Filip Landa.
Filip Landa.

Epicenters of Architecture

Filip Landa

All over Europe, and the world, there are institutions acting as architecture liaisons to the public, be it nationwide or just locally in regions and cities. Here, in the Czech Republic, we don’t have an institution that could be labeled as a center of Czech architecture. This task is being taken up by various activist organizations, however, they are struggling with financial, personal, or legal limits. This issue of ERA21 is focused on institutions integrated in the official state or local administration structure.

We have decided to map architecture centers throughout Europe. We have asked about their history, operation, and financing. According to Angelika Fitz, the new Director of Architekturzentrum Wien, museums are not supposed to serve as places for one-way communication, as in a didactic manner, but should become places of shared knowledge.

Such efforts can be found in the Czech architectural scene, too. We have given space to several organizations to share with us their activities and plans. Turns out, choosing a suitable form for architectural presentations isn’t so easy. In the Czech Republic, exhibition spaces, as well as acceptable architectural presentation forms, are still in early development, as are those cultural and political conversations which deal with them. The Foundation of Czech Architecture and the galleries it manages know all about this.

A part of this issue was also dedicated to municipal organizations focusing on presentation of local building intentions. Should these institutions present the public with an overview of historical development of the city, or should they concentrate more on the future? We searched for inspiration in an interview with the Director of the New London Architecture center, Catherine Staniland, and consequently projected it into a discussion with the main participants of the new Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning in Prague.

We believe that a thorough summary of European architecture centers can also be the basis for the development of architectural “epicenters” in our country. This issue can also be used as a guidebook for architecture trips abroad.

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