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'Konektor', Legerova Underpass Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Urban Interventions 2010
Team: Igor Marko

Dramatic changes of Wenceslas Square in the 1960s and 1970s had a major impact on the spatial character and quality of this central part of the city. A new highway has cut the city in two parts, connected only by a narrow pedestrian underpass. The current state of the underpass does not meet its functional and urbanistic needs, affecting negatively a wider context of the city. It is a microcosm where time (and sometimes even brain) has stopped.

The central idea of our intervention is a poetic sci-fi parallel with time travel. The connection of several time-spaces through 'Konektor' becomes not only a physical experience but also a scenic and visually abstract journey. The energy needed to activate this 'extraterrestrial transporter' is simple human curiosity and expectation. We are all a little bit travellers in our cities. Our own mental map of the city often helps us find a more personal relationship to the city. 'Konektor' is an active interim space. A 'golden mantle' of new dynamic geometry is inserted into the existing underpass. Rationalisation of the space and expansion of its size by eliminating existing retail stalls enables better passage and light penetration. The entrances into the underpass are formed as monumental funnels drawing people inside. Pulsating LED lights are inserted in the folds of the funnels animating the space.

The current underpass is a manifestation of an anonymous city full of apathy and arrogance. On the contrary, 'Konektor' is a place of connection and of active common experience.