Prague to be Remade by Zaha Hadid Architects
The famous architecture firm takes up a project to redo parts of Prague.
We’ve come a long way from Kafka’s Prague. While the city’s most famous author never mentioned it directly in writing, when you move through the spiraling derelict and bureaucratic architectures of his literature, you’re bound to wonder what kind of place it was in his time. Now, the city has to take in demands from its contemporary urban fabric – including growing service and IT sectors – and for that they’re calling in Zaha Hadid Architects to set things up anew. The architecture firm will work with the city to develop a design that aims to regenerate a brownfield urban site adjacent to the city’s Masaryk Railway Station. The new buildings will be futuristic and gleaming, hopefully bereft of the suffocating structures of Kafka’s offices.
The whole design will stitch together Prague’s various districts (1,3 and 8) to create a sequence of buildings and interconnecting public spaces along Na Florenci Boulevard. Adjacent to the railway station will be a new public plaza, providing a gateway to the city. The buildings will vary in scale and style the curved wavy forms that characterize the work of the late Zaha Hadid. The whole thing is due for completion in 2022.
“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” said Craig Kiner, Project Associate at ZHA.
This adds another interesting piece to the list of memorable projects taken up by the firm, which includes the London Aquatics Center in the UK, built for the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, USA, The Guggenheim Museum in Taiwan and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales. Hopefully, Zaha’s vision will be honored in the streets of the Prague, even after her passing.
Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects