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
The design for the mixed-use development 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 project's unifying composition creates a sequence of buildings and interconnecting public spaces along Na Florenci Boulevard, with a new public plaza 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, establishing a dialogue with the city and anchoring the new public plaza at the station by transforming the project's horizontal composition parallel with the railway lines to the vertical on the west façade facing the Old Town.
Responding to the demands of the city’s growing service and IT sectors, the project is designed as a series of buildings that vary in scale and composition to be compatible with the city's existing urban fabric, and includes requirements for flexible Class A office accommodation. The project also creates a number of 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.
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."