The future of the former Žižkov Freight Station (nákladové nádraží Žižkov) in Prague 3 is finally becoming clear.
The front building should be the seat of the National Film Archive (NFA). In the north wing, a primary school will be established. In the south section, Sekyra Group should build commercial space and a two-story roof superstructure with rental apartments.
A draft memorandum on the use of the area is being finalized. Prague City Councilor Jan Chabr (United Force for Prague), responsible for property, said the draft could soon be be presented to the City Council.
It must also be approved by the Ministry of Culture, the Prague 3 Town Council, Czech Railways, Sekyra Group, and Zizkov Station Development, a joint venture of Czech Railways and Sekyra Group that was founded to develop the complex and has the right of first refusal.
The city is also preparing a change to the zoning plan so the brownfield area can be developed. This change should be completed in the second half of 2020.
Railway operation ceased in 2002 and the complex has served as a parking lot, a space for flea markets, a warehouse, and cultural events venue. It has also been used as a filming location. Talk of redeveloping the area goes back to 2005. The main station building, which opened in 1936, was designated a cultural monument in March 2013.
In 2018, Prague 3 on its website described the Žižkov Freight Station a unique building, unparalleled in the world: “The generosity of the architectural and technical solution, designed by Karel Caivas and Vladimír Weiss together with Miroslav Chlumecký almost 90 years ago, has not been surpassed to this day. Since 1936, when it was put into operation, the freight station has been the largest building in Czechoslovakia and then in the Czech Republic.”
The previous City Hall administration had been interested in purchasing the complex from Czech Railways, but the current administration has agreed to co-own it with the Ministry of Culture and Žižkov Station Development. The Ministry of Culture’s involvement is due to the presence of the NFA, which will oversee cultural and social functions.
Sekyra Group, in addition to commercial space and rental flats, plans to build residential houses south and east of the building. Central Group and Penta Real Estate will also be developing parts of the brownfield area.
A tram line is no longer planned to go through the center of the station, but will likely now run to the north of the zone.
A study by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) says the new neighborhood could contain up to 15,000 inhabitants in the surrounding land in the future.