28. Října Square In Hradec Králové

28. Října Square (October 28th Square) is located at the major route connecting the railroad station and the town center, so many residents and visitors pass by this area. It also has been a natural spot for markets and gathering of people, but there was not the appropriate space for all these activities before the renewal. This became one of the reasons, why the town council decided to hold an architecture competition. The main goal of the competition entry and the following project was to create an open public space suitable for all the types of activities. The extensive greenery would not provide the necessary intimacy for relaxation in this area, so the square was intended rather to become an attractive place where people can meet, talk, play and hang out.

The square is characteristic by complicated pedestrian movement with various destinations and this became a basis for the design concept. The different directions of movement have been transformed and symbolically projected into a pattern on the pavement of the space in a form of the lanes. The square has been divided into two parts. The larger and lively eastern part is represented by the paved open space and can be used for various cultural and commercial events. The western part of the square serves as a protected and shady rest surrounded by the lawns and trees. The composition is completed by the distinctive axis which leads across the square, aims for the Holy Heart of the Lord church and emphasizes this important building. The square was realized as a barrier-free space with the sidewalks, roadways, pavement and the lawns in a same level. This solution also optically unites the whole space. The main area of the square is covered with the concrete paving. The area is crossed by the darker lanes which border the lawns. The main axis aimed for the church is supplemented by the water stream. The parking lots are situated in front of the church in the same position as before the renovation. They are separated from the main area of the square by the low wall made of polished concrete to cut off the traffic and parked cars. At the left edge of the wall there is a simple relief in a form of the national flag – the link with the name of the square reminding the foundation of an independent Czech state. The place for the traditional market is situated in the eastern part of the square. It is newly roofed over with the membrane canopy supported by the steel structure. The only features left of the old square include five linden trees and a rustproof fountain from 1980s. The space was furnished with the new public lighting and town furniture such as information panels, benches, waste bins, bike stands and drinking fountain placed around the square. The road was supplemented by the new poles combining the street lightning and the support of the trolley lines.
The current renovation was extended by the design unification of the main adjoining streets which created the representative and multifunctional urban space.

Landscape architecture: Martin Hájek, Václav Hájek, Radka (Košťálová) Hejlová / Atelier Hájek
Location: Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
Area: 11.200 m2
Competition: 2008
Project: 2010
Completion: 2014
Photos: Robert Průcha, Václav Hájek
Sketches: Radka (Košťálová) Hejlová

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