mariánské náměstí prague

architectural competition

By revitalising the Mariánské náměstí (square), we understand first of all returning the long-lost genius loci to this place and upgrading its importance and dignity to the form of a ´new´ and a prominent central square of the city with the seat of the Mayor in its front. more

The current condition and use of the square are in absolute conflict with its relevance. Unfortunately, the ´square´ as it looks today, is not a public space, but just a traffic node and a parking lot or rather a car dumping ground in Nové Město hopelessly occupying the entire place. Therefore, to reintroduce the genius loci means to solve the problem of parking and traffic in its vicinity. Our design consists of an underground car park to be built in the north part of Mariánské náměstí in such a manner that it would pass by the foundation of the ancient Gothic church of the Virgin Mary Na Louži, the position of which we know from preserved plans. Our goal is to regulate traffic on the square to the maximum and channel cars to the underground car park. The design reckons with the entry into the underground car parking along the north front of Klementinum in Platnéřská where the existing lowered ground at the foot of the buildings can be used for an entry ramp. The exit way is designed next to the walkway along the north façade of the Nová Radnice/New Council Hall in Platnéřská. After the car parking is constructed, the square’s surface will be restored to its former softly sloping shape; old granite cubes and kerbs will be used to re-pave the area giving it a unified and grand-scale touch. The design leaves the large central area empty; entertainment, cultural, and social events can take place here. We situated a traditional gas-fuelled cast-iron street lamp on a granite plinth in the middle of the square that will charm every passer-by with its soft light. Public lighting is ensured by gas lanterns on the square’s perimeter. To make the square more visitor-friendly, we suggest benches fixed in the ground placed along the buildings. A lime tree will be planted in the ground in the corner in front of Trauttmannsdorf Palace on a circular pedestal with benches. The concept of the renovation of Clam-Gallas Palace plans to plant two grown-up plane trees behind the wall bearing the ´Terezka´ fountain that will frame this lovely place and make it cosier. A unique new element within the square’s structure is the mention of the existence of a Gothic Church of the Virgin Mary Na Louži that gave the beautiful name to this place – Mariánské náměstí (Marian Square). We propose that the by an archaeological survey verified outlines of the old church masonry are visualised and restored in the pavement. The image of its floor always visible after heavier rains will permanently remind of the old church. The flat paved area of the former church presbytery, separated by two steps from the opening of Husova, will smoothly enter the sloping square. Heavier rains will fill the floor of Church of the Virgin Mary Na Louži with rainwater a few centimetres high disappearing within minutes through outflows into the sewerage. These magical moments will show the reflecting floor of the ancient church Na Louži. Therefore, it will be a pleasure to look forward to more rain to see this apparition. For several fading moments, the water mirror on a stone pavement will remind people of the historical legacy of this old place.

  • addressMariánské náměstí
    Praha 1 - Staré Město
  • year2010
  • investorHlavní město Praha
  • design teamPetr Malinský, Gabriela Šatrová, MAC / Martin Stránský
  • collaborationfalse
  • photographs/visualizationsVizualizace: neoVISUAL
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