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ERA 21 - NO. 4, VOL. 2007
Nation for Itself


Page 12
National Dancing Centre in Pantin
Antoinette Robain, Claire Guieysse

The original purpose of an office building designed by Kalisz and constructed in 1970 was to serve as the Administrative Centre for the city of Pantin. The goal of the reconstruction was to considerably increase the premise’s technical quality, adapting it to the content of their new programme which is currently focused on dance.

Page 16
Moravian Cartographic Centre
Zdeněk Fránek
The construction of a multi-functional hall, completed after many years, located in a courtyard site where a wing of the Velké Opatovice chateau was originally located and burnt out, intentionally animates the sleepy composition of the precincts. 

Page 20
National Gallery in Prague:
Reconstruction of the Schwarzenberg Palace
Svatoslav Hladník, Tomáš Šantavý, Božena Svátková
Entrance Hall
Josep Lluís Mateo
The goal of the reconstruction project was to readapt one of the most important Renaissance monuments in the Czech Republic and to provide dignified and attractive premises for exceptionally valuable exhibits of Renaissance and Baroque art.

Page 24
Estonian National Museum
Dan Dorell, Lina Ghotmehová, Tsuyoshi Tane
After its liberation in 1991 and acceptance into the European Union in 2004, Estonia has been striving to rediscover its national identity. The museum provides a unique opportunity to act as mediator delivering stories and memories from places where they often stay forgotten, remaining hidden behind the dominant picture of “European” culture.

Page 28
Warsaw Museum of Modern Art
Christian Kerez
The Museum of Modern Art located on Parade Square, which will become part of a new culture centre in Warsaw, represents the polar opposite of the current Palace of Science and Culture building dating back to the 1950s.

Page 32
New Building of the National Library of the Czech Republic
Jan Kaplický / Future Systems
A progressive technological solution wrapped into a stale champagne colored blob has won the largest international architectonic competition in Czech history. 

Page 36
National Technical Library
Roman Brychta, Adam Halíř, Václav Králíček, Petr Lešek / Projektil architekti
The six storey building of the National Technical Library located on a university campus in Prague-Dejvice, with a parterre and central inner court open to the general public, is being constructed according to a project which won an architectonic competition in 2001. 

Page 40
National Technical Museum:
Reconstruction of the Existing Building
Zdeněk Žíla
Design of the New Expositions
Kryštof Štulc, Jan Klempíř; David Vávra, Radovan Lipus; Marcela Steinbachová
The building of the National Technical Museum has recently undergone extensive reconstruction. The work’s objective is to renew the original spatial concept of the vestibule and central foyers, along with the adjacent exhibition halls, and to install exhibitions that would suit the current requirements and capacities.

Page 48
National Museum – the National Memorial on the Vítkov Hill:
Reconstruction of the Building
Tomáš Šantavý, Tomáš Šedina, Božena Svátková
Design of the Exposition 
Transat architekti
Within the context of Prague’s 20th Century architecture, the construction of the Vítkov National Monument holds a unique position. The main objective of its reconstruction is to make the monument, as well as, the newly installed expositions related to the monument itself and contemporary Czech history accessible.

Page 52
Senate of the Czech Republic
Projects in Alena Šrámková Studio, Faculty of Architecture, Czech Technical University, Prague

Page 54
Metropol Hotel in Národní třída Avenue
Marek Chalupa, Štěpán Chalupa, Tomáš Havlíček, Martin Rusina / Chalupa architekti / d u m architekti
A modern hotel with its flush facade and extendible canopy tops came into existence as the result of the reconstruction of the original Sportturist administrative building which dates back to 1967–1971.

Page 118
Jan Schindler, Petr Ekštein / 4a architekti
The modern administrative building located on European Street in Dejvice, Prague, completes the complex of the surrounding building development, representing an imaginary gate to Vítězné Square.


Page 56
The Edifice Complex. How the Rich and Powerful Shape the World
Deyan Sudjic
We are used to talking about architecture as regards its relationship to the history of art, and technological or social developments. We know how to classify buildings according to the shape of their windows or the details of its capitals. However, we have problems understanding any wider political context of the buildings, i.e. the reasons why they exist rather than the procedure of their construction. This omission is a bit suprising considering the close relationship between architecture and power.

Page 60
Can We Still Believe in Iconic Buildings?
Deyan Sudjic, Charles Jencks

Norman Foster’s “Gherkin” in London, Frank Gehry´s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao – are we living in the age of iconic buildings? Or are they just examples of political and architectural arrogance? This is the topic of a discussion held between two leading architecture critics, Deyan Sudjic and Charles Jencks.

Page 65
The Transformation of Czech National Cultural Institutions: Reality or Wish?
Ladislav Kesner
Projects receiving a lot of  media attention, such as the new National Library building project or the National Museum reconstruction, have obscured the fact that national cultural institutions and their relationships towards the state have not yet undergone a profound systemic transformation. The basic precondition for any necessary changes to be implemented as regards their statutory & legal organisation, financing and management, that would enable them to operate on the level of their peer institutions abroad, is a shift to be taken by the political elite in their opinions.

Page 68
National Architecture Today
Yvette Vašourková
National Architecture – a dignified form of representing the state has been substituted with architecture assuming a role reduced to the mere presentation of the state and nation. The common objective is to compete successfully in the market and material profit has become the only “vision”.

Page 70
Representation Through Architecture in Czech Lands in 20th Century
Martin Strakoš
The architecture of Czech governmental and national institutions has sought its expression in international Neo-renaissance, through folklore inspirations, modern Classicism, Functionalism, Stalinist historism, as well as Neo-avant-garde. How will we define their role in today’s Czech democratic society?

Page 73
Architectural Policy in the Czech Republic
Petr Jelínek 
This spring, the Board of Directors of the Czech Chamber of Architects adopted a draft document entitled "Architecture Policy Programme in the Czech Republic”. The document was then delivered to competent ministers to be discussed during interdepartmental proceedings and approved by the Czech Government as the governmental programme in the area of architecture.   

Page 78
The Architecture of Czech National Cultural Institutions
We asked leading representatives of Czech national cultural institutions how contemporary architecture helps to bring these institutions up to date, what experience they have in putting out architectural tenders, whether the state budget sufficiently takes into account the expenses related to the organisation of public architectural tenders and their announcement, or what their opinion is on the national architecture policy which was drawn up by the Czech Chamber of Architects.


Page 82
Extreme Fabrics - Part 1
Miloš Florián
The past century has given rise to remarkable progress in the development of materials with the potential to be used in the textile industry which in turn have had a growing impact on architecture. 

Page 98
City Development Planning and Building Designs From the Point of View of Crime Prevention
Tomáš Koníček, Pavel Kocábek

A lot of articles have already been written about ways to secure buildings against property crime. Little attention however, is paid to the analysis of the grounds and the circumstances influencing security offered to property owners.

Page 104
Selection of Ceramic Cladding Elements Based on Their Low-Temperature Resistance
Radomír Sokolář 
The fact that ceramic cladding elements are produced in both low-temperature resistant and non-resistant variations often leads to difficulty in selecting the correct type. The following text should help with orientation among ceramic cladding elements, with respect to the new ČSN EN 14411 request standard and the ČSN EN ISO 10545 series of related test standards as of 2004.

Page 110
Modern Bathroom Design
Zdeňka Lhotáková 
The comfort of a bathroom not only depends on its size, but especially the functionality of its space.

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