Renovation of Wenceslas Square’s lower part to be completed by the end of 2021

Fifteen years after the plan was approved, work will start on Wenceslas Square in Prague

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 18.11.2019 07:00:08 (updated on 18.11.2019) Reading time: 4 minutes

The revitalization of the lower part of Prague’s Wenceslas Square will begin next spring, and Prague City Hall has selected winner of the public contract for the work. The upper part, near the National Museum, will be done separately.

Hochtief CZ won the tender with a bid price of approximately 270
million CZK without VAT. The winning bidder was approved by the City

City Hall said that
Praguers can look forward to a brand new and modern public space,
which will include, in addition to a venue for cultural events, new
alleys and sidewalks. Part of the revitalization will be, among other
things, construction readiness for possible future location of the
tram line. Work in the lower part of Wenceslas Square should be
completed by the end of 2021.

The long-planned
renovation of the lower part of Wenceslas Square is intended to
resolve the “partially unsatisfactory condition” of this key area
of the capital. The concept of modifications is based on an
architectural competition that took place in 2005. The aim is to
carry out a comprehensive renovation that will meet the
urban-architectural requirements, including the new location of

“I am glad that we
fulfill another important promise given to voters, namely the
revitalization of Wenceslas Square. Finally, ‘Václavák’ will
begin to serve his original function, as a square without unnecessary
barriers and open more to people,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib
(Pirates) said in a press release.

wenceslas square
New design for the top of Wenceslas Square. via IPR Praha

The central lane of
the square is primarily designed as a free space that can be used for
temporary seasonal events. The work will also include infrastructure
preparations on the square for possible future implementation of a
tram route. On both sides of the square there will be expanded
sidewalks with double alleys, which will be supplemented with
drainage elements.

“With the
decision, we have significantly moved the implementation of the
revitalization of the lower part of Wenceslas Square. The aim of the
revitalization is to create a modern square in the center of the
metropolis, which can offer visitors an attractive pleasant
environment in which all necessary urban functions meet in a balanced
proportion. Given the size and complexity of this space, construction
work is planned in two stages — the first stage with the lower part
of Wenceslas Square will begin in the spring of next year,” Prague
Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček (United Force for Prague) said.

Prague received
building permit to renovate the lower part of Wenceslas Square at the
end of January 2018, following a zoning permit in September 2017.

Renovations will
touch the area bordered by Na Příkopě and 28. října Streets on
one side and Vodičková and Jindřišská Streets on the other.

The renovation plan
includes water sprinklers, more trees and recharging stations for
electric vehicles. The area will get a new look with wider sidewalks
to be more inviting to the public.

Pedestrian space
will expand considerably, with a loss of dozens of parking spaces,
leaving only space for sixteen cars. Asphalt will be replaced by
granite pavement and another row of trees.

wenceslas square
Visualization of Wenceslas Square. via IPR Praha

The greenery will be
irrigated by an automatic system, and six spots will be created for
market stalls. The plan calls for underground containers and
recharging stations for electric cars. There will also be a place for
a Christmas tree.

The original
proposal from 2005 to transform Wenceslas Square was created in
collaboration with the Cigler Marani Architects studio (now Jakub
Cigler Architekti) and the DUA Atelier. The idea was firstr raised in
the 1990s. Since 2005, there have been a series of delays. In part,
the Prague 1 district and the City could not reach an agreement in
the past. The new administrations have been more cooperative.

A revised version of the plan was approved by the City Council in October. “It is a priority for us to refurbish Wenceslas Square as a project on paper. The bottom part of the square will begin to change as early as next spring. We have set ourselves to transform Prague’s major squares for the better. After Malostranské, Karlovo, Vítězné and Mariánské [náměstí], now it’s Wenceslas Square’s turn,” Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček (United Force for Prague) said at the time.

Work on the upper part could begin in 2022, and will include new tram tracks.

Wenceslas Square,
called Václavské náměstí in Czech, dates back to the mid-1300s,
and historically was a horse market. It has been the scene of many
historic moments such as the reading out of a document declaring
independence in 1918, the main site of the Soviet invasion in 1968
and the famous ringing of keys in 1989 as part of the Velvet

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