The Pankrac skyscrapers project approved

The future face of Pankrac [visualization ECM] There has been a new development in the case of Pankrac skyscrapers. Recently there was a verdict of the Czech Ministry of Culture, approving the controversial project. It was to great extent due to a UNESCO guarantee that Prague won’t be deleted from its list if she should let the skyscrapers be built.

The discussion has been going on for years. It is typical in many ways, a clash of developers’ pragmatism, uninterested in the impact their plans might have on the environment with the conservative stance of those who live in the place. Any new project has to face rejection from some of the residents, any change of the environment is unpleasant and potentially damaging. However, it is generally understood that the project is supposed to be good. Pankrac has been semi- abandoned for many years, with large plains of unused terrain and awful half-completed skyscrapers, lacking any relation between them. The new project is supposed to bring new life into the area, to create a new center in the now less attractive of a site.

At this moment it is unclear whether it will or will not serve the purpose. There are reasons to believe it will not. The centre is supposed to be a clearly commercial one: shopping malls, fast foods, offices. Necessary to add, the UNESCO may not punish Prague in any way, but it’s certainly not happy about the plans. It expressed great concerned and has an inquiry carried out into the project.

It is always a very difficult question how to modernize a city like Prague, especially the parts already damaged by ignorance of the past. The strong argument of the project’s defenders is simple: the Prague panorama is already disrupted, the skyscrapers are already there and they won’t be demolished. We can leave the place alone (in a sorry shape) or try to give it some integrity. The two giants were built in the seventies, regardless what will they cause to the city panorama. They made a cut into it, they are like sole teeth, they seem totally inappropriate.

The project may be the only way out, yet it depends on how we take it. The new giants should be interesting (this too seems questionable) and they should be useful, a place of gathering of the city community. And they shouldn’t be a reason for a needless clash with UNESCO.

Sep 22, 11:20 (Filed under: Other )

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