Why it’s nice to have birds and bats in cities, how we can make new builds and retrofits for nesting architecturally interesting, and how to finally stop killing birds with our deadly modern architecture. All of this and more appears in the following article, which probably wouldn’t ever have been written if I hadn’t witnessed a red robin striking my window on that fateful day last April.
As active users of public space, as skaters, we’re often intrigued by the smallest of details which others pass without notice. Joints in the pavement, bench edges, materials, barrier-free accessibility or ease of movement around a city. Skaters spend a lot of time in the streets, so they understand the city and its workings quite well. They know the best places to spend their free time, where to stop and sit down, where to skate. They like the interaction with the city and its inhabitants, they prefer the city centre to the skatepark somewhere on the periphery. They also have a mutually influential relationship with other social stratas. So skaters just tend to be public space experts. You can quickly tell the quality of a space by the presence of a group of young people riding around on something.» entire article
Three individual buildings make up the church complex in the village of Lidečko. The baroque-style Church of St Katherine of Alexandria, the 16th century clergy house and a new parish community centre, which replaced the original 1950s cultural centre. The shape of the new parish centre follows the site boundary and delimits areas for outdoor activity. The symbolism of architecture as a processional passage underlines the meaning and function of the building. It begins with the public space in front of the church, continues along the walkway next to the covered outdoor space (with the inserted community centre), all the way to the back porch incorporating the remnants of the old stone wall. The community centre itself has variable layout options, a masonry load bearing structure, and larch shingle cladding. Building the Lidečko Parish Centre was a collective effort and the whole parish participated both financially and manually.» entire article
For the Slovak National Gallery building, a thorough renovation was long overdue—at least since the 2001 emergency closure of the exhibition space in the Bridging, a 1970s extension by architect Vladimír Dedeček connecting two opposite wings of the Gallery. Another part of the Gallery, the permanent exhibition this time, was closed off in 2012 due to inadequate conditions for the artwork. Finally, the library and the offices were shut down that same year. The renovation reconnects the disrupted functional relations, both inside the complex and with the neighbouring public areas. The main entrance axis from the old building’s courtyard is reaffirmed in the current layout, while a new axis, generated by Dedeček’s orthogonal grid, connecting the Gallery with the city centre, is integrated. Natural pedestrian paths are allowed to enter the ground floor and the courtyard. The Gallery becomes an open and welcoming institution.» entire article
This issue of ERA21 was originally meant to focus on Zoological Gardens. As summarised in the introduction text, diﬀerent impulses led to us shifting our ﬁeld of interest away from these places of worldly entertainment of looking into limited animal enclosures. The abstract act of erasing boundaries between people and wild animals crossed the popular glass divides of zoo exhibits. Animals range free now, in their natural territories—though these are greatly diminished due to human activity. And ERA21 is looking at ways of expanding these territories again, physically as well as semantically. It strives for emancipation from the subordination to the anthropocentric approach to the environment and for the discovery of new ecologies of interspecies coexistence. As it turns out, rewilding doesn't have to end in regression, instead it can stimulate a fascinating transgression.» entire article
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