The design of the Copenhagen studio Henning Larsen Architects, which succeeded in the international architectural competition announced by the Railway Administration (SŽ), Prague and the Prague transport company, assumes that the front part of the hall will disappear. In its place, a space covered with a wooden structure will be created. An online petition has already been created against the proposal.
“The Ministry of Culture has repeatedly declared that the new building of the main railway station in Prague is a cultural monument,” said Ministry of Culture spokeswoman Ivana Awwadová when asked by ČTK. As for the admissibility of the proposal for the transformation of the station presented on Monday, according to her, the ministry will comment on it only in case of future appeals. “Now it is not possible to anticipate possible opinions on this matter from the Ministry of Culture,” she said.
Historical protection is mainly carried out by the Art Nouveau Fant station building, the new check-in hall from the 1970s, however, according to the ministry, is not a separate building but an extension, so historical protection also applies to it.
The dominant element of the Henning Larsen Architects design is a large wooden structure that is supposed to arch over the new check-in hall towards Vrchlické Gardens. At the same time, a large part of the hall is to disappear, the part located under the highway is to be preserved. The new area in front of the station is to be connected to the level of the main road by a wide staircase, which will be connected by a new crossing over the busy road to the Fant building.
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The proposal drew criticism on social media after its publication, and an online petition against it was created, which has so far been supported by over 800 people. The petitioners demand the preservation of the hall, which was designed by architects Jan Bočan, Josef Danda, Alena Šrámková, Jan Šrámek and Julie Trnková and which, according to them, is an important representative of the architecture of the 70s and 80s. According to them, the roof structure will hide Fanta’s building, and the proposal also plans to cancel without compensation the parking lot on the roof of the building. “Prague deserves a gateway that complements its architectural heritage, not one that denies it,” the petitioners said.