The jury praised the winning plan for its “clever features” and calls the design and layout “clear, detailed and entirely logical”. According to the jury, the diverse architectural identities in the design configuration come together to “create a very attractive and convincing composition of buildings and interconnected spaces.”
Pascal Cornips (architect and partner Benthem Crouwel Architects): “Given the historical and symbolic significance of Victory Square, our main ambition is to create the 4th Quadrant as the heart for a diversified social, economic and cultural life in Prague 6, attracting a variety of residents, users and visitors.”
The competition involved designing a mixed-use development on the 4th Quadrant site, aiming to revitalize the area by adding over 100,000 m² of housing, offices, civic amenities, a building for the University of Chemistry and Technology, and a Culture Centre with two halls.
This development aims to create an appealing neighborhood for nearby residents, students, visitors, and campus employees. Benthem Crouwel Architects and OVA designed a contemporary, varied program of functions, building typologies, public spaces and urban interiors for this historical plot, respecting but enriching the original plan.
The primary feature of the design is the contrast between a lively public square, to encourage social interaction, and a calmer block with a lush green micro forest.
Layers of Time
The 4th Quadrant development is the long-awaited completion of Antonin Engel’s Masterplan for Vítězné Náměstí (Victory Square). The winning proposal complements Engel’s 100 year old blueprint and simultaneously adds a contemporary time-layer to it, opening up new possibilities for a diversified public realm attracting a variety of residents, users and visitors.
Victory Square’s historical ties to the birth of the Czech Republic are echoed in its majestic layout and neo-classical architecture. Today, while democratic values remain robust, their essence has evolved towards spaces that are more accessible, inclusive, and engaging.
Benthem Crouwel Architects’ winning design champions ‘Democratic Architecture’, fostering inclusive, engaging spaces that serve both function and community well-being.
Bustling Square Versus Microforest
The winning design is building upon the diverse characteristics of the existing streets and public spaces surrounding the site, from the dynamic boulevard to the more quiet pedestrian streets. By opening up Engel‘s geometry to the public, two contrasting qualities arise on the plots along Technická Street.
On one side a public square, formed by all-sided buildings, invites people to come together, interact and celebrate life. On the other side, a city block embraces a semi-private oasis; the micro forest offers a fantastic living environment.
The plinth is fully permeable and is characterized by open facades, welcoming entrances, informal routes, alleys, passages and squares. The first underground level is seamlessly integrated as part of this plinth and offers an additional layer to public life. It connects directly to the metro station, the mall, the Culture Centre, the university, offices, retail and food-market.
The set of unique buildings is thoughtfully designed to form a diverse yet recognizable entity. This leads to a holistic, inclusive and people-oriented urban development with depth and significance; a collage of different shapes and spaces tailored to a human scale, ensuring a sense of belonging and inclusivity for both residents and visitors. The plans for 4th Quadrant of Victory Square will be further developed in the next period. Source by Benthem Crouwel Architects and OVA.
- Location: Prague, Czech Republic
- Architect: Benthem Crouwel Architects, OVA
- Landscape Architect: Rehwaldt Landscape Architects
- Competition Client: Fourth Quadrant company, company formed by investors Penta Real Estate, Sekyra Group and Kaprain
- Competition Was Organised in Cooperation with: University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague (UCT), City of Prague, Prague Institute of Planning and Development, Prague 6 Municipality
- Competition Organiser: Planning office ONplan
- Gross Floor Area: 102.000 m2
- Year: 2023
- Images: Courtesy of Benthem Crouwel Architects