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Hostivař cemetery is being expanded. An architectural competition will determine its new appearance

The Hostivař cemetery no longer has sufficient capacity and will have to be expanded. The appearance of the new cemetery will be determined by an architectural competition, which is being organised by the Administration of Prague Cemeteries, together with the Prague Institute of Planning and Development. The results will be known at the beginning of next year.

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“Competing architectural teams will be tasked to find an effective and sensitive solution which uses the allocated area and takes account of the cemetery facilities that have already been planned. This will help the district authorities to decide on the future development of unused sites in old Hostivař,” warns Petr Hlaváček, Director of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development.

The outcome should also allow for the possible future expansion of the cemetery beyond its current boundaries and produce an architectural and urbanistic plan for the main entrance, including the area in front of the cemetery in K Jezeru street. As part of the project, competitors will also be tasked to design a feature to link the old and new parts of the cemetery.

The only condition of the architectural competition is a requirement that space be provided only for cremated human remains, not for conventional graves. The competitors will themselves decide on which method of storing ashes they deem appropriate over the long term. Options include urn graves, a columbarium, the creation of an urn grove with plates for epitaphs, or a scattering garden. This is currently regarded as one of the most progressive methods of saving ashes.

The resulting projects should emphasise the importance of the area through landscaping and other architectural devices. Competitors may go into great detail, including the artistic design of individual burial sites.

The architectural competition is organised by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development, in cooperation with the Administration of Prague Cemeteries and with the support of the Prague 15-Hostivař district authority. Each design will be judged by personalities such as the architectural historian, Richard Biegel or the architect, Boris Redčenkov.

This architectural competition for the expansion of the cemetery is exceptional for Prague. One the one hand, no such competition has ever been held in recent years, and on the other, it raises the hope that the winning designs will continue the tradition of Czech funerary architecture, long interrupted, which was always followed by the outstanding personalities of their time.

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