Žižkov Cargo Railway Station

Three Yards
CZ, Prague 3 — 2019
residential
investor, client
Penta Investment s.r.o.
architect
Boris Redčenkov, Prokop Tomášek, Jaroslav Wertig
team, collaboration
Martin Fornůsek, Barbora Havrlová, Kateřina Hejná, Lukáš Komín, Jakub Krčmář, Kristýna Lhotská, Cyril Nešleha
visualization
Jan Lankaš

LOCATION
Žižkov Cargo Railway Station Žižkov Cargo Railway Station faces a major transformation. At the turn of the millennium, the  Prague’s important logistic node with a pre-eminent truck transport function lost its purpose, its meaning, and the vast location of the former transhipping railway station has now been expecting its new future. It is one of the largest development areas in Prague. The railway depot should be converted into a residential neighbourhood. The phenomenon of a historic logistic building listed as a cultural heritage site in 2013 is crucial for the future approach to the transformation of the area. If it is successfully converted into a multi-purpose cultural, social, and education centre, it will, undoubtedly, become a prime location in Prague and the whole Czech Republic. The place is a typical brownfield today standing as an area impossible to pass through, a “Hic sunt leones” area. The transformation concept should be based on the development of an urban fabric able to heal up the site vacated by the railway.
There were or are being prepared many precedents of this transformation in the vicinity. Be it seeds of a classic block urban scheme or, on the contrary, an invasion of de-urbanised detached objects resigning to the tradition of European urban space. Our project is a revision of all these approaches; we try to apply their strong qualities and suppress inadequacies, to interconnect them. 
The starting point for us is the place’s memory. We try to record authentic elements in the area carrying historical memory and use it for a new town-making composition. We believe that employing authentic elements is the right path to create a distinct quarter following the local history and strengthening the local identification within the Prague setting.

URBANISTIC CONCEPT
The design must be pushed through into the broader context whose substance is captured in the groundwork study by IPR. The urbanistic design builds explicitly on two main lines. The phenomenon of a soft landscape edge – Harfa, established by grading of the old railway yard, introduces an unexpected natural dynamic into the location and, at the same time, it is a reference to the original layout of the site. Malešická ulice (street) has been waiting for its major transformation; a suburban connecting street leading between production compounds and warehouses should be converted into a local boulevard linking Nový Žižkov and Jarov. The city and internal landscape lines are a guideline for the urban context. This concept, at the same time, develops parameters of regulation defined by the groundwork study by IPR specifying the new tram line inserted into the axis of the extended Olšanská třída. The extended Olšanská will be a crucial reference element of the whole transformation area that will develop many notable public spaces along its line. 
We understand the place as part of the newly established superblock between Olšanská and Malešická. The design formally defines the streetscape of these two streets and, together with the line of houses along the street to Červený dvůr and the western street along the new park stabilises the block as a whole. The soft curve of Harfa leads through the block’s centre connecting the two important public spaces following the axes of Malešická and Olšanská. Zelený svah interconnects the two places by the Na Harfě Linear Park (our work name) establishing not only the recreation axis of the superblock but, at the same time, of the linked area.  The history of the city inspires the arrangement of various leisure activities. The original railway makes its way into the new layout through the liner arrangement of functional elements. The block is open on the line of the interface’s soft curve, drawing the atmosphere of a green slope into the semi-private internal spaces of blocks.
The dominant theme of the design is the hierarchy of the public and semi-private space. We develop the social concept depending on the hierarchy of the degree of privacy; this concept aims at different levels of communication between the future occupants and visitors to the location in order to establish a socially homogeneous and naturally developed unit.

PUBLIC SPACE
The superblock is divided into three separate sub-blocks – TŘI DVORY/THREE YARDS according to the possibility to walk through and the beforementioned social communication. The concept of three yards offers an internal hierarchized zesty world accompanied by diverse activities and character. Each block, at the same time, represents a distinct, independent construction phase whose size reflects the logic of spatial, social, and economic articulation. The blocks are defined against the vicinity by their firm contour of street fronts and straight-cut corners. The firm contour is perforated by lines of side streets and, at the same time, wide open in relation to the centre of the superblock where interaction is expected with the linear park. The openness in the line of the south border of the development, at the same time, naturally links to the sun and long-distance vistas. These vistas from the terrain’s edge are emphasized by raised proportions of volumes spatially accentuating the organic line of Harfa within the context of the entire block.
A small square completes the three internal yards where the area can be expected laterally penetrable through. The place’s ambition is to become a local centre. It is a purely urban space complemented with an active streetscape linking to Malešická and the linear park Na Harfě. 
A local landmark will gradate the volumetric composition where Malešická meets the Na Harfě linear park. It is the forepart of a habitable ark quietly floating on the line where Žižkov breaks to Malešice; a landmark of the entire locality with an active streetscape feeding not only the street but the newly designed Na Kolejích Park, too. Retail, services, and amenities are oriented along the Malešická street line; services and leisure activities face the Na Harfě park.  

