Footbridge linking Holešovice and Karlín takes a big step forward

A long-discussed footbridge to connect two of Prague’s trendiest districts is closer to reality, with project planning about to start

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 23.07.2019 13:00:08 (updated on 23.07.2019) Reading time: 3 minutes


A footbridge to connect two of Prague’s currently trendiest
districts, Holešovice and Karlín, is coming closer to becoming a
reality. The bridge would support bicycle traffic and have a ramp
down to Štvanice island, so people from both neighborhoods could
have easy access to the island and to each other.

The city, according to the Public Procurement Journal, is preparing to give CZK 24.75 million for project planning to Marek Blanka, one of the architects of a design that was selected by the Prague Planning and Development Institute (IPR) in 2017. The other architect of the winning design was Petr Tej.

This figure does not
include the actual construction, and no completion date has been
announced. The project documentation is needed to get planning and
construction permits, which can be a time-consuming process.

Lávka Holešovice Karlín
Ramp to Štvanice island. via IPR Praha

“A footbridge
making Štvanice island accessible has been a dream of many Prague
citizens for more than a hundred years. Now we are getting close to
the goal,” Prague 7 Mayor Jan Čižinský (Praha sobě)
said.

People can currently access the island from the bridge Hlávkův most, though both ends of this bridge have heavy traffic, which makes its use by pedestrians or cyclists inconvenient. Since 2015, there has been a ferry linking Holešovice and Karlín, but it does not operate in the winter or when there are boating restrictions due to river conditions.

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The
bridge will span 38
meters between Karlín and Štvanice and 149 meters between Štvanice
and Holešovice. On the Holešovice side of the Vltava, the
footbridge on Bubenské nábřeží will be in front of the gates
to Pražská tržnice (Prague
Market), an area the city is also planning
to revitalize into an area of trendy shops and cultural venues.
It is also near the Bubny area, which will
be developed into a new neighborhood.

On
the Karlín side
on Rohanské nábřeží, it will meet
up with a cycle path, and
be close to several new and planned housing and office developments.
For cyclists, the planned bridge would
enable a Žižkov – Karlín – Holešovice – Troja route, which
cyclists could eventually follow north along the river and out of the
city.

Lávka Holešovice Karlín
Holešovice to Karlín footbridge. via IPR Praha

IPR
said the new footbridge should provide
comfortable and easy access with
barrier-free boarding. Other
important elements
are requirements of flood protection and
flow management.

IPR described the bridge concept as a spatial curve winding through the landscape and reacting smoothly to the terrain. “The concept of bridge construction responds humbly to the panorama of Prague, to the Holešovice and Karlín shores and to the winning urban design of the Štvanice island. … The bridge architecture uses minimalist sculptural morphology. The bridge is made of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) with a glossy white marble surface,” IPR said.

This
is not the first bridge for architect Blanka.
He was also
involved in the project for a new bridge in Litvínov and
for a footbridge across the Lubina river
in Příbor.

A previous
competition for a design for a footbridge connecting the Prague 7 and
Prague 8 districts was announced in 1999, and designs by architect
Alena Šrámková were chosen. The floods of 2002 devastated the
island, putting an end to any pre-2002 planning. When the idea came
up again, so much had changed that the city administration in 2017
decided to have a new contest for a new design.

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