Prague's Karlovo náměstí to undergo much-needed transformation

A German-Czech architectural studio will lead the project to revitalize the Prague 2 park and square by making it greener and adding amenities.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 23.02.2024 10:04:00 (updated on 23.02.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The historic Karlovo náměstí square in Prague 2 will receive a major facelift that developers say will bring it into the 21st century. The Rehwaldt Landscape Architects company, a German-Czech architectural studio, will lead the project and is expected to start work in 2026 or 2027. 

This highly anticipated project, which has been in discussion since 2019, aims to revitalize the square and restore its status as one of the leading public spaces in Prague. As one of the largest squares in Europe – with over 80,000 square meters – developers want to plant more trees, make the square greener, and improve the overall cleanliness and aesthetic of the region.

According to Štěpán Špoula of the Institute of Planning and Development (IPR), the majority of trees on the square at the moment are over 100 years old, in a poor state, and need to be removed. The reconstruction will also see the removal of the square’s public toilets.

The proposal to revitalize Charles Square includes a so-called urban frame that will serve as the interface between the square and the park. This proposal includes a row of trees, an extended perimeter walkway, and several benches. 

The project also promises a café, a pavilion for administrators, and a light installation inspired by the Gothic Corpus Christi Chapel. "The vast area should fulfill the role of both a square and a park," explains Adéla Chmelová from Rehwaldt Landscape Architects.

The project is not without its challenges, as it involves coordinating with various stakeholders, cooperating with over 60 park administrators, and addressing the concerns of local residents (in terms of potential noise disruption from prolonged construction works). Chmelová says that developers, in collaboration with the City of Prague, will manage traffic to minimize disruption and relocate public toilets to the café and pavilion for administrators.

IPR official Lucie Pára assures that a management plan is in the works to protect the square’s values and fully utilize its potential. 

King Charles IV founded the square in 1348 and it has remained largely unmodified since the 19th century when renowned garden architect František Thomayer transformed it into a public square.

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