In the last four years, the warehouse area in the Czech Republic has doubled. Czechia’s strategic position as almost one of the richest regions in Europe, together with lower prices for land, lower building costs, an affordable and less socially protected labor force, stable but weak state regulation, make for ideal conditions for the construction of new logistics centers. On top of the well-known saying: “Czechia – Europe’s assembly shop”, we can now call our country Europe’s transshipment point, too.
Logistics parks, all the huge