William Matthews scores Czech hat-trick with cable car win in Prague

In April, the practice, best known for its shortened Tintagel Castle Award, won the competition for £7.5 million bridge in Brnoprior to the commission’s establishment to design a 450-meter office layout for the Czech railway company Správa eleznic in july.

Now beat SnøHeta, Grimshaw and a local group OV-Architects to win the international competition for a new cable car system across the Vltava River in the Troa Valley, north of the Czech capital.

The competition, organized by Prague Public Transport (DPP), called for the design of a cable route, including three stations and five towers, to connect densely populated but poorly connected areas of Dijvice and Bohness to central Prague.

Adam Scheinherr, Vice Mayor of Prague Transport and Chairman of the Board of Directors of DPP, described the winning team’s bid as “stylish” and the competition entry “that best fits its surroundings”.

William Matthews Associates works with its headquarters in Prague Architects BoeleExpedition Engineering, Agile Engineering company specializing in cable transmission DCSA.

The cable car system is scheduled to open in 2026.

Architect’s opinion

The cable car connects the right and left banks of the Vltava River, passing through one of the most important natural attractions of the capital: the Troy Valley. The stations design is sympathetic to this environment with compact and efficient buildings that are united by a single geometric roof concept but respond to their local context at ground level.

The bottom of each station differentiates itself by responding to the local context: Podbaba’s urban environment – connected to downtown Prague; Troja’s Natural – located in the wonderful landscape of the Troja Valley; The Bohnice is located on the edge of a residential neighborhood and created a new transportation hub that cultivates the adjacent public space.

In each case, the platforms are simple, open floorboards, allowing occupants to experience the surrounding environment with views up and down the Troy Valley.

The unique natural setting requires a sensitive approach to the five towers that will be visible from all over the capital. It is designed as a simple form that elegantly integrates all the structural and technical requirements of the cable. Two rectangular steel sections with a parallel gap rise up to two wings that fold outward.

The wings provide a structural function, giving stability to the cable car rails and incorporating cable check trusses. They also hide access stairs and technical devices that would create visual clutter at the top of the edifice. This strategy allows for a cleaner silhouette for a more sculpted look than the industrial one.

The landscape design around the stations is designed to complement the character of the Trojan Basin while visually assimilating the buildings into their surroundings. Orchards made up of fast-growing native and domesticated species will help integrate the architecture into the landscape.

The proposed plants will also have a significant impact on the ecology of the stations, creating a beneficial microclimate at ground level, reducing dust, improving sound, and providing shade.

project’s data

project Cable car between Bodbabba – Traja – Bouhnes
Tabuk Prague, Czech Republic
Gross interior space 6250 m2 (approximate)
construction budget trusted
Contest date July 2022
Expected achievement 2026
client Prague Transport Authority
Architect William Matthews Associates
Czech architect Architects Boele
British engineer Expedition Engineering
Czech engineer agile engineering
technical advisor DCSA

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