Nov 29, 2023

IN DETAILS: How Danish Architects Will Transform Prague’s Main Railway Station

Danish architecture studio Henning Larsen, in collaboration with global engineering firm Ramboll, unveils its winning proposal to revitalize Prague Central Station.

The vision promises to reconnect the historic central station and terminal hall with Vrchlického Sady, and is set to stand as a welcoming gateway to Prague.

This transformative design will reshape the city’s urban fabric while championing sustainability, adaptive reuse, and timber construction.

The dominant feature of the design is the wooden roof structure, which connects ​​Vrchlické sady, the new check-in hall and the planned tram stop. At the same time, the studio divided Vrchlické sady into three parts: a cultural zone, a “station square” and a zone for additional activities.

Thanks to this, a suitable space will be created for events such as markets. The division will also significantly improve the clarity of the entire area. The proposal will also improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists, and brings ideas for the sustainable management of the entire area, such as efficient management of rainwater and a new approach to the park as an interpretation of the historical division.

The architects will strategically connect the station with the city’s planned bike network, offering easy bicycle access and parking facilities.

A Contemporary Rooftop Unites The Station

Central to the design is a large, open-roof timber canopy which will unite the park, station, and transport center. This canopy, lifting 13.8 meters above the terminal floor, replaces the existing steel girder and parking deck.

Finished with lightweight ETFE roof cladding, the structure enhances views of the park, the Fantova Building, and the surrounding skyline, while promoting pedestrian flow and safety.

The iconic design elements of the Hlavni Nadrazi terminal hall remain intact, reimagined and extended to accommodate increased capacity. Striped paved flooring and curved design elements pay homage to the original playfulness and unique modernist architecture of Hlavni Nadrazi.

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“The winning design responds to the need to modernise the departure hall of the main station and prepare it for the future,” said Jiří Svoboda, CEO of the Railway Administration.

“At the same time, it naturally connects it with the space of the park and the planned tram line directly in front of the building, while maintaining respect for the environment where the hall is located. What impressed me the most about the proposal is the comfortable connection with the Fanta’s building. I believe that in this way it will once again live up to its glory and once again become a used part of the main railway station complex in Prague.”

Henning Larsen Architects works with the Vrchlické sady and the arrivals hall as a whole and transfers some artistic elements from the hall to the park, such as by using the iconic pavement in the new “station square”.

The proposal also envisages the planting of new greenery that better adapts to future climate changes. The Vrchlické Sady renovation will also include clear directions to other city destinations, including the direction of Masaryk Station, which will also undergo modernization and will be the starting point for trains to Prague Airport.

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