Crestyl allowed to continue with construction. The new Savarin project will open next year.

A large commercial complex, which is being prepared in the centre of Prague by the developer Crestyl, has received a positive opinion of the monuments. The decision came more than a year after the Ministry of Culture rejected its redevelopment because it would endanger the conservation area. Now, the Department of Monument Conservation at Prague City Hall has issued a binding opinion after consulting the National Monuments Institute, according to which the proposed reconstruction is permissible in terms of the interests of state monument conservation. The palace should open to the public next year.

The Savarin project is located in the vicinity of Wenceslas Square and Na Příkopě Street, which will be connected by a previously closed courtyard after the reconstruction. In addition, a new entrance to the metro will be built here, and the developer also plans to open the historic riding hall here to the public.

"The aim is to preserve and reconstruct all the currently neglected protected historic buildings in the very heart of the metropolis and to make them as accessible as possible. We will bring life back into the courtyards by restoring the Baroque garden and creating a square, and connecting the preserved courtyards with brand new passages," says Simon Johnson, Crestyl's managing director.

The first phase of the project is currently underway. This is the reconstruction and restoration of the historic palace by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer, on which Crestyl is working with the conservationists. It will open to the public next year and will be surrounded by a square with a garden, cafés and restaurants.

As part of the project, the developer also envisages a new section, which is still undergoing permitting processes - it is currently in the planning phase. It should offer commercial space and offices for rent, all within a complex connected by passages leading from Na Příkope, V Cípu and Jindřišská streets. Once completed, Savarin should consist of four interconnected parts, each of which will have a different use.

The Savarin will also include a multi-purpose space intended mainly for cultural and social events, and a gallery for the Slavic Epic is also planned. The previous management of the municipality had tentatively agreed with the developer that after the completion of the project, the basement space would be reserved for the placement of the magnificent work by Alfons Mucha.

However, the fate of the Slavonic Epic is still uncertain. The work is the subject of a long-running legal dispute, which has been waged since 2016 by the painter's relative John Mucha against the city administration. He disputed that the famous cycle belongs to Prague, as the city has not built adequate premises for it. Mucha's condition for its donation to the capital was that they be built.

At the beginning of September, the Prague administration excitedly announced that the court case had been settled by an agreement between the city and the Mucha family, but a few days later the painter's second heiress, Jarmila Mucha Plocková, filed a lawsuit. According to her, the agreement is disadvantageous for the town and does not finally resolve the question of the ownership of the epic, which was the main issue throughout the litigation.

The Savarin Palace is also known as Sylva-Taroucca or Piccolomini as a late Baroque palace building. The rebuilt complex would cover 1.7 hectares and Crestyl is investing ten billion crowns in it. Thomas Heatherwick's studio, which has been behind a number of high-profile projects around the world, such as the conversion of an old silo in Cape Town into the Zeitz Mocaa Museum of Contemporary African Art, New York's Vessel and London's Coal Drops Yard, is behind the Savarin's design.

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Source: Czech Crunch, Crestyl