Studio Vojtík


Northern Gate of Prague

SS 2024




The main arteries entering the city nowadays are predominantly high-capacity automotive roads. This transportation strategy was developed in the second half of the 20th century, extending highway infrastructure into central urban areas. This legacy includes the North-South Highway, which has not been “humanized” even in the post-revolution era, when the approach to urban planning and transportation began to shift. The North-South Highway continues to generate significant pollution and noise from excessive automobile traffic and forms an impermeable barrier in many places. Visually, it is apparent that this is more of a functional traffic route than a city-building street. However, it can also be seen as an opportunity for a grand urban treatment in the form of a significant urban boulevard—the city's North-South axis. A fundamental question for defining such an urban axis is where it begins and ends. Where does the highway turn into a street, and the periphery into the city? This place can be seen as a modern city gate.
Some of the positions for modern city gates are where highways intersect with the city's ring road, which has become a modern "city wall" encircling the city. Other locations are where highways enter densely populated areas that have significantly expanded the original city boundaries.

One such location—a gate—is in the Střížkov area, where the D8 highway, entering from the north, turns into Liberecká Street, which is a street in name only. It is not an urban street but a high-speed road forming an impermeable barrier between the Prosek and Ďáblice neighborhoods. The second, more southern city gate is at the Vychovatelna intersection, where Liberecká Street changes to V Holešovičkách Street, continuing towards Pelc-Tyrolka and further into Holešovice.
The study area includes the upper “gate”—the intersection of Liberecká and Vysočanská streets with the broader surroundings of adjacent neighborhoods and the Střížkov metro station, the valley around Liberecká and Střížkovská streets, including the hill above Pekařka, and finally the lower “gate” at the intersection of Liberecká and Zenklova streets, with surrounding heterogeneous and unfinished urban structures of upper Libeň and Bulovka.

The assignment was to seek an urban vision for a very complex area divided by a highway, morphologically articulated into a long valley and surrounded on all sides by numerous urban structures of different scales and concepts from various periods. Students could pursue a moderately realistic approach or a visionary and generous one. Throughout the semester, we jointly sought answers to progressively revealed questions:
How to “stitch” the area divided by the “highway scar”? And is it even meaningful to stitch it in such specific morphological conditions?
The challenge was to find the right locations and forms for new urban centers and answer the question of where the modern city gate as a dignified start of a cultivated north-south urban axis should be today.

Eight Visions
The result of the work of eight teams is eight diverse urban visions, each with a different concept, different focus, and different approach to integration into existing structures. The unifying element is the search for an individual approach to Liberecká Street and its (non-)integration into the city organism. Most teams are looking for an adequate form of city gates—their shape and function. They present a vision for a new urban locality for the 21st century.
Some worked with Liberecká Street in its current path, some sought a new shape and direction in the form of a winding urban boulevard off the current path, or created a quiet, enclosed residential area. A common element is various forms of extensive green spaces and parks, connecting and integrating surrounding green systems.
For most teams, the fundamental starting point for working with the area around Liberecká Street was placing the existing high-speed road underground, as it is very difficult to significantly reduce the number of cars heading towards the city ring road. The routing of the tunnel itself was not the subject of the proposal. The assumption is a continuation below the surface and further to the city ring road.
Several proposals include a new tram route between Vychovatelna and Střížkov, creating a new attractive transport route from Libeň, through Vychovatelna, to Střížkov, with the potential for continuation to Letňany.


Implementation Project

SS 2024


The topic of the work will be arranged individually.


Studio Information Meetings:

Monday, February 12, 2024, at approximately 4:15 PM (after joint presentations)

Change of date! Thursday,  February 15, 2024, at 11:00 AM

Interested students, please send your portfolios to:
More information, questions and applications: Šimon Vojtík,, 603 955 244

For the content of this site is responsible: Ing. arch. Šimon Vojtík, Ph.D.