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portfolio 555AT1 studio henry hanson interstices: the victory funnel kit hui teo 489913

special thanks to: Dipl. arch. Henry William Andrew Hanson IV Ing. arch. Lukáš Vacek, Ph.D.


site dormitory / hostel site metro bus stops

nů ,t yz á pa



Svatovítská, towards M. Horákové: This road goes towards the Dejvický tunnel, the Hradčany region. The road passes through mostly residential buildings, but some institutions as well. M. Horákové is part of the Městský Okruh expressway. There are two tram stops (Vítězné náměstí) within the road, and the Kafkova bus stop.







Jugoslávských partyzánů, to Podbabská: This road is adjacent to the university and mixed-use / residential buildings. There are two tram stops and two bus stops (Lotyšská) within the road. The road goes to the Podbaba region. Evropská, to Letiště: This road passes through the Dejvice region, through the Veleslavín region to the airport. The Victory Square is a seeming terminal for this road. There is a temporary bus stop along this road, next to the metro exit. This road is adjacent to office complexes, student dormitories and the university. There are two tram stops (Thákurova) and two metro stops within the road.








Československé armády: This road goes in the direction of the dense residential cluster of the site region. The road branches off upon reaching the heart of the residential complexes. There are 2 bus stops (Radnice) near the end of the road. There is a small space next to a cafe between Československé armády and Svatovítská (facing the Victory Square) that has plenty of urban activity. A great number of shops and the post office are near the start of this road (from Victory Square).





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ar ds M


or ák ov


Vítězné náměstí







The site is adjacent to Vítězné náměstí (Victory Square). There are four main roads going in and out of the square.




ro p

Po db


sk á

tram stops

1:4000 satellite map



site with bigger prague and expressways

site with bigger prague


preamble - general context

The site is surrounded by open green space, which is rare in the midst of surrounding infrastructure. The gravel road that is seemingly an informal extension of the university road, is used as a farmer’s market on Saturdays, but otherwise vacated.

commuters: primary metro view 1

pedestrians: boulevard view - Technická

vehicular: Lotyšská tram station

all: primary metro view 2, Evropská road

all: road view - Vítězné náměstí

vehicular: Jugoslávských partyzánů road

Traces of shortcuts pass through the green space to the metro, bus stops, and the informal parking space within the area. Despite its availability, there is little or no use of the green as a leisure zone, except when the space is used for events. Due to several bus stops, an informal car park, the university and the metro being in close vicinity, congestion that extends through the roads of Victory Square (Vítězné náměstí) is worsened. Given the context of traffic that extends beyond the Victory Square alone, an intervention on the interstice aims to serve as a form of urban acupuncture, revitalising the surrounding context by focusing on a relatively smaller site.


• Some of them only operate on Saturday, since they have their own shops • Some of them have multiple farmer’s market locations, throughout Prague, at different times of day • Another known day of farmers market is Thursday.

farmer’s market - general context

open air concept only in good weather

informal stall set-up, informal boundaries

only informal infrastructure

make-shift tents relied on for shelter

surroundings unused in bad weather

lack of designated parking for farmers, etc

• One of the surveyors commented that it would be beneficial for the market to be on two days a week so that some individuals are able to enjoy it as well. • Some of the stalls are just chefs, jam makers, wood crafts people, etc. Not all of them are farmers. • People will utilize the empty field in good weather, but a big number of them use picnic mats. • The field is otherwise vacated during bad weather, with only makeshift shelters facilitating the public space • There is still visible trash lying around on Sunday and Monday.


macro studies - static vs non static

During the construction boom of the early 20th century, Antonín Engel developed the development plan of Dejvice (1921-1924) as a brand new neighborhood. This came during the emergence of independent Czechoslovakia, which needed buildings for its central institution. They were to be placed mainly on the Letná plain and in the area of Dejvice. Its main principle was for directionality based on the Victory Square, a monumental Horseshoe space with public institution buildings and apartment buildings. (above, right) As construction fell behind, the central building of CTU and thus the cornerstone of Engel’s plan was never created. The only realization of his plan was the semicircular part the square becoming the seat of the General Staff. On the contrary, in the “rectangular” part, all proposed apartment buildings the houses were built. The completion of the square was halted by the lack of finance and the second world the war, and apparently a change in aesthetic standards and functional requirements after its end.

In 1957, František Cermák and Gustav Paul won the University project. (left) Only their plan for buildings on the right side of Technická Street was implemented. The construction of the faculties of civil engineering and architecture was completed in 1964–1970, but did not fulfill the role of visual dominant at the end of the university class, as Engel intended. Urban transport competitions were held in the 1990s, with principles of regulations for the square published in 1999. (above) The concept of Pata and Frýdecký is partly based on the outlines of the buildings, as proposed by Antonín Engel, however, instead of block buildings with large yards, they promote monoblocks in the northwest segment. Although the “regulation principles” set the height and space limits, maximum build-up and greenery coefficients, they only refer to the master plan. The proportion between individual functions is not clearly defined, as compared to Engel’s plan, which predetermined the whole space for use by universities.


macro studies - static vs non static

The predominant building form has been outlined, but not all of it constructed.

