Náplavka cubicles handed over to occupants, should open to the public in November

The cubicles at Prague’s Náplavka have been finished and turned over to the people who will start operating them in November

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 26.10.2019 07:00:49 (updated on 26.10.2019) Reading time: 2 minutes

The cubicles at Prague’s Náplavka have been finished and turned over to the people who will start operating them in November. The new spaces will help with overcrowding on the waterfront, as it will give people a places to go inside of, rather than all crowding on the pavement.

In total there are 20 renovated cubicles along the waterfront on the Rašínovo nábřeží on the New Town side of the Vltava river and Hořejší nábřeží on the Smíchov side. The cubicles are actually horseshoe-shaped prisms, originally designed for storage.

The most notable feature of the cubicles is the large lens-shaped windows, which let in natural light. The windows, made of a synthetic polymer, were custom made in Thailand, and are the largest of their kind in the world. The last of the windows was installed in the middle of August.

Finished cubicle at Náplavka. via Raymond Johnston

design for the new look of the Prague waterfront is architect Petr
Janda and the Brainwork studio.

The cubicles are now open in a provisional regime. “I have no doubt that after the completion of the occupancy permit process and the transition to regular operation, The new establishments will quickly find their visitors and Náplavka will become alive in the coming winter season,” City Councilor Jan Chabr (United Force for Prague), responsible for property, said. The lack of indoor spaces in the past has lead the waterfront to be underused in the cold months.

The cubicles will
soon become three galleries, three studios, two workshops, a branch
of the Municipal Library, and several cafes. Three new toilets will
be available free of charge.

New toilet at Náplavka. via Raymond Johnston

The Municipal
Library branch will be focused on doing it yourself (DIY) with books
on building and repairing, as well as some woodworking equipment and
a 3D printer. It is the first of kind in the Czech Republic.

Another cubicle will
be Repair cafe, which will have sewing machines and carpentry tools.
People will be able to make wooden toys, for example. There will also
be lessons.

Bajkazyl and the
Avoid Gallery used to occupy some of the spaces before the
renovation, and will now use the new locations. Bajkazyl is a bike
repair shop and cafe, and Avoid Gallery is an art space.

Curious onlookers at an open cubicle. via Raymond Johnston

Work on renovating
the cubicles began last year, though the entire project for
revitalizing the waterfront has taken a decade. It required four
different administrative procedures in two city districts. Aside from
the cubicles, new infrastructure was put in place, as well as new
benches and trash receptacles.

The revitalization of the Prague river banks is one of Prague’s largest investments in public space in recent times. Costs have been estimated at approximately 87 million CZK for each embankment. Work and preparations took 19 months. Construction and technical support was carried out from February to November 2018, and the construction work itself began in December last year.

At the same time, Náplavka has become so popular that noise restriction and limitations on the number of large events have been put in place to decrease the disturbance to people who live in the area.

Two finished cubicles. via Raymond Johnston

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