• Image: Zbravslav Masterplan
  • Image: Zbravslav Masterplan
  • Image: Zbravslav Masterplan

Zbravslav Masterplan

The regeneration of a small public space in front of a local library and theatre is the first phase of a wider regeneration masterplan in the Prague municipality of Zbraslav.

The master plan concept is based on an effort to eliminate the oppressive linear and monumental presence of the concrete wall. The space is divided into several transverse zones, which are landscaped individually so that pedestrian areas alternate with car parking zones. The location of public seating for meeting and relaxation relates to the important existing landmarks, such as the Municipal Hall and the Town Garden. Greenery and soft landscaping plays a significant role in moving the monumental wall to background and creating a second spatial plan.

The masterplan proposes a complex regeneration of a series of public spaces, which have been radically transformed after the completion of an adjacent anti-flood barrier. The atmosphere of a peaceful river promenade has long been lost after a major road construction along the river bank in the 1970´s, and a new anti-flood wall has further cut the town off from its river physically and spatially. Due to its construction process all trees and greenery from the area were removed without replacement and the site was left bear with partially and temporarily repaired surfaces.

In the heart of the project is a public piazza, a local social and cultural centre with the Municipal Library and Theatre. Both buildings were renovated after the great 2002 floods and they offer a variety of cultural activities and services for the general public. The regeneration project enhances this social space for meeting and relaxation. It provides previously non-existent step free access to these public buildings, making them accessible for all.

In other areas, the project has been innovative for the transparent public consultation process which began by public questionnaire that was delivered to the Zbraslav residents by post and collected to become part of the information package for the project brief. The work in progress proposals were then presented to the public in the way of a debate in the Theatre on site itself. Further comments and inspirations were incorporated into the final design.

Additionally, innovation came through an art in public realm strategy. Prague Zbraslav was a home to one of the collections of the National Gallery located in the Zbraslav Chateaux. Due to owner restitutions, the collection had to be moved away from the nearby Chateaux recently and the council saw an opportunity in preserving the tradition of publicly accessible high quality Czech art in Zbraslav. We employed a renowned art critic, journalist and theorist Karolina Jirkalova to research into the possibilities of applying art in public space.