The primary functions of the space have been established. (school, residential, etc)

Construction has been supplemented, but the original plans for the space have been seemingly neglected for the site.

1920 - 1924




macro studies - static vs non static

2 floors 3 4 5 6 7-8 9 - 12 13 & above

6m and below 6.1 - 9m 9.1 - 12m 12.1 - 16m 16.1 - 21m 21.1 - 26m 26.1 - 40m 40m and above floor height and roof lines


micro studies - static vs non static



3 6 4


traffic: weekday congestion patterns

There is predominant congestion along the roads Evropská and Jugoslávských partyzánů. This is due to the Lotyšská tram station, the Dejvická metro station, and multi bus stops/terminals (16) along the Šolínova road, and the Vítězné náměstí road. This is due to the weekday traffic consisting of students and staff of the university, as well as office workers commuting to work. Heavy human traffic and vehicular parking have resulted in jams due to the existence of formal and informal pedestrian crossings. This is not just observed around the site, but also particular to Československé armády, due to the density of urban activity there clashing with the pedestrian crossings, tram and bus stops of Vítězné náměstí.

very heavy congestion

heavy congestion

traffic: weekend congestion patterns

Weekend traffic is relatively more forgiving, except for Saturday morning and afternoons due to the farmers’ market and the parking space utility clashing with heavy human traffic. As a result, congestion forms at the periphery of the Šolínova road, where farmers are accessing their parked vehicles from the Technická boulevard. With the influx and exit of parked vehicles, along with heavy pedestrian activity from the Dejvice residents, the other road with congestion is Jugoslávských partyzánů. The traffic is otherwise moderately smooth on Sundays.

moderate congestion

mild congestion


micro studies - static vs non static

sun path

trees /

With the average floor number of buildings being within 4-6 floors, the building shadows are not largely influential on the comfort of passing users.

Most of the trees around the site simply surround the periphery. They obstruct a large proportion of visibility into the main space for the average pedestrian / commuter / driver. Many of the trees on the Technicka street are relatively more functional, serving as shade for the benches within the boulevard

The sun path is only partially overhead even during June. However, as most of the field does not have a sufficient distribution of vegetation, changes in the sun will be felt by users on a clear day. The predominant wind direction of Prague is South/West. This will be felt by users in the centre of the field due to the scale of the space.

june solstice

december solstice



annual variation


micro studies - static vs non static

equinox: merged shadows

june solstice: merged shadows

The buildings in the periphery of the site provide sufficient shade through different key periods of the year. Relative to the shade provided by the trees on the site, and in consideration of the site scale, it is evident that the site is not catered for usage.


macro studies - usage

terminal stop starting stop normal stop temporary stop

A significant density of bus terminals and starting stops are found within the periphery of the site. relevant bus stops


macro studies - usage

Dejvická > Nádraží Podbaba (107, 116, 147, 160, 355) Nádraží Podbaba > Dejvická (340, 350) Dejvická > Vítězné náměstí (143, 149, 180) Dejvická > Radnice Praha (108) Terminal return Out of city bus

There is significant traffic flow around the Victory Square, given the density of the bus routes that pass by the roundabout. bus routes


micro studies - usage

human footprint: weekday morning




On weekday mornings, most of the traffic passing by consists of staff or students from the university. The predominant directionality is towards the Technicka street from the metro exits (1), (2). Occassional dogwalkers are seen making their way to the centre of the field (3), (4). This is largely dependent on the current weather and field conditions. Some commuters pause to have their breakfast or smoke outside of the metro, where there is a food stall set up (5). Part of the traffic also consists of office workers taking the bus from the bus stops nearby the metro exit (2).

2 5

human footprint: weekday afternoon


There is more afternoon traffic due to the lunch hour and lessons ending. The predominant directionality goes both to and from the metro and university.


There is additional traffic from the dormitory and residences towards the metro exit (6). Smokers are seen entering the field to smoke (3), (4) before going back to class, lunch, or going to the metro. 8

Some are seen smoking or relaxing around the temporary infrastructure in the middle of the road (7). Larger crowds going to the bus stop result in more congestion due to vehicles pausing (8).

human footprint: weekday evening Most of the traffic are now staff and students from the university again. This time the predominant directionality is towards the metro. Apart from an occasional smoker or dogwalker, there is otherwise little to no pausing of the traffic around the area.





micro studies - usage 13 10

human footprint: weekend morning 14

With the farmers market on Saturday, predominant activity revolves around the central space of the site (9), (10). 11



