Tram to Suchdol and new concert hall. IPR Prague Board discusses key projects

The first topic of discussion was the tram line from Podbaba to Suchdol. The urban design study for the running of the line was presented by one of its authors, Jaroslav Zima from the D3A architectural office. The tram line must run above the flood level. The study deals with this by proposing the construction of a roofed tunnel for motor transport, with the tram line running along the roof. This design would free up space on the riverbank and maintain space for pedestrians. The documents required to amend the land-use plan that the construction of the tunnel would necessitate in the event of implementation are already in place.

"The study is very good input in the discussion. We in the Board mainly discussed the last of the three sections of the line, namely the Nový Sedlec area. The study proposes development in this area; the center of a new district might even emerge here. Agreement has yet to be reached, however," said Petr Hlaváček, Chair of the Board, in commenting on the course of discussions. The Board agreed that, given the complexity of the proposal, the study would be discussed further.

The location of a new concert hall building was also discussed. A total of twenty-three sites for the Philharmonic Hall have been considered in the seven years since the formation of the Society for the Construction of a New Philharmonic Hall Building – among them Vítězné náměstí (Victory Square), Rohanský ostrov (Rohan Island), Klárov and Štvanice. The current favorite is Vltavská, which was selected by a committee at IPR Prague.

"Vltavská is a proposal that makes sense in many ways, but we do need to carefully consider all the pros and cons," says Hlaváček. "The advantage is undoubtedly its location by the river. The choice of a location on the North-South arterial road is also a sure link to tradition. This is an opportunity and a threat at the same time: on the one hand, it would act as the impulse to cultivate the space around a busy traffic artery, and on the other it is unclear whether the concert hall can be sufficiently soundproofed." Construction at Vltavská would have to bring with it a new proposal for the entire Vltavská area – from a facelift for the Metro station, through calming the arterial road, to treating the waterfront. "This is an investment that would run into the billions, but cultivating the public space, building a concert hall and opening up the adjacent brownfield site of Bubny-Zátory could bring a synergic effect," says Hlaváček. IPR should have a more detailed plan of what needs to be done to prepare the area by the end of the year.