Firstly, it was our biggest contract so far
and it informed huge numbers of people
about our company’s expertise. Secondly,
the construction is absolutely unique.
Even though we have done more work
in various zoos, this one remains absolutely
extraordinary. I also think highly of the
Františkov Housing Estate, which was our
first development plan; we built it and I was
also a partner in the construction from
the very beginning, from when the real
estate was identified (situated in the centre
of Ostrava, the premises of an organization
gone bankrupt in 2008, all covered in wild
flora when we came in), to the preparation,
design, and sales of the flats. Both these
jobs were awarded Construction of the Year
awards, therefore I believe they also appeal
to the expert jury. Our recent contracts
have been very inspiring projects which
earned us three awards in the Construction
of the Year competition in 2019. This
is a huge success for me and all the company.
You participate in the renovation of many
heritage buildings, and bring brown fields
back to life. Are they standard jobs for you,
or do you feel something special about the
Cultural heritage is a regular part of our job,
though we do not always have the necessary
references to win public competitions. When
we do, it is a very enjoyable work: I believe
that not only myself but everybody in my
company enjoy collaborating on renovating
historical sites. It is great to see how our
ancestors who did not have the technologies
of modern civil engineering succeeded in
making what is now a common standard, to
bring these features back to life. It is nice to
see people doing masterpiece plaster jobs
even though you hardly ever recruit a builder
with proper qualifications.
My most memorable brownfield project
is the Visitors Centre in the Lower Area of
Vítkovice, built in 2015. At the same time,
we were building Bolt Tower and Gong
Hall there, too. I am very happy that we
have these buildings in the Lower Area of
Vítkovice which are so significant. If we
succeed in building more constructions of
this kind, I will feel very happy.
You have been an entrepreneur for all of
your professional life. What opportunities
are there for regional construction
I am afraid that regional construction
companies are in a difficult position
when competing with large international
builders. We may win a competition thanks
to our qualification and competence when
realizing the construction projects, but great
international companies with multibillion
dollar turnover may reduce their prices just
to keep their regional operation busy before
they win another project which smaller
business cannot win due to a lack of the
right qualifications and references. What
a pity that our politicians have not invented
a tool within the past thirty years to support
local businesses in these competitions.
Ostrava is not Prague; private businesses
do not invest so much here. Most businesses
then compete to win public contracts, which
results in price dumping far from the reality
of actual costs and decent profits. Yet
I believe that if young people stop moving
to Prague from Ostrava, if they stay in our
region instead, a better quality of life is just
a matter of time, and new businesses, more
homes and more construction will appear.
Do you build only when contracted, or
do you also create your own development
We recently built the Žárovec na Čeladné
Housing Estate development project
for a client. In 2017, we finished another
similar project as our own, where Bystroň
Group was one of the partners of the
developer and, at the same time, the builder.
It was the forty-two-flat Františkov Housing
Estate in Silesian Ostrava. We are currently
preparing our own projects to be realized
via Bystroň Development.
I know you as a keen sportsman. Is it only
a hobby, or an opportunity to develop
I have the most positive relationship with
sports. I have played various sports since
I was little: I played ice-hockey, did trackand-field and I am still an active sportsman.
It is a great hobby and leisure I cannot live
without. It is the best and most efficient
compensation for the pressure I occasionally
suffer at work.
The hobby has become a business in a way.
It was a coincidence that the facility where
I am a business partner became the home
for the greatest fitness centre in Ostrava in
2014. This is where I start myself up almost
I also motivated my children to play sports.
My eldest son used to play ice-hockey;
now he is a coach at our fitness centre and
a fitness coach for the RT Torax Poruba
hockey players. My daughter finished High
School in Minneapolis, USA, and is going
to study Sports Management at university,
and my youngest son, who works in our
company, spends a good share of his time
in the gym, too. I am glad my children enjoy
sports, and I believe that they will feel the
Even though I currently play sports only
for leisure, I do my best for our enterprise
to be socially responsible. For years we
have sponsored sports clubs in the Ostrava
district, I am often surprised that it is not
more common for businesses to do that.
I think regional sports deserve the attention.
Thank you for the interview.
Otázky připravil: Vít Ruprich
Bystroň Group a.s.
Dolní oblast Vítkovice, informační centrum
POSITIV 2/2020 ǀ 27