Some traces spill over to the fields. This is due to the temporary tents set up (11), (12). This is also due to the farmers’ vehicles being parked in the vicinity, either on the Technicka boulevard direction (13) or the car parking space (14). The human traces on the fields are largely dependent on the weather. Given good weather, people would sit on the grass with picnic mats. In bad weather, most individuals take temporary refuge in the makeshift tents and shelters, or leave upon buying their groceries.

human footprint: weekend afternoon 15 16

In the afternoon, the area is bustling. Students and residents alike are browsing through the market stalls and chatting. As the farmers’ market closes around 2pm, some stall owners are beginning to pack up. This is due to some of them having multiple market jobs at different locations in a day. The traffic to and fro creates some congestion along the roads. The majority of people enjoying the farmer’s market are seen on the grass during good weather due to insufficient spaces within the makeshift tents. Traces are seen originating from the shade of trees (15), (16).

human footprint: weekend evening In the evening, when all the stalls are gone, what is left is the propped up tents from Friday afternoon. Trash is seen lying around, and birds are feeding on leftovers. The empty traffic is a similar situation to Sunday morning, afternoon and evening. There is little purpose for people to pass by the space, except for some dogwalkers. The exception being some going to the university library on the weekend. Along the Technicka boulevard, some students are seen relaxing under the shade. Students and residents are also seen using the wide open space outside of the university library for relaxation.





macro studies - perception

population data There is a substantial proportion of residents in the apartments opposite of the university. However, it is key to note that the population data for the university region may not be relevant as the area receives a large influx of both staff and students. 0 - 20 20 -50 50 - 200 200 - 500 500 - 1,000 1,000 - 2,000 2,000 - 5,000 5,000 - 20,000 20,000 - 50,000

land ownership The site is mainly a state controlled entity, together with the university. The Czech Republic & state controlled entities Hl.m. Prague City districts of Prague Regions of the CR outside Prague Municipalities of the Czech Republic Prague Remaining domestic legal entities Domestic natural persons Identified and classified foreign entities Subjects not included in other groups Sharing of two or more entities of different groups CN entity not identified Graphically unidentified proportions of groups

inventory lacking in infrastructure theatre, budget pubs, sheltered pathways, convenient commuting, better wayfinding known use dogwalkers, sports, events, convenient spot lacking urban furniture envisioned use buildings, shops, events space, farmers’ market / less open relaxation spaces improvements more trees, more visually interesting, more seats, more sheltered paths problems cleanliness, underutilised, barren / dense traffic known routines commuting, school, work / leisure, walks, relaxation farmers’ market mostly positive

micro studies - perception What infrastructure do you think Dejvice is lacking in? • Summer theatre • Better and clearer wayfinding • NIL • NIL

• • • •

NIL Better bus stops at the square, bigger ‘poor students’ pub No idea Sheltered proper pathways

Do locals or students use green spaces in Dejvická? Why or why not? • Yes, dogwalkers. No, benches • Chilling and relaxation • Underutilised. Lack of green space for sports • Sort of, unsure

• • • •

Yes, chilling spaces They do. Farmers market, other events, occasional sports Yes, good place to hang out and chill between lessons Students use it for orientation activities

• • • •

Chilling space As it is More structured places to take a break at To not be an empty space on most days

How can this space better serve the people using it / walking past it? • More trees for chilling • People are already utilising this space • Make it visually interesting • NIL

• • • •

NIL NIL Seating areas Sheltered pathways

What are problems with this space? • People don’t clean after their dogs • Homeless people and trash • Underutilized, people just pass by • Probably none

• • • •

No Dense traffic in rush hours Too barren Not sure

How do you want this space to be used? • Buildings, shops • Events space • More private chilling space, not directly near public line of sight • Farmer’s market, as I go there on weekends with friends

What routines do people in the Dejvice region usually have? • Walking to school or job or home • Work, study, public transport • Work or school • Playing guitar, chilling, drinking beer

Do you like/visit the farmer’s market on Saturdays? • Yes (5) • Don’t know, don’t care • Yes, definitely • Do not visit but it is a good idea

• Waiting for bus • Daily walks with their dogs/children around school and its green areas • Unsure • NIL

inventory increase in population

additional information

Over the first three quarters of 2018, the population of the Czech Republic has increased by 27.7 thousand people, according to new data published today by the Czech Statistical Office. The vast majority of that increase in population – 26.1 thousand people – is credited to net migration into the country. 43.1 thousand people immigrated into the Czech Republic over the first nine months of 2018 while 17 thousand left the country, resulting in a net migration gain of 26.1 thousand. As of September 30, the Czech population stood at an estimated 10,637,800 people, which represents a .2% increase in total population over the official numbers from the beginning of the year.

