Architecture: green light for Zaha Hadid’s project in Prague

Construction of a new architectural complex near Masaryk Station has just begun in central Prague. It was designed by Zaha Hadid, an internationally renowned architect who passed away in 2016.


The business newspaper HN states that a total of 328 administrative stamps were required. Construction of the office buildings began this week by the Penta Group, which had chosen the project after a call for tenders.


“After the underground consolidation work and after the archaeological excavation, we are starting the foundations of the two buildings designed by Zaha Hadid. This is not a usual construction that might only take 18 months, this is a project that will take more than two years to complete. The buildings have a complicated structure, whose shape and cladding are also complex,” Petr Palička, who heads the real estate department of the Penta Group, told CTK.


The group will spend about 2.5 billion crowns, or about 100 million euros, not including 200 million crowns spent on renovating the beautiful Masaryk station, built just over 175 years ago.


The project also includes the transformation of Na Florenci Street. “It will be widened and instead of the parking lot there will be a small square in front of the station with subway stations, new street furniture and green areas for relaxation. The concrete form will be refined with the urbanistic solutions of the perimeter from the station to the fast voice road (magistrál) designed by Zaha Hadid in her project,” added Petr Palička.


In addition to all this, the Penta Group plans to begin construction in the area of a hotel on the corner of Hybernská and Opletalova streets in April.


For the renovation of the industrial wasteland around Masaryk Station, Penta plans to spend an additional 10 billion crowns after consultation with the two districts concerned, Prague 1 and Prague 8, among others – and then an international call for projects – in an area that also includes the current location of the Manifesto open market.


The redevelopment of this long neglected part of the Czech capital is not to everyone’s taste. Some of the municipal opposition and the defenders of architectural heritage have already raised objections in the past.


The city council agreed with Penta that the second part of the project would include at least 40% housing.


The Czech-Slovak investment group Penta is controlled by Czech billionaire Marek Dospiva and Slovak billionaire Jaroslav Haščák. The latter was recently forced to resign from any executive position after being arrested by the Slovak police on suspicion of corruption.

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