Snøhetta's design for the Brno Station embeds a multi-modal transportation hub into a 21st century riverside park. In turn, the hub is integrated into an expanding green network of infrastructure, communities and use. Re-envisioning the greenways of the Svratka River, the new boulevard and the proposed multi-level park, the new station creates a Garden District connecting these urban greenspaces in a forested loop around a new district of Brno.
Elevated above the rail platform, the new Brno Station and Transportation Hub is a roof park consisting of gardens, water features and overlooks. The Park celebrates views to approaching trains and the river, as well as the cathedral and surrounding communities. Designed as a landmark, the project is a new gateway to Brno and the seed for a new city that begins an integration of ecology and landscape to create a shift to the city’s center of gravity.
The urban greensward south of the station folds up over the rail platform to connect to the civic plaza on the north via a causeway of flexible-programmed, urban park spaces, restaurants and open space that forms, in aggregate, a new destination in Brno.
Landscape systems are used to introduce complex new organizations to the site that will evolve and grow richer with time and give form and character to the development of the neighborhood. The design embraces the opportunity to renew the post-industrial landscape of the new center, and dramatically reframe its relationship to the river, to the floodplain, and to its natural environment.
Park, ecology, community, and transportation introduce visitors and commuters to a new Brno grown from the old: from forests to ribbon gardens to stormwater harvesting, the station is designed to grow into its place as a new open space resource for Brno. As a hub, park, and a destination, the project plants a new center for Brno, one that will encourage new communities to thrive around it.
The new Brno Transportation Hub was designed to be an exemplar of high-performance that demonstrates its commitment to address climate change and improve the life of its citizens. It’s a proposal made to capture carbon rather than embody it. To achieve the design’s vision sustainably, mass timber is used wherever feasible. The superstructure for the park on the roof is also mass timber except for a waterproof concrete liner beneath the planted and paved park surfaces.
The elevated park is the most prominent feature of the design with paths that weave up and above the rail platform to allow for an understanding of Brno’s cultural and ecological history, as well as a celebration of travel.
The new axis is anchored by the station at the south and the Cathedral to the north; this powerful urban relationship will energize the development south from Brno’s historic core to the new station district, providing an ecological amenity to all the adjoining existing urban districts and tying the new southern district into the city with an open, green and porous ground plane under the rail platform.
Designing the new Brno Station and Transportation Hub brought together a diverse and complimentary team. The project combined the expertise of Snøhetta’s New York and Innsbruck studios, consultancy and design studio Civitas, the Czech urban development and strategy planners 4ct, as well as transportation engineering experts Thornton Tomasetti. Central to all teams was a commitment to the public realm and reimagining the future of cities for moments of gathering and pause across scales.
The transdisciplinary approach is grounded in a collective belief in urban or infrastructure projects and the important role they play in access, connectivity and the potential to shape public life. This is the reason why these four entities came together, underpinning collaboration as a space for disciplines to rethink what’s possible and the places we create.