rising prices According to a recent KPMG study, last year the number of building permits granted in Prague was the lowest in comparison with neighboring countries. About five times more building permits were granted in Munich, Hamburg and Budapest than in Prague. In Vienna and Warsaw, even seven times more permits were issued. According to available data, more than ten thousand apartments are permitted in the Austrian metropolis. It was the shortage of flats together with high demand that was the driving force behind the rise in flat prices. According to Trigema statistics, the average price of new apartments in Prague grew by 23 percent year-on-year at the end of the first quarter. On average, a square meter of a new building in Prague costs about CZK 88,000. According to developers’ estimates, apartment prices will rise by the end of the year. Sales prices could thus climb up to more than CZK 100,000 per square meter this year. In addition, prices are rising in the metropolis and older apartments. While last summer an older apartment in Prague was sold for an average of CZK 75,440 per square meter, this year it was almost ten percent more. Currently, such a square meter of an older apartment will cost an average of 82 860 crowns. “The increase in prices of new buildings is faster than in older apartments. One of the reasons is the fact that new flats in the market are more than a third less than older ones. In Prague, however, there is a shortage of both old and new flats, which is also reflected in their prices,”explains Marcel Soural.

statistics According to the strategic plan, approximately 6,000 apartments need to be completed annually in Prague, and since 2010, according to Central Group estimates, approximately 3,500 apartments per year have been completed in the metropolis. For the first quarter of this year, developers sold a total of 1,200 apartments with a zoning permit issued, which is according to their statistics at least for the last six years. Year-on-year, the number of apartments sold fell by about 11 percent. In the second quarter it was 1,550 flats, according to the analysis of Trigema, Skanska Reality and Central Group. This year, according to current data, more flats in the metropolis should be added than the long-term average. “We believe that Prague’s total sales will be around 5,000 new flats this year,” said Central Group head Dusan Kunovsky. Still, according to him, this means that the housing deficit in the metropolis is growing and has grown to 20,000 apartments in the last eight years. The highest number of apartments sold was in Prague 9, Prague 10 and Prague 5. The number of available apartments in the developers’ offer increased by about one fifth year on year to a total of 4,330 apartments. In the middle of 2015, developers still had approximately 7,000 flats in stock.

construction lag There are several causes of the plight, but one of the common denominators is the lengthyness of the entire construction process, whether it is the preparatory phase or the construction process itself. This sluggishness is often caused mainly by the activities of associations, local residents or local politicians, which can be summarized in the motto “more green, less concrete”. Various civil movements have been able to block projects for years without the developer being able to agree on a consensus with them. To this must be added the political environment, where on the one hand the intentions of the municipality come, which are often in conflict with the intentions of individual districts. The absence of an up-to-date metropolitan plan is another reason for which, for example, some brownfield sites have been blocked by a construction closure for many years, which are an ideal place for housing construction.

no political responsibility However, it should be pointed out that the whole issue has a political level and the plan itself is certainly not self-saving. Politicians are partly hiding in the absence of a plan to defend their own inactivity, not to mention that the plan is a municipal matter, and individual neighborhoods often try to defend “their own sand”. In combination with slow approval processes and their (un) fluency resulting from current legislation or the Building Act, and the activities of various associations or associations, the whole construction process is slow. And nobody is basically responsible for the current state of affairs, because before any project is built or decided not to build it, the town hall political set will change. The combination of the factors described above de facto “stopped” not only the housing development of the metropolis. According to a recent study by the Association for Architecture and Development, Prague may lack up to 50,000 flats in 2030.

inventory political factor

additional information

Another fact, which has been partially mentioned above, is related to the length of the design processes. The fact that the length of the construction or the whole process stretches over several election cycles. On the one hand, candidates for the elections can come up with a campaign to build apartments and do everything in their power to attract a certain proportion of voters. (Which is one of the common pre-election goals of almost every group in this year’s municipal elections and not only in Prague.) And it is possible that for some time they are trying to actively solve the problem with flats or other projects. But as soon as they are elected, the fear of building responsibility begins to grow. This is further compounded by concerns about judicial dragging over any decision by opponents of construction projects. Politicians can then start to tread too carefully, which of course adds to the length of the processes, and it often happens that he is often not in the power or capacity of the politician to bring something to an end. Four years then run like water and the new set again can turn the matter 180 degrees.

length of process Experts agree that the entire authorization process takes a long time and is unnecessarily complicated. “We only need more than 70 stamps for planning permission. It should be noted that this is followed by a building permit procedure. The level of overall bureaucratization of approval is enormous, ”says Marcel Soural, Trigema’s chief executive officer. According to developers, it takes an average of ten years to get a building permit for an apartment building, which is due to complicated rules. “It is necessary to fundamentally reduce the number of affected authorities, simplify the necessary documentation, set strict deadlines for decision-making by the authorities and in the long term a modern building law and a general recodification of building law must be adopted,” explains Fialková from Central Group.

