Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has unveiled proposals to regenerate a brownfield site next to the Masaryk Railway Station in the centre of Prague
The practice - whose figurehead Zaha Hadid died in March aged 65 - won the competition to create a new central business district on the long-abandoned 22,000m² plot in 2014.
As well as stitching together the Czech capital’s Districts 1, 3 and 8, the scheme ’integrates the city’s transport networks including the suburban and domestic rail services’. The neighbouring Masaryk station is also to be rebuilt and is set to becomes the future city terminus for the new rail link to Prague’s Vaclav Havel International Airport.
According to ZHA, the design’s ’unifying composition creates a sequence of buildings and interconnecting public spaces along Na Florenci Boulevard’ and features a new public plaza in front of the railway station,
The project is backed by The Masaryk Station Development (MSD) consortium which was set up in 2004 by Czech Railways and a clutch of private companies including ING Real Estate. Investment group Penta became part and majority owner of the consortium in 2011.
Craig Kiner, project associate at ZHA said: ’[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.’
The first phase a anticipates construction of phase one could be completed in 2020, with all phases completed in 2022.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ proposed Masaryk Railway Station Regeneration CBD
The architect’s view
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.