Henning Larsen has just won a competition to redesign Prague Central Station, Nový Hlavák. The project aims to reconnect the historic central station and terminal hall with Vrchlického Sady Park, serving as a welcoming gateway to Prague. Shaping the city’s landscape, the initiative hopes to contribute to a more sustainable and livable Prague. The upcoming mobility hub marks a significant turning point in Prague’s urban growth, and it is anticipated to see a substantial increase in tourists due to the opening of a new tram line. The goal is to seamlessly combine three transit hubs into a single, welcoming location with improved pedestrian flow, highlighting the significance of low-emission transportation and promoting walking, bicycling, and public transportation use. In fact, the station will be incorporated into the city’s future bike network, contributing to the city’s carbon emission reduction initiatives. The renovated Nový Hlavák offers a vibrant area that welcomes guests to enjoy the station’s history and the park’s heritage of ancient trees. The project’s primary goal is to respect the architectural legacy of Prague’s central station and the surrounding area. Nový Hlavák aspires to honor the Hlavni Nadrazi station’s original distinctive modernist architecture while preserving and transforming its famous architectural aspects, expanding its overall capacity.
Upon arrival at Nový Hlavák from the city center, visitors encounter a colorful pavilion and park, acting as a doorway to the Fantova Building and creating a lively promenade. The key aspect of the design is a sizable timber canopy with an open roof that connects the park, central station, and community transport hub. This canopy will enhance views and pedestrian movement while accommodating a new tram stop and city transportation plan.
Nový Hlavák’s vision goes beyond the conventional idea of a station, aiming to create a place that becomes ingrained in people’s lives and evokes nostalgic feelings. Additionally, the hub provides an enhanced layout, clear signage, plenty of natural light, and visual linkages. The design prioritizes climate comfort and safety, considering user welfare, traffic control, and emergency situations.
In addition to the transportation hub, the revitalization of Vrchlického Sady Park includes establishing an activity and cultural zone and a central arrival plaza. The objective is to provide space for a range of uses, including Christmas markets, walking, and leisurely picnics, while still maintaining a smooth connection with the station. The scheme preserves the park’s historic identity by using native vegetation and preserving the existing trees while integrating stormwater management and mitigating the heat island effect.
Henning Larsen has recently revealed the design proposal for Bolzano’s Industrial zone, revitalizing and reconnecting parts of the city through adaptive reuse and timber construction. The proposed design will transform the post-industrial area into “Pone Roma Quartier.” Additionally, the studio unveiled the designs for a new timber structure in Lelystad, which is set to become Europe’s largest timber logistics center. Finally, Henning Larsen just opened the exhibition “Changing our Footprint” at the Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen, exploring new materials and methods for sustainable construction.