Final look of Prague's Zaha Hadid project revealed, construction could start in 2021

Building permits for the first two structures at Prague's Masarykovo nádraží, designed by the late British Iraqi architect, are expected in early 2021

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 04.11.2020 12:04 (updated on 04.11.2020)

Work on the long-planned redevelopment of the surroundings of Prague’s Masarykovo nádraží could soon start, after a decade of preparation. Developer Penta Real Estate expects obtaining a building permit at the beginning of 2021.

Once the building permit has been obtained, construction will start on two buildings designed by the studio of the late architect Zaha Hadid. New modified visualizations of the two buildings also have been unveiled.

Penta this month will also launch an architectural competition to create a new square at the intersection of Havlíčkova and Na Florenci streets, where currently there are metro exits and a parking lot.

They have also announced a final name for the project: Masaryčka.

“There is no point in looking for a new name when the people of Prague named the locality decades ago. The designation Masaryčka referred to the railway station and the area in which it is located. Experience says that anything can be invented, but people will find a natural name for themselves,” Pavel Streblov, Penta's manager responsible for project implementation, said.

The first two buildings to go up on the site have changed since the first proposals, following on four years of discussions with the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Praha), as well as with the professional and lay public.

“The height of the buildings has decreased, their division has changed; the social discussion has also had an impact on public spaces,” Streblov said.

Compared to the original plan, the buildings will be two meters lower. Both buildings, located in a previously inaccessible area, will offer, among other things, two floors of shops, restaurants and cafes. “We also decided to open a viewpoint on the front tower of the building standing in close proximity to Masarykovo nádraží,” Streblov said.

The reason that work will start on only two buildings is that Penta agreed with the city in August to change the rest of the plan to allow for 40% residential space. The original plans by Hadid were for a large office park.

The new business district was to have been built by 2025, but has faced delays. The designs were unveiled in 2016, and are among the last completed by Hadid before her death on March 31, 2016.

The planned square at the intersection of Havlíčkova and Na Florenci streets will be connected to V Celnici Street, and after construction of the first stage, it will become the beginning of a boulevard leading toward the Florenc metro stop and bus depot.

Work has already started at the construction site in the pit left from the 2017 archaeological survey next to the rail station Masarykovo nádraží. “The backfill that lines the walls of the pit is at the end of its service life, so it is necessary to ensure its statics,” Streblov said.

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