The intention of architect Juráš Lasovský for the ‘Prague: Bridge-Building over the Vltava River’ competition was to disrupt the serenity of the Prague basin landscape by proposing a residential bridge connecting the quarters of Podolí, Císařská louka and Smíchov. While classical bridges tend to create a connection between two places, this residential bridge is regarded as an opportunity to create an attractive space above the river. It becomes a space with residential premises as well as a sort of esplanade from which people get the chance to observe the city life around them. More images and architects’ description after the break.
I perceive the Prague basin landscape as an incredibly colourful space made of both natural and urban contours and impulses encountering each other at the Vltava river which gives them a direction as a result of its natural powers and thus creates a sort of pause, serenity. This link introduces certain excitement into the landscape and creates tension over the river yet becomes directed by the Vyšehrad massif from one side, by the Smíchov riverbank on the other.
One of the most important questions I was asking myself both at the beginning and during the project’s realization was how to confront a residential bridge and Vyšehrad. How to preserve the unique views on the surrounding landscape to a maximum extent. Will the project rather destroy the genius loci of this area or will it activate it on the contrary? Will it create a non-conformist intertwining between two Prague riverbanks and become an icon of the related area?
Based on my numerous sketches and models, I have reassured myself of the plausibility to create a new bridge in the tradition of Prague bridges over the Vltava river despite such a strongly exposed area. I believe the form I have chosen enables to preserve apertures while trying to emphasise the landmark Vyšehrad basilica by contrasting a brand new shape to an antique one.
Architect: Juráš Lasovský
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Competition: "Prague: Bridge-Building over the Vltava River"
Result: Honorable Mention