PRIVATE SPACE
The concept of three yards works with a different atmosphere and functions linked to the spatial capacities of each block. It is not dogmatic but represents possibilities and the potential of each place. By the number of flats (ca 150 – 200), the blocks correspond with the ideal sociologic unit of a community where people can know each other and establish social bonds. The theme is the mingling of a public and a private space. Each yard – the block’s internal space – allows the existence of some semi-public equipment and activities. From a sports grounds in the largest yard, community gardens in the central block to a club atmosphere linked to the sports club in the smallest west yard. In general, these are semi-private community spaces separated from flats on the ground floor level by private front gardens.

ARCHITECTURE
The theme of hierarchisation of intimacy reflects in the very concept of architecture working with a different rate of openness of the façade to the street and the internal yard. The modular structure of the bricked façade facing the street is perforated by loggias, and its character is more closed, introvert, contrary to the inner façade facing the internal yard that is formed into continuous light, open balconies offering sufficiently outer spaces in the form of generous terraces to all flats. Living on terraces in touch with the quiet yard is the theme of the design. Not a small balcony, but a terrace with a different spatial definition that can be used for dining, storing, or even planting and growing, that is our design goal. 
Each block is divided into houses following the logic of vertical circulation. Each house should be assigned a different architecture. Each phase can be assigned to a different architect, thus buttressing natural diversity and compactness.

TYPOLOGY
Each house is typified (three-winged, staircase layout). The goal is to achieve structural flexibility. The fundamental element is a lateral module 7.65 m, and the c/c depth of a wing is  17 m (fitting the three-winged garage). Following the position of the house, the lateral layout can be adjusted to the required category of flats arranged into a staircase section 16 m wide. Alternatively, flats can be oriented to one side with a three-winged block 24+ meters wide. The entire composition can be divided as needed into two independent phases, or smaller separate units depending on the development of the project economy. All houses have no more than two basements. Phase 1 is connected from K Červenému dvoru

CONCLUSION
The project interprets the significance of the place to the urbanistic scale. Is inspired by the place and, at the same time, newly defines it. We try to capture the genius loci many times hidden within the symbolic level of spatial relations we transfer into new contexts. We try, by deliberate and delicate applicating of effective solutions, create a place with a character, poetry, and give people who will live here a chance to feel at home in a former brownfield.

Žižkov Cargo Railway Station

Three Yards
CZ, Prague 3 — 2019
residential
investor, client
Penta Investment s.r.o.
architect
Boris Redčenkov, Prokop Tomášek, Jaroslav Wertig
team, collaboration
Martin Fornůsek, Barbora Havrlová, Kateřina Hejná, Lukáš Komín, Jakub Krčmář, Kristýna Lhotská, Cyril Nešleha
visualization
Jan Lankaš

LOCATION
Žižkov Cargo Railway Station Žižkov Cargo Railway Station faces a major transformation. At the turn of the millennium, the  Prague’s important logistic node with a pre-eminent truck transport function lost its purpose, its meaning, and the vast location of the former transhipping railway station has now been expecting its new future. It is one of the largest development areas in Prague. The railway depot should be converted into a residential neighbourhood. The phenomenon of a historic logistic building listed as a cultural heritage site in 2013 is crucial for the future approach to the transformation of the area. If it is successfully converted into a multi-purpose cultural, social, and education centre, it will, undoubtedly, become a prime location in Prague and the whole Czech Republic. The place is a typical brownfield today standing as an area impossible to pass through, a “Hic sunt leones” area. The transformation concept should be based on the development of an urban fabric able to heal up the site vacated by the railway.
There were or are being prepared many precedents of this transformation in the vicinity. Be it seeds of a classic block urban scheme or, on the contrary, an invasion of de-urbanised detached objects resigning to the tradition of European urban space. Our project is a revision of all these approaches; we try to apply their strong qualities and suppress inadequacies, to interconnect them. 
The starting point for us is the place’s memory. We try to record authentic elements in the area carrying historical memory and use it for a new town-making composition. We believe that employing authentic elements is the right path to create a distinct quarter following the local history and strengthening the local identification within the Prague setting.

URBANISTIC CONCEPT
The design must be pushed through into the broader context whose substance is captured in the groundwork study by IPR. The urbanistic design builds explicitly on two main lines. The phenomenon of a soft landscape edge – Harfa, established by grading of the old railway yard, introduces an unexpected natural dynamic into the location and, at the same time, it is a reference to the original layout of the site. Malešická ulice (street) has been waiting for its major transformation; a suburban connecting street leading between production compounds and warehouses should be converted into a local boulevard linking Nový Žižkov and Jarov. The city and internal landscape lines are a guideline for the urban context. This concept, at the same time, develops parameters of regulation defined by the groundwork study by IPR specifying the new tram line inserted into the axis of the extended Olšanská třída. The extended Olšanská will be a crucial reference element of the whole transformation area that will develop many notable public spaces along its line. 
We understand the place as part of the newly established superblock between Olšanská and Malešická. The design formally defines the streetscape of these two streets and, together with the line of houses along the street to Červený dvůr and the western street along the new park stabilises the block as a whole. The soft curve of Harfa leads through the block’s centre connecting the two important public spaces following the axes of Malešická and Olšanská. Zelený svah interconnects the two places by the Na Harfě Linear Park (our work name) establishing not only the recreation axis of the superblock but, at the same time, of the linked area.  The history of the city inspires the arrangement of various leisure activities. The original railway makes its way into the new layout through the liner arrangement of functional elements. The block is open on the line of the interface’s soft curve, drawing the atmosphere of a green slope into the semi-private internal spaces of blocks.
The dominant theme of the design is the hierarchy of the public and semi-private space. We develop the social concept depending on the hierarchy of the degree of privacy; this concept aims at different levels of communication between the future occupants and visitors to the location in order to establish a socially homogeneous and naturally developed unit.

PUBLIC SPACE
The superblock is divided into three separate sub-blocks – TŘI DVORY/THREE YARDS according to the possibility to walk through and the beforementioned social communication. The concept of three yards offers an internal hierarchized zesty world accompanied by diverse activities and character. Each block, at the same time, represents a distinct, independent construction phase whose size reflects the logic of spatial, social, and economic articulation. The blocks are defined against the vicinity by their firm contour of street fronts and straight-cut corners. The firm contour is perforated by lines of side streets and, at the same time, wide open in relation to the centre of the superblock where interaction is expected with the linear park. The openness in the line of the south border of the development, at the same time, naturally links to the sun and long-distance vistas. These vistas from the terrain’s edge are emphasized by raised proportions of volumes spatially accentuating the organic line of Harfa within the context of the entire block.
A small square completes the three internal yards where the area can be expected laterally penetrable through. The place’s ambition is to become a local centre. It is a purely urban space complemented with an active streetscape linking to Malešická and the linear park Na Harfě. 
A local landmark will gradate the volumetric composition where Malešická meets the Na Harfě linear park. It is the forepart of a habitable ark quietly floating on the line where Žižkov breaks to Malešice; a landmark of the entire locality with an active streetscape feeding not only the street but the newly designed Na Kolejích Park, too. Retail, services, and amenities are oriented along the Malešická street line; services and leisure activities face the Na Harfě park.  

PRIVATE SPACE
The concept of three yards works with a different atmosphere and functions linked to the spatial capacities of each block. It is not dogmatic but represents possibilities and the potential of each place. By the number of flats (ca 150 – 200), the blocks correspond with the ideal sociologic unit of a community where people can know each other and establish social bonds. The theme is the mingling of a public and a private space. Each yard – the block’s internal space – allows the existence of some semi-public equipment and activities. From a sports grounds in the largest yard, community gardens in the central block to a club atmosphere linked to the sports club in the smallest west yard. In general, these are semi-private community spaces separated from flats on the ground floor level by private front gardens.

ARCHITECTURE
The theme of hierarchisation of intimacy reflects in the very concept of architecture working with a different rate of openness of the façade to the street and the internal yard. The modular structure of the bricked façade facing the street is perforated by loggias, and its character is more closed, introvert, contrary to the inner façade facing the internal yard that is formed into continuous light, open balconies offering sufficiently outer spaces in the form of generous terraces to all flats. Living on terraces in touch with the quiet yard is the theme of the design. Not a small balcony, but a terrace with a different spatial definition that can be used for dining, storing, or even planting and growing, that is our design goal. 
Each block is divided into houses following the logic of vertical circulation. Each house should be assigned a different architecture. Each phase can be assigned to a different architect, thus buttressing natural diversity and compactness.

TYPOLOGY
Each house is typified (three-winged, staircase layout). The goal is to achieve structural flexibility. The fundamental element is a lateral module 7.65 m, and the c/c depth of a wing is  17 m (fitting the three-winged garage). Following the position of the house, the lateral layout can be adjusted to the required category of flats arranged into a staircase section 16 m wide. Alternatively, flats can be oriented to one side with a three-winged block 24+ meters wide. The entire composition can be divided as needed into two independent phases, or smaller separate units depending on the development of the project economy. All houses have no more than two basements. Phase 1 is connected from K Červenému dvoru

CONCLUSION
The project interprets the significance of the place to the urbanistic scale. Is inspired by the place and, at the same time, newly defines it. We try to capture the genius loci many times hidden within the symbolic level of spatial relations we transfer into new contexts. We try, by deliberate and delicate applicating of effective solutions, create a place with a character, poetry, and give people who will live here a chance to feel at home in a former brownfield.