We have had the topic of municipal architect on our minds for a long time. The most recent impulse was this year when in our hometown, Brno, the discussion about the restoration of the architect’s department culminated, and when our long-time colleague Marek Kuchta left the editorial office and became the municipal architect in Hranice.» entire article
One of the oldest municipal mills in Horažďovice was brought back to life after many years of decay. The Czech-German Center for Environmental Education, PROUD, was established here. The building is located on the left bank of the Otava River, at the edge of the historical center, and is characterized by two sides – one facing the city, the second facing the river and beyond. Inside, the main common space is a dining hall spread across two floors that serves as a lecture room and a study hall, as well. During the reconstruction, the neglected building was stripped down to a skeleton structure, therefore it kept its historic volume and spatial arrangement, but all the surfaces, openings and the roof are new. The interiors are dominated by wood, the exterior façade shines in a combination of green plaster and blue window frames.» entire article
In prison, people “eat, sleep, work, study, play, swim, go to the doctor and visit their families. They also speak, negotiate, listen, learn, and express their opinions; they have relationships, hate and love. In prison, people watch, think, read and listen to music, they have doubts and they find inspiration, they are concerned and alarmed, excited, depressed, hopeful; they cry and they laugh,” as Roger Paez, author of Mas d’Enric prison in Tarragona (see pages 28–31) writes in his book Critical Prison Design. Prison is a microcosm, a miniature unto itself. It is an island or a ship at sea inhabited by society that has to develop its own rules due to its isolation… and yet it peculiarly mirrors the society “on the other side”. Prison is a heterotopia.» entire article
A new unique museum of history was opened near Břeclav, presenting visitors one of the world’s leading archaeological localities – a complex of Paleolithic settlements, Dolní Věstonice-Pavlov. The locality is situated in a nature conservation area and it is a national cultural monument. Therefore, the building is situated under the ground and only white lighting towers interfere with the scenery of Pavlovské vrchy. Complex in its shape, the building is carried out as a monolithic structure in a white tub system while the three-dimensionally pointed ceiling is borne only by perimeter walls and towers without any other support. The materials used are dominated by relief concrete, oak and glass; the expositions include contemporary audio-visual technology alongside classic museum features.» entire article
“Anyone believing that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” Kenneth E. Boulding, economist
In the second week in May, demolition of one of the biggest industrial areas in Brno, Vlněna, began. The complex of generous multi-storey industrial halls and spectacular spaces will be flattened to allow the green meadow to see the growth of 80 thousand m2 of offices. Why isn’t it possible to squeeze this abstract amount of square metres and parking places into the wide-span reinforced concrete structures of old spinning mills, why is it necessary to replace them with new ones? The answers to these questions can’t be found in rational common sense thinking but in the logic of economic calculations, credit approvals, and stock exchange trading results. The paradox of today’s maximization of productivity and growth, that should prevent us from falling into a crisis, is that we don’t need the products any more, we need to maintain economic growth above all.» entire article
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