what developers are calling for

building law against buildings

- Ensure compliance with legal deadlines in landuse, building and EIA procedures. - Ensure compliance with legal deadlines in appeal procedures. - Strengthen the building authorities in terms of personnel and intensify the training of their employees in order to achieve a consistent interpretation of legal standards. - Support of comprehensive recodification of construction law. - Promote the concept: one office - one permit - one-stage appeal. - Accelerate the process of delivering the opinions of local authorities, DOSS and relevant technical infrastructure managers. - Accelerate administrative processes in the preparation and approval of land-use planning documents and their changes. - To limit the required detail of the dossier being discussed and to exclude requirements which allow for different interpretations. - To limit the appellate body’s examination only to the subject-matter of the appeal and to lift the obligation to review the authorization in the extra-appeal procedure if the appeal itself is inadmissible. - Exclude the possibility for a single body to appeal repeatedly in successive proceedings for the same reasons, if such an appeal has already been rejected in the previous proceedings. - Introduce fines against bullying appeals (judged by the competent court).

Experts see the genesis of complexity in the Building Act, which was adopted in 2002. It enabled the public and various, sometimes special-purpose associations, to enter and block construction proceedings. “An ad hoc association based on the other side of the republic could also comment on the building plan, the sole aim of which was to blackmail the builder. Probably the best known case is blocking the D8 motorway, ”says Evžen Korec, CEO of Ekospol. Only the recent amendment to the Building Act has significantly reduced the ability of associations to intervene in building proceedings. However, builders agree that the Building Act deserves to advance “into the 21st century”. “We have the most complex authorization process for new buildings in the European Union. The Building Act must be fundamentally changed in order to significantly speed up new construction. Among other things, it must introduce binding deadlines for the comments of the authorities concerned, ”Korec lists only some of the changes.

self government vs goverment And developers are calling for the separation of building authorities from local authorities. They are formally separate, but in practice they are still subject to local politicians. “They often reside in the same building and the mayor through the secretary has a direct influence on the level of remuneration of construction officials,” says Korec. According to him, and Soural, it is clear that in some city districts in Prague after the last municipal elections, local activists came to the lead with a single program: the fight against “evil developers”. “In such conditions, it is virtually impossible to build anything. On the contrary, there are enlightened town halls that realize that Prague needs natural growth and development. Otherwise, it will stagnate, ”adds the head of Ekospol. According to them, it is no secret that the zoning permit or building permit was not passable in some city districts without an “agreement” with the mayor. And the heads of building authorities go with mayors to talk to investors normally even today. Not only because of this, but also because of the acceleration of the approval process, builders are calling for the creation of one independent municipal authority instead of the current twenty-two. They say they do not make the same decision today, and often suffer from a lack of experts. “It is necessary to strengthen and intensify the education of construction office workers in order to achieve a uniform interpretation of legal standards,” adds Tomáš Kadeřábek, head of the developer association.


SWOT what can be changed?


site: existing habits

site: demand for events

• the existing human traffic that passes by the site serves as a form of audience for any intervention done on-site.

• as the existing space has an informal program of an event space, this can be integrated into the intervention

context: influx

context: existing demographic

• the metro and bus stops surrounding the site provides an avenue for the needs of the people, and potential addition to the demands of the space

• the current demographic occupancy of the site can serve to alter the way the space will be used and perceived, due to the density and influence of existing traffic flows. there the university, residences, offices and international schools in the area

site: existing lack of visibility

site: current underutility

• as the site is mostly obstructed from various viewpoints, the intervention can open up the space to more users than it did previously

• the lack of use for the site provides ample opportunity for new programs and uses apart from the ones it aims to substitute


context: existing habits • the existing human traffic may or may not be changed by the intervention, since it is mostly a transitory space

site: lack of demand • as there are other program spaces in the vicinity that already serves the needs of residents, students, and staff, the site might not receive the demand it aims to have.

context: lack of parking • As in Vinohrady, the lack of space for parking causes headaches, particularly in the tenement streets of Bubeneč or around Vítězné náměstí. However, if you manage to find a property in Hanspaulka or elsewhere around Evropská, a garage is more likely.

context: limited grocery shopping • Kaufland, located just off Jugoslavských partyzánů, offers the largest choice. Otherwise, you’ll find a cramped Albert supermarket just off Vítězné náměstí. A handful of smaller shops survive in Dejvice; Šestka mall can be reached by bus.

site: existing purpose/program • any disruption to the informal uses of the space might potentially be counterproductive to the needs of its present and future users

context: demographic skews • Several young professionals felt the area was popular with families or senior citizens but had far less to offer the age groups in between. For example, several new shops opening in the area catered to older people, e.g. new clothes shops aimed at pensioners, but no new stores for a younger age profile.

site: pollution and noise • Poor air quality and noise pollution due to traffic are an issue (throughfares of Evropská, Svatovítská, or Jugoslavských Partyzánů). The problem is balanced to some extent by the quieter streets north and south of Evropská.

