The current Prague’s main railway station is detached from the surrounding city. The terminal hall is invisible, the historic building inaccessible. Vrchlického sady park is neither a pleasant nor a representative place. The City of Prague, the Prague Transport Company and the Railway Company have therefore agreed on a joint approach to the transformation of the site. The new design of the entrance gate to the metropolis was sought in a procurement procedure with a competitive dialogue. Its aim was the revitalisation of Vrchlického sady, the incorporation of a new tram line and the reconstruction of the terminal hall. The Main Station should offer easy transfer while connected to the surrounding public space. The area needs to be prepared for a significant increase in passengers and meet all current requirements. The terminal hall should serve not only passengers transferring between modes of transport, but also Prague’s residents and visitors who will find new services there. The brief also asked for a proposal for the revitalisation of Vrchlického sady park, which could become a popular leisure destination for city residents. The park must be accessible, safe and long-term sustainable. The incorporation of the new tram line was also important. The tram route was defined in the brief in compliance with the current zoning plan. The competitors were tasked with working the tram into the public space, with links to the park and the terminal hall. The tram line should become a natural part of the site without creating unnecessary barriers. The aim was also to design the tram stop in front of the terminal hall.

As part of the brief, the teams received historical surveys of both the park and the hall, a dendrological and anthropological survey, an analysis of public participation, data on cycling and pedestrian crossings, and many others. The quality of the designs was assessed from three perspectives. Urbanistic and architectural, landscape and transport. Ultimately, these aspects are interlinked, have an undeniable influence on each other, and will lead to a comprehensive and quality proposal for the entire site. The competitive dialogue was announced in June 2022. A total of 26 multidisciplinary teams applied. Five teams advanced to the second phase and submitted their Design concepts. The evaluation committee then selected three teams to take part in the subsequent two phases. The winner was selected by the committee in October 2023 to be the Danish studio Henning Larsen.


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