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Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has worked with local partners and the city of Prague to develop the design that regenerates a brownfield urban site adjacent to the city’s Masaryk Railway Station that has stood derelict for several decades, returning the site to active use.
The design establishes a new central business district that integrates the city’s transport networks including the suburban and domestic rail services at Masaryk Station and the coach/bus terminus. Masaryk station will also become the future city terminus for the new airport rail link to Prague’s Vaclav Havel International Airport.
The mixed-use development stitches together Prague’s Districts 1, 3 and 8, minimising the impact of the elevated Wilsonova Highway which separates them. The project’s unifying composition creates a sequence of buildings and interconnecting public spaces along Na Florenci Boulevard. A new public plaza is created adjacent to the railway station, providing a gateway to the city and linking with Namesti Republiky Station on Line B of the city’s metro network.
Approximately one kilometre from Prague’s central square, the design responds to the Old Town’s urbanism known as ‘the city of 100 spires’; establishing a dialogue with the city and anchoring the new public plaza at the station by dynamically transforming the project’s horizontal composition parallel with the railway lines to the vertical on the west façade facing the Old Town.
Designed as a series of buildings that vary in scale and composition to be compatible with the city’s existing urban fabric, the new central business district responds to the demands of the city’s growing service and IT sectors’ requirements for flexible Class A office accommodation. Equally, the project contributes to the exceptional public realm of Prague with the creation of a number of varied civic spaces including plazas at the station’s main entrance, midway along Na Florenci Boulevard, at the corner of the Na Florenci/Opletalova axis and at the coach/bus terminus in Prague District 8.
The design also offers the potential to further improve connectivity through the city with a new public space over the railway lines, creating a north/south connection between Na Florenci Boulevard linking Havlíčkova/Namesty Masarykovo, Na Florenci and Opletalova/Hybernská, as well as increasing accessibility to the platforms of Masaryk Railway Station below.
Marek Dospiva, Partner at Penta said: “Since selecting Zaha Hadid Architects’ design as the winner of the 2014 competition, Penta has partnered with the city, Zaha Hadid and her team at ZHA to develop the designs to regenerate this site in the capital that has been abandoned for decades into a vibrant new central business district with exceptional public spaces.”
Craig Kiner, Project Associate at ZHA said: “In collaboration with our partners and the city, we have developed an urbanism for the site which draws inspiration from our analysis of the city and the site’s dynamic circulation networks, creating an architectural response that is sensitive to context, unifying in aspiration and contributes to the urban fabric of Prague.”