Upon analysis of the strengths and weaknesses, it seems that the key areas of change lie in the human activity and existing (lack of) infrastructure. Given the suggestions for improvements from long-term residents and locals, it seems that the change required might not be dramatic. However, with factors such as a lack of funding and a high density of paperwork, new apartments and supporting infrastructure (schools, etc) are hard to come by in the city. With a definite influx of new residents, demands may not be met.


SWOT what cannot be changed?


context: existing infrastructure • the premises of transport, education, residential, commercial, can allow for the identification of what the region is lacking in

context: global

history: plans • the original plans for the directionality of a building axis ending at the location of the site provides the opportunity of construction following Engel’s visions

context: pub culture

• Prague 6 has a large English-speaking (and international) community. Families with school-age kids make up a high percentage of the Anglophone community; adjoining Nebušice is home to a large American population

• room for addition to existing identity of the area - Na Urale pub and Dei-Witze on Puškinovo náměstí, are local favorites. A few blocks away, near Stromovka Park, local institution Na Slamníku has been refurbished, but its traditional atmosphere lives on.

Given the analysis, it is also key to note that existing infrastructure may be considered sufficient for locals, or users of the region. The question is whether an increase in urban density is considered a good or bad thing. Dejvice is an existing urban centre after all. It is also key to note that although there are spaces and infrastructure catering to specific demographics, they are not fully mutually inclusive. This can be analysed in terms of the reasons for going to a space. For example, students and families use green spaces that are along their commute, and of convenience. When one has a purpose for going to a space, what is mostly left is to secure their selection of choices. Should the existing informal role of the space then be maintained, to ease congestion, facilitate traffic and bring the people together? Or should it consider the bigger political, social and economic context of the region and of bigger Prague, and aim to fully maximise the building utility of the site? Establishing more infrastructure could lead to more demand and result in addition strain on the crossroads of the Victory Square. With the density of building heights in the vicnity, it is to be expected that the site might receive a dense building proposal in the future. Building something of density now might simply serve to create more congestion, since the planning of the transport exits and pedestrian crossings will be more heavily utilised.


context: land ownership • the stakeholders in the ownership of the land and its surroundings, as well as the existing users of parking spaces and transport in the vicinity

context: weather • the site is exposed to most weather conditions due to its scale, openness and relative lack of height as compared to its surroundings.

site: existing transport and traffic conditions, congestion • the existing transport situation cannot be wholly redone, due to the complexities of its connections to the rest of the city. this may obstruct the future of the intervention, and its surroundings

context: skyrocketing housing prices • In 2017, prices for a 3 room apartment could fetch up to 10,000,000 CZK, 4 room apartment 15,000,000 CZK. For renting, larger properties are common among tenements in Dejvice: you could easily pay around CZK 30,000 for a 3+1 or CZK 40,000 for a 4+1 property.

site: scale • the scale of the site begs the question if efficiency of spatial usage has to be extended to the entirety of the surroundings, or if the fulfilment of the intervention’s purpose is sufficient

Given the opportunities and threats presented, the scope of analysis is mostly confined to the site and its surrounding context. Research into the bigger picture opens the window to the understanding of problems not visible to the average visitor. We realise that the problems that accompany growing urban cities will be prevalent in different areas in the world. Rising demands for housing, congestion, higher prices, shortage of supply, etc. The same issues simply vary based on the scale of the population and the accompanying environment. A balance between accepting the problems of the city, the problems that might accompany construction, and the opportunities present should be made, with minimal interference with the complexity of the Victory Square.


Vision statement: Planar coexistence different layers of an axis creating a full picture on the same plane



1. Create efficient access & commute Strategic relocation of metro exits to reduce the pedestrian crossings, thereby cutting congestion from paused vehicles.

addressing needs

2. Establish a formal events space Removing the landscape around the periphery of the site, making the landscape (presumably) central with the events 3. To connect passers and users Provision of needs to each demographic. Relaxation spaces, dogwalking, residential utility, transit efficiency. This would likely be designing around the traces of the site, possibly the construction of some shops in anticipating future demands.


4. Not to contribute to transport conflicts/ infrastructural loading To anticipate the demand of existing and future use, e.g. housing demands, expensive housing, limited typologies. Intervention aims to provide affordable co living-working spaces: to establish new studio apartments for middle and working class individuals that can be linked to work spaces / establishing a culture of home offices.

anticipating needs


1. Create efficient access & commute

Analysing existing directionality for metro and bus stops, and their pedestrian crossings

Thakurova has two metro exits at a traffic stop. Hence, this is the simplified directionality.

The subsequent relocation of metro and bus stops will centralise the access within the site.

The site will be subsequently modified to reduce pedestrian crossings.

Will the new intervention create a different way of access? What is the cost of relocation? What is the existing road capacity? Will there be other road entries, such as for a relocated carpark, within this road?










