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Copa Centrum construction to kick off soon

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Copa centrum (Copa): The Copa centrum will include flats, shops, offices, public areas and a new metro entrance. (COPA)The Copa centrum will include flats, shops, offices, public areas and a new metro entrance. (COPA)
In three months the area above Národní třída metro station should transform into a building site that will give rise to the primarily commercial Copa Centrum. It is expected to cost CZK 4 billion. After five years of various protests from preservationists and the tenants and the owners of the surrounding buildings, investor Sebastian Pawlowski announced that by the end of February, he hopes to have overcome the last remaining obstacle.

That obstacle is an appeal against the building permit, which was issued at the beginning of November. The appeal was filed by the owners of the surrounding buildings. The opponents argue that the study on the environmental impacts of the construction and the geological survey were not properly prepared.

The appeal will go to the Prague 1 building office. Pawlowski said if the office finds that the complaints are warranted, Copa Group will change the project. “Without that, we wouldn’t be able to start building,” he said.

The complex, designed by the architectural studio Cigler Marani Architects, is composed of four cubes, connected in the middle to a fifth building. The first two floors will house shops. The rest will be used as office space. The façade will be composed of glass panels with massive horizontal slats made of artificial stone. These will mimic to an extent the window sills and balustrades of the surrounding historical buildings.

A sixth building will go up on the corner of Vladislavova and Purkyňova streets. “It is a farily big plot of land, but we didn’t want the building to be some massive monster, says architect Jakub Cigler. In spite of the protests from some preservationists, the buildings will be eight storeys tall, which is the same height as the neighbouring Tesco building.

The construction will take about 20 months and will require that the metro station Národní třída be closed down for 10 months starting in the summer.

Along with the Palladium on náměstí Republiky, the Copa Centrum will be another ambitious project in Prague’s downtown. There still remains demand for new office space on Prague’s slowly saturating market. The success of the commercial part of the building will rely primarily on the careful selection of tenants.

Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.

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