Location: Prague Castle – Deer Moat, Prague 1, Czech Republic
Project designer: AP Atelier, Josef Pleskot, Křístek, Trčka a spol. s.r.o., structural engineers
Co-operating team: The project originated from an initiative and care of the Czech Republic President Václav Havel.
In various stages of the project, the following partners participated in its refinement:
Čestmír Dobeš (Křístek, Trčka a spol. s.r.o.): study, project, implementation;
Josef Pleskot (AP Atelier): study, project , implementation;
Jana Kantorová, Jitka Svobodová (AP Atelier): study;
Jiří Trčka (AP Atelier): architectural co-operation, project, implementation;
Jiří Růžička (Metroprojekt Praha, a.s.): project – special structural engineering, implementation;
Zdeněk Rudolf (AP Atelier): project and construction design;
Jaroslav Langer (Křístek, Trčka a spol. s.r.o.): project – structural engineering;
Kurt Gebauer (sculptor): artistic co-operation, realisation of statues
Isabela Grosseová (AP Atelier): artistic co-operation.
Water management – (SÚPR) Josef Chmelka, Michal Chramosta
Electrical installations – Bohumír Flégl
Landscaping – Eva Vízková
Fire protection – Vlastimil Počta
Engineering – R+V, Vladimíra Růžičková, Hana Vávrová
Supplier: Metrostav a.s., Division 5
Study: June – September 1996
Project: July 2001
Implementation: August 2002
Costs: 1 million EUR
Length of the tunnel: 84m
Foto: Jan Malý, Tomáš Souček
Urban and architectural design
The pathway through the Deer Moat forms part of the broader intention to build an alternative access walkway from the Vltava river to the premises of the Prague Castle. The main initiator of the idea was the Czech Republic President Václav Havel. The first stage of the project was accomplished in spring 1999. The walkway makes it possible for visitors to come via stone terrace walls along the Chotkova street to the Lower Deer Moat. The walkway subsequently continues along the Brusnice stream below the bastion used to cover the original Renaissance Powder Bridge (Prašný most) and then to walkways of the Upper Deer Moat. It is thus possible to reach the very rear part of the Upper Deer Moat, the area of the so-called Pheasantry (Bažantnice), or the north gate of the Prague Castle.The aim of the entire project is to facilitate movement of pedestrians along the entire unique natural monument of the Deer Moat and make the premises of the Prague Castle accessible via this entirely non-traditional system of walkways.
The line of the pathway is identical with that of the original Theresian Gallery (Tereziánská štola), conducting water of the Brusnice stream through the Powder Bridge drainage ditch. The massive foreparts of the new pathway are designed to allow for the logical running of water from or to the existing open bed of the Brusnice stream and at the same time to allow for the connection of the existing walkways leading along the stream. The profile of the pathway was designed in relatively narrow dimensions. Nevertheless, it is significantly cambered and therefore makes an impression of airiness. The longest part has an oval shape using arch effects. The entire pathway is eighty-four meters long. Three meter sections on both sides are developed from an open excavation. A seventy-eight meter section is done by underground tunnelling. The broadly open foreparts are from seventeen to twenty-six metres long. The portals are square in the form of cambered, slightly expanding rectangles.
The three-meter sections developed from the open excavation serve as transitional elements between the square profiles of the portals and the oval profile of the tunnel. A recess (niche) in the pillar of the original Powder Bridge makes it possible to access this interesting historical relict, offering a small animation during the journey.
Materials and surfaces
The prevailing fair-face material of the internal part of the pathway is hard-burnt fair-faced dark red brick used for the walls as well as the arches of the tunnel. The brickwork is self-supporting.
One half of the pavement in the tunnel is made of concrete prefabricated elements with a relief surface treatment (fluting), the other half of steel grids made of iron rods with slip-resistant lugs. The grids cover the Brusnice stream bed. Inside of the tunnel, it is made of fair-face concrete suitable for water constructions with anti-abrasive admixtures.
Three-meter portal sections allow for a transition from the square shape of the entrances to the oval profile of the tunnel. These are made of untreated concrete that is cast to permanent formwork made by carpenters (warped surface). The impression of the form boards plays an important role in the design.
The recess (niche) in the revealed original pillar of the Powder Bridge has a cement finish with a steel-levelled (floated) surface and its floor is covered by river pebbles. The revealed pillar was restored and conserved.
In the foreparts of the pathway, to give a structure to the bed of the Brusnice stream and the pavements, quarry stone was used similar to that of which the Brusnice stream bed is built in the Lower and Upper Deer Moats.
The supporting walls in the foreparts are made of cast concrete with a colouring admixture of iron filings. The porousness of the surface was ensured by laid up jute strings. The walls feature relief jumps. The walls were subsequently drilled to provide for the growing of vegetation (greenery) and for the draining of the backfills.
The path in the Upper Deer Moat and the transfer platform between the bituminous road and the stone ramp in the Lower Deer Moat has a hard level surface (mineral concrete).