2. Establish a formal events space

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rage frequenc y)

events (low


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ts Temporary even d, an m de h ig (h low frequency)

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The scale of site and the privacy from directionality provides this derivation of event location. Should it be a central space, or multiple spaces? What kind of event space can it be? How private or public are these spaces? Will accessibility to these spaces be selective? Will these spaces be combined with other program spaces?

The simplification of the habits on site can be summed up by two thresholds.

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e Fr

events (low ent de qu

de m a

Analysis of the traces on site show two primary habits: transit and utility of site

The design should maintain the accessibility across the site, without disrupting the events.


2. Establish a formal events space


3. To connect passers and users

Existing paths on site diverge. The intervention brings the transit points to a single axis.

Consideration of low/high frequency utility is integrated on site, meeting in the middle.







Increasing visibility and shade

Paths diverge into layers. Spaces serve informally to provide for programs. PRODUCED BY AN AUTODESK STUDENT VERSION

How will subsequent internal spaces be crafted? Is there a need to preserve the pre-existing directionality of traffic? How will the farmer’s market users be included together with built infrastructure? How open will the space appear?

Increasing visibility & shade for routes of transit. Vice versa in layers and corners for users.


3. To connect passers and users


4. Not to contribute to transport conflicts / infrastructural loading

The density of bus stops on the periphery of the site has provided significant congestion to the roads around the region during peak hours. The site contains many informal bus terminals (red). Significant traffic revolves about the Victory Square roundabout, which contributes to congestion. With projected growth in population and the economy, the amount of residents and workers passing by the area will only increase. If congestion can only get worse in an area that is inflexible to change, then the logical solution would be to either: do nothing or to reduce future strain on transport. 1. Do nothing: With bad congestion and unchangeable road circulation, one could prevent construction of high density infrastructure by constructing an intervention for existing site issues. 2. Reduce strain: If demand for housing and work will increase, then localising residential and work spaces would cater to the reduction of transport utility.


4. Not to contribute to transport conflicts / infrastructural loading

Historical vision plans for site

axis / directionality

Living spaces (tallest)

Existing building heights


al a ti


y tilit

spatia l uti lity

lic pub


lic s

red sha

d resi

Working + living spaces (mid)

Are there planning regulations against the creation of dense urban fabric? Assumptions of stakeholders not posing a threat to the intervention. The number of replaced car park spaces would not only consist of the original ones on site, but inclusive of every new resident and visitor anticipated. How can congestion be mitigated, considering the new influx of traffic? What are supporting infrastructure that has to be included? (e.g. elementary schools, clinics)

nd workers shared ents a

Amenities (lowest)

har ed



1. Create efficient access & commute

2. Establish a formal events space

3. To connect passers and users

4. Not to contribute to transport conflicts/ infrastructural loading


1. vs 2

1. vs 3

1. vs 4

Pros: • There will be no more traces on the field. • The serenity of the green spaces will be separated from the elevated urban crossing. • Congestion from pedestrian crossings will be reduced as the crossings are elevated.

Pros: • People transiting across the space would have no obstruction.

Pros: • Privacy of users can be maintained. • Congestion from pedestrian crossings are reduced.

Pros: • Congestion from pedestrian crossings will be reduced.

Cons: • The space is still underutilised. • The farmer’s market will not be able to occupy a central, connected space. • No other use can be made of the space. • Pedestrians, especially people with special needs, might have difficulty accessing the crossings. • Commute is not sheltered.



Cons: • The space is still underutilised. • The farmer’s market will not be able to occupy a central, connected space with passers. • No other use can be made of the space.

Cons: • Passers and users are separated.

Cons: • Does not address or anticipate any needs of passers or users apart from commute.

1. Create efficient access & commute

2. Establish a formal events space

3. To connect passers and users

4. Not to contribute to transport conflicts/ infrastructural loading

2. vs 1


2. vs 3

2. vs 4

Pros: • Events can take place without disrupting the flow of traffic significantly.

Pros: • Commute is still preserved and people using the transit are connected. • The spaces can be used for relaxation and informal gatherings

Pros: • Event space is maximised while maintaining the general transit of passers.

Pros: • Maintains existing program of space.

Cons: • With more events, congestion might worsen. • Original users such as dogwalkers, students, smokers etc might have less of a space to utilise. • There is no ‘flat ground’ per se for activities such as sports, it is only good for events.

Cons: • Passers and users are separated. • Pedestrians, especially people with special needs, might have difficulty accessing the crossings • There is no ‘flat ground’ per se for activities such as sports, it is only good for events. • The events space is not sheltered.

Cons: • Passers and users are separated.

Cons: • With more events, congestion might worsen.




1. Create efficient access & commute

2. Establish a formal events space

3. To connect passers and users

4. Not to contribute to transport conflicts/ infrastructural loading

3. vs 1

3. vs 2


3. vs 4

Pros: • Passers and users will be connected.

Pros: • The leftover spaces can serve as an informal space, with new programs within the main route of transit.

