Prague will turn unfinished Palmovka building into new space agency headquarters

The framework of Nová Palmovka complex, once meant to be a new town hall, has been abandoned for almost a decade.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 23.06.2023 14:30:00 (updated on 23.06.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The headquarters of the EU Space Program Agency (EUSPA) will move from its current location in Prague’s Holešovice district to a larger space in Palmovka.

The Czech state, Prague City Hall, and EUSPA agreed that the agency can move into the currently unfinished Nová Palmovka building in 2027. Prague announced yesterday it will launch a tender worth an estimated CZK 1.9 billion, excluding value-added tax (VAT), for the completion of the office building, which has stood unfinished for almost a decade near the Palmovka metro stop.

EUSPA, which including its predecessor European GNSS Agency has had its headquarters in Prague for 11 years, brings together – among other things – the operational management of EU space programs, including existing satellite and navigation projects such as Galileo, EGNOS, and Copernicus.

Currently, over 300 people work at the headquarters, but over the next decade that figure could rise to more than 1,000 people as Europe’s space program expands and the Prague center takes on new tasks.

The construction of the office building in Palmovka was approved in 2010 and construction started in 2014. It was originally intended to become the new headquarters of the Prague 8 District Town Hall, supplemented with a business center and offices. Prague 8 currently has its administration spread across 10 buildings in six locations. Many of the buildings are in dire need of renovation.

Visualization of the Nová Palmovka center from 2014. Photo: Prague 8
Visualization of the Nová Palmovka center from 2014. Photo: Prague 8

Construction stopped a year later due to a series of legal disputes ranging from nonpayment of fees to unclear ownership of the land. Work has not resumed since. The disputes were not resolved until 2021, when the site was taken over from the district town hall by the Prague City Hall.

City Hall originally planned to put a new headquarters for the rescue services in the building, but that idea was later abandoned and eventually an agreement was reached with the state and EUSPA. In order to relocate the agency, the building will have to be completed and adapted to its needs.

Based on the document approved by City Hall, Prague will award the related contract using the design and build method, which means that the selected company will take care of both the design documentation and the actual construction.

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