Lesser square (Malostranske Namesti) is located in the heart of hilly, historical core of Lesser town district of Prague, just bellow Prague's famous castle. The atypical and unique shape of the square is composed of upper and lower sections divided by baroque church, university and other old buildings formed as a large city block in its very center. Throughout centuries the square held various markets and public program for local residents, however due to development of the city in last few decades, it has become inundated with heavy traffic, car park and tourists. The competition brief asked for redesign of two plazas, making it more pedestrian friendly, and omission of most parking spots.
Inspired by divers patterns of cobblestone paving found almost across entire city of Prague, this proposal is using the entire ground of square as identifying mark for the city. It is also strategically paving the existing streets to slow down the car traffic. The square is divided by dynamic grid informed and deformed with zones, program, high of terrain and movement of pedestrians. These stripes are then each having a specific pattern that already exists elsewhere in the city. They differentiate only in shade of stone from dark grey to white. In addition to the paving, the two main sections of the square are each given the amphitheatre-like urban sitting and relaxing area that corresponds to terrain height with stepping and ramping, making it more accessible to disabled users. Finally, each relaxing zone is enriched with water feature and fountain.
Prague, Czech Republic
Design team: Adam Vukmanov & Shota Tsikoliya