Circular Vaults Embedded within a Prague Embankment Contain Shops, Cafes, and Public Spaces

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All images © BoysPlayNice, courtesy of Brainworks

New cafes, galleries, and studios are popping up along the Vltava River in Prague, although they’re not immediately visible from atop the embankment. Tucked inside former storage units embedded within the structure itself are several tunnel-like spaces redesigned for public use. Appearing like glass-doored portals lining the waterfront, the multi-purpose project is part of the Czech city’s efforts to revitalize a four-kilometer swath of the riverbank, which previously served as a parking lot, and are the undertaking of architect Petr Janda who helms the Prague-based studio Brainwork.

Each vaulted venue contains concrete walls and flooring and gleaming stainless steel that reflects its surroundings. Six circular tunnels are designated for shops and galleries feature large, elliptical doors in glass, while the other 14 spaces are marked with a sculptural entrance, hiding the remaining area occupied by private tenants or used for public bathrooms from view. “The interventions symbiotically merge with the original architecture of the riverside wall, into which they naturally fuse,” Janda told designboom. “By using the acupuncture strategy, they re-create a monumental whole.”

Head to Instagram to find preliminary sketches for the redesign and to follow Brainwork’s future projects.

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