The London based Heatherwick Studio, have unveiled plans to design their first venture in the Czech Republic, in historic Prague. The project consists of regenerating an important site and create a mix of retail, office and public spaces.
The 15 000 square meters project aims “to bring new life to the heart of Prague”. Actually the rehabilitation will generate a new destination, with an unconventional take on the shopping experience as well as the workspace. The designers focused mainly on the significance of the location and the richness of the surrounding architecture while drafting their proposal.
Savarin has a very special place in our hearts and we feel the huge responsibility that comes with this project. We value Heatherwick Studio for approaching each project individually, considering the genius loci of the place and offering solutions that breathe life into it. That is also why we admire the studio´s sensitive way to revitalize projects such as Coal Drops Yard and Zeitz MOCAA -- Omar Koleilat, CEO of Crestyl, and the developer of the Savarin project.
Developed for Crestyl, the Savarin site, surrounded by four of the main streets in Prague, will be connected to the surrounding buildings and historic architecture. In fact, this bond is both mental and physical, through the restoration of the public access to the Riding Hall and nearby gardens. These new-found connections are not limited to the ground floor but go up to the terraces, leading to the roof levels. The public realm will be joined to the central heart of the site. On another hand, new constructions will take place in the courtyard, putting in place a “series of set-back stepped and terraced façades which take people up to the rooftops to create unexpected public spaces”.
The project is focused around a series of courtyards and passages that stitch together a site with a number of special heritage buildings. At its heart is the creation of a major new public space, surrounding a historic 18th century riding hall. As well as restoring this hall and the other historic buildings, we will create three dynamic new buildings which will frame this courtyard and its riding hall. Stepped green terraces and staircases will enable people to walk up the buildings all the way to the rooftops, revealing unexpected new public spaces and views across the city. Our aim for the project is to create a unique and distinctive area for gathering, shopping and working that is unprecedented in Prague. -- Thomas Heatherwick, founder of Heatherwick Studio.