GARDEN IN THE CITY
Letenská pláň, Prague
The Garden in the city is an idealized landscape, a human construct of a fictional nature in an urban context. It allegorically describes our relationship with nature and the level of our intervention in the natural world, which is expressed in the way architectural space of a building , ensemble of buildings or a city transitions into the garden space. A garden is an important element of the civic realm and needs to be connected with and serve as a connector of urban events in the city.
The objective of this project is a master-plan proposal for Leteňská pláň in the city of Prague and the development of a proper civic site for the new building of the National Library of the Czech Republic.
This area is located in the close proximity to the center of Prague. The Old Town lies to the South of the site, connected across the river Vltava with the Bridge of Svatopluk Čech. To the west of the site one can walk to the complex of the Prague Castle, the Royal Gardens and the Belvedere of Queen Anna. The north side of the area is defined by an important motorway of Prague, Milada Horáková Street. The east side connects to the nineteen century neighborhoods Letná and Holešovice. Historically, this part of the city was never inside of the walls and grew extensively after the city walls came down in the 19th century. The area is to this date quite undeveloped considering the potential of the location.
Recently there has been a competition project chosen in this area for the building of the new National Library of the Czech Republic. The particular site chosen and the building proposed are not, in my opinion, appropriate for the level of civic importance of such building.
The ambition of this project is to develop a counter proposal not just for the building of the National Library but for developing an urban masterplan of the area, and finding a proper civic site that will meaningfully connect the library with the Old Town and the rest of the city. The proposal is that part of this area will be built up, creating a new neighborhood structure of mainly mixed-use private buildings and public buildings such as the library, theater and university buildings. A sequence of public gardens connects the major civic buildings with the Old Town to the South, the Prague Castle complex to the West and the rest of the neighborhoods to the east.
University of Notre Dame
instructed by Thomas Norman Rajkovich and David Mayernik
Prague, Czech Republic, 2008