Pros: • There is both opportunity for connection and for efficient transit to spaces. • Thresholds between the layers of the intervention can allow for other programs to be introduced, such as pubs, study and work spaces. • Leftover spaces can serve as an informal events space.

Pros: • The potential inclusion of new users is minimal in comparison.

Cons: • Pedestrian crossings will still be utilised in the same manner, so congestion might increase.

Cons: • The farmer’s market will not be able to occupy a central, connected space.

Cons: • With the inclusion of potential new programs within the layers, there could still be more congestion.

Cons: • The space is still underutilised. • The farmer’s market will not be able to occupy a central, connected space. • Accessibility and wayfinding can be potentially visually confusing. • Despite the intervention, commute is not sheltered.


1. Create efficient access & commute

2. Establish a formal events space

3. To connect passers and users

4. Not to contribute to transport conflicts/ infrastructural loading

4. vs 1

4. vs 2

4. vs 3


Pros: • Future mandatory transport trips of the region will be reduced.

Pros: • The planning for built infrastructure can create specific spaces for specific uses, and change the identity of the space, shifting it away from informal usage.

Pros: • With the provision of amenities for residents and workers, these amenities can be shared and still subsequently result in the connection of passers and users.

Pros: • Anticipated needs of the city in general will be considered, since supply of housing and work spaces goes up.

Cons: • The short term might prove to result in more congestion. • In respecting the directionality of the historical plan, commute might not be efficient as traces will be cut off.

Cons: • There is no more free, empty space for the public to use. Residents and workers would result in significant density around most of the area.

Cons: • Residents and users may have different habits and change the transit patterns of the space.

Cons: • Additional residents and users may create different habits or more congestion. • Anticipated car-parking spaces may serve to take up more resources in the short run. • In respecting the directionality of the historical plan, commute might not be efficient as traces will be cut off. • The tranquility of the space may be gone entirely, given the scale that can be projected onto the site.

proposal development Given the complexity of the site, the solution aims to address the goals in a non-intrusive nature, such as to allow for the accomodation of future built infrastructure. This comes from the conservative perspective that contributing to the existing density of the region might be counter-productive to achieving the stated goals. As such, the solution takes the plot of the site as a public space, allowing for transit, activity and events to co-exist. The nature of this project is largely landscape based, and observes how land form, paving and vegetation can influence the way an empty space can be transformed. Upon the consideration of utility such as bus stops and parking on site, the main routes of commute based on the surrounding infrastructure were considered. (To create efficient access and commute) The area with the most intersections will then be indirectly established as a ‘centre’ stage for events. (Establish a formal events space, to connect passers and users) Nodes in which future paved walkways will accomodate to would then be considered in the redesign of the site. The placement would influence future interactions between users of activities with different durations.

Spatial allocation

Direction of traces

Privacy barriers and entry nodes

Sub spaces derived from nodal connections and privacy barriers

Direction of traces

Gradient of textures within simplified spaces

The site has a range of different activities. From hanging out spaces during the farmer’s market, to waiting areas, dog walking, parking for the farmer’s market, ice skating, smoking, etc, there are varying levels of visibility and privacy such that the spaces are discovered and utilised. These are hence crucial factors in determining the design of the public space. The simplification of nodal connections, in consideration of visbility and privacy, will allow for more paths to merge together. The subtraction of the routes from site would provide spaces for the opportunities of activities for residents.

proposal development

Gathering space with interactive landform

exploratory model

Hindered visibility and accessibility of spaces

Envisioning secondary paths of transit

proposal development

exploratory model

Visual barriers

Density and sizes of trees

Vantage point

Gathering space

proposal development

Very steep

Moderately steep


Steeper edges as barriers of spaces




Vegetation serving as visual barriers, gentle slopes as a form of space

The subtracted space from new routes of circulation are subsequently modified, in terms of landscape and vegetation to encourage the indirect congregation of spaces and users. Landscape is also used as a barrier to shield out external influences that might compromise the spatial qualities of certain zones, and to aid spatial affordance. Spatial affordance further encouraged through the variation of different materialities, (e.g. tiled plaza spaces for meeting up, empty grass lawns for sports and events, expanded road for the growth of the existing farmer’s market). The design works as an indirect funnel that draws users from different spatial experiences to the core of the space.


1:800 plan



Aerial view from Victory Square

Varying widths of paving encouraging entry, different spatial qualities spurring different activity

Varying topography offers different opportunities

Spatial affordance and the influence of different materialities interfacing


sectional perspective

Looking forward, this project can be further developed. The site could function through the day and night, and aspects that would revitalise its core, such as lighting and urban furniture, can be included to push this project further. Given that the Dejvice region is of high density, it is uncertain if future built infrastructure would be beneficial for the site. The heart of the region can nevertheless benefit from the tranforming of an interstice.

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FA ČVUT Studio Henry Hanson - Exchange


FA ČVUT Studio Henry Hanson - Exchange