Wayfinder with a difference

This green-minded retail/office hub by Zaha Hadid Architects defines circulation routes and has a bladed facade that changes orientation to echo different outlooks

Designed by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects

From the architect:

With its facades now complete, the Masaryčka building in Prague is defined by circulation routes which will provide access to new civic spaces for the city. 

Accommodating the continued growth of the city’s corporate sector with office spaces designed to meet 21st century working patterns, the 28,000m² Masaryčka office and retail development incorporates seven storeys within its eastern section and nine storeys at its western end.

Integrating with Czech Railways’ modernisation of the historic Masaryk Railway Station that is creating a new public square partially over the railway tracks, Masaryčka’s design will enhance accessibility to the railway platforms below and provide new pedestrian routes between Florenc (metro) and Hybernská on either side of the station. 

Bordered by Masaryk Station’s railway platforms to the south, Na Florenci street to the north, and the Wilsonova elevated freeway to the east, Masaryčka has been constructed on a derelict site that has stood abandoned for several decades. 

To the west, Masaryčka replaces the existing car park on Havlíčkova Boulevard with a new public square with interchanges between city’s rail, tram and bus networks; defining a welcoming gateway to the city for suburban rail passengers as well as those using the express rail link that is currently under-construction to Prague’s international airport.

Located one kilometre east of the city centre’s Staroměstské Square, Masaryčka’s design establishes a dialogue with the architecture and urbanism of Prague’s Old Town – known as ‘the golden city of 100 spires’. 

External fins within Masaryčka’s façade contribute to solar shading in the summer and transform the project’s horizontal composition to the verticality of its western façade facing the spires of the Old Town. 

Targeting LEED Platinum certification, Masaryčka incorporates a double-insulated façade that ensures optimal natural light at all work areas and communal spaces. 

A cascade of terraces divides the two buildings while similar terracing on the eastern façade gives every office floor direct access to generous outdoor spaces. 

Communal roof gardens offer panoramic views across the city. 

Hybrid ventilation is supported by a high-efficiency plant with waste heat recovery systems while the building’s smart management systems continually monitor and adjust environmental controls to reduce energy consumption.  

Planting using local species of plants, shrubs and trees irrigated by Masaryčka’s rainwater collection system, including the transformation of Na Florenci into a tree-lined avenue, will provide cooling summer shade and natural air purification. 

Low-flow systems and grey-water recycling will further reduce the centre’s water consumption. 

Masaryčka’s construction and procurement has prioritised local suppliers and materials with a high recycled content to meet the 2025 targets for embodied & operational carbon established by the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge.

Credit list

Masaryčka building, Prague

Designed by: Zaha Hadid Architects

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: BoysPlayNice

28 Jan, 2024

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