Prague's Letná Museum District will create a link between Letná and Stromovka parks

The area around the National Technical Museum will be made more user-friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 15.06.2021 16:13 (updated on 15.06.2021)

The Letná Museum District – the area near the National Technical Museum and the National Agricultural Museum – will find a new form in the architectural competition. The Prague City Council commissioned the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) to prepare an urban-architectural competition to find a solution of this area.

The goal is to make the journey between the Letná and Stromovka parks more pleasant. A dignified museum square should be created to make a busy part of Letná more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists. The competition will be announced by the end of this year.

The location around Korunovační and Nad Štolou streets, together with the facades of the National Technical Museum and the National Agricultural Museum, forms a place that connects two important Prague parks, but its current state is neither unified not inviting.

Area between the National Technical Museum and the National Agricultural Museum. (Photo: IPR Praha)
Area between the National Technical Museum and the National Agricultural Museum. (Photo: IPR Praha)

Prague City Hall has decided that the future form of the space will be determined by an architectural and urban planning competition. The implementation of the winning design will bring functionality to the space, as well as more cultured and safer streets and a new square in front of public buildings.

“The aim of the adaptation of the site called the Letná Museum District is to find and promote its qualities,” Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček said in a press release.

“The appearance of the surroundings of the museums, the secondary school, and Nad Štolou Street, including the tennis courts and the area near the popular Letná carousel, will be sought by the participants of the urban planning and architectural competition, who will be tasked with creating a new attractive locality out of this neglected and pedestrian-unfriendly area,” Hlaváček said.

There is a historical carousel at the edge of Letná park just across from the National Technical Museum, but it is not currently open to the public. Renovations began on the horses several years ago, but work stalled after that.

Nad Štolou Street runs directly above a 16th century water tunnel planned by Emperor Rudolf II, linking the Vltava river to Stromovka. Another overlooked point of interest on the square is a small one-meter stretch of tram tracks, a remnant of the earliest tram line.

The renovation of Korunovační Street is also connected with the Letná Museum District. A separate conceptual study will be created that will include, among other things, the solution of the location of new lines of trees, and the repair of roads and sidewalks. Both projects will be coordinated with each other.

Prague 7 Deputy Mayor Lenka Burgerová said it is very important for the district to involve the public in the project from the beginning.

“Comments and suggestions from people who live, work, or spend their free time here are very valuable when planning the transformation of the city,” Burgerová said.

“That is why we have conducted a survey on the Letná Museum District, which was attended by more than 800 respondents. On 29 June 29 at 6 pm, we will hold a participatory meeting in the Water Tower (Na Výšinách 1) on the planned revitalization of Korunovační Street,” Burgerová added.

At the beginning of the year, the general public was involved in the preparation of the assignment of these projects through an online survey. Locals would like more trees, benches, and trash cans in the area. Cyclists, skaters or parents with strollers should also feel better in the future. A fountain could appear as part of the project.

Sidewalks and paths should be better connected to each other and be clearer. The spaces in front of buildings should become more representative and better used. The surroundings of museums and the school should be better connected to the park and sports grounds. The new museum disrict should be completely barrier-free.

Facade of the National Agricultural Museum. (Photo: IPR Praha)
Facade of the National Agricultural Museum. (Photo: IPR Praha)

“The results of the public participation will be shared with the competition teams and incorporated into the design itself. In 2018, IPR already prepared a conceptual study for the renovation of Veletržní, Dukelských hrdinů and Strojnická streets, the so-called Letná crossroads,” IPR director Ondřej Boháč said.

“The Letná Museum District project will logically build on this work and will be coordinated with the emerging conceptual study for Korunovační Street,” Boháč said.

Along with these projects, the city is also preparing to renovate Revoluční třída at the edge of Prague’s Old Town. A concept study has already been completed. The street will become a new city boulevard. Asphalt will be replaced with paving, sidewalks will be widened, and trees added, according to IPR.

“We want to turn Revoluční into a promenade with wide sidewalks, quality paving, benches, and more easily accessible mass transit: the way it should be in the center of a modern metropolis. The changes are part of the general vision planned for the center of Prague. We want to return the city center to the people, so that they have the opportunity and desire to spend their time here,” Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr said recently.

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Work is also continuing on the lower part of Wenceslas Square, implementing design plans from 2005 that had constantly faced delays. After that is finished work will start on the upper part of the square, including the extension of tram tracks from Vinohrady into the square. The project should be finished by 2025.

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