Sokolská street

  • where Trhové Sviny, Czech Republic
  • when October 2014
  • how design
  • who Barbora Weinzettlová, Jiří Weinzettl

The Sokolská street in Trhové Sviny is located in a well preserved historic and compact part of the town. The upper part of the street as well as the part of the neighbouring street Jirsíkova underwent a renovation couple years ago. In the eyes of an architect it seems to be optimal to continue reconstruction works in the same manner, respecting that the tangle of the streets in the historic center is a part of an unique complex, that cannot be handled in different ways. The stone paving as a timeless material clearly belongs to the historic centre and its higher price is compensated by its longer durability.

From the point of view of a traffic engineering, adaptations of streets implemented so far have a character of a living street (residential zone). This solution seems as the only correct concerning the street width and the effort to make it accessible for both pedestrians and cars. The same can be said about the other narrow interconnected streets in the center. From this perspective, it seems logical to establish a status of a living street in the entire historic center of the town. That would concern seven streets. In this case a living street offers many advantages: improvement of conditions for pedestrians and bikers, possibility of using a street for children to play, extension of outdoor spaces of surrounding residential houses, safety of road transport, better aesthetical and ecological level of the space unifying the town center.

Special attention is paid to the lower part of the Sokolská street, especially to the so-called „Atrium“, which is a space attached to the passage of the former post office. The building of the school of arts and the information center have now a special canopies above the entrance, which carry the features of 1990´s architecture in the Czech Republic. The proposal removes them and thus the space between these two buildings is more clean and bright. The building of the former post office is now visually more attractive, its tower-like facade with the passage resembles a gateway to the square. Newly designed benches in front of the information center substitute the former row of trash cans. The contemporary main entrance to the school of arts is proposed to be relocated in order to emphasize its role. Few stone steps overcome the height difference of the terrain. The school of arts gains its little entrance square, its role is more linked to the role of the street and the Atrium. The granite pavement smoothly meets concrete paving of the Atrium. A different paving of small-size stone is designed for the walkway to the school of arts which leads along one side of the street further to the Farský brook (with the intention to be further extended).

This proposal is based on the author's own initiative in response to the recently presented study of the Sokolská street renovation. To achieve a satisfactory result and strengthen the genius loci of the space, a complex thinking about the street as a part of broader public space is needed. Solving one street in terms of traffic would never end up well. There are several examples of an unfortunate treatment of public space in Trhové Sviny, that if implemented in the town center, would harm the townscape even more than maintaining it without any interventions. You can find some of them here.

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