Thanks to the efforts of Ing. Aleš Svoboda, the city decided to open the historical underground and in 2019 the reconstruction began. In 2022, the first stage of making the site accessible was completed, with two of the three water tanks getting the necessary main and emergency exits to meet fire safety requirements. Wiring and lighting have also been installed to sensitively illuminate the spaces and give them their due elegance.

Bc. Veronika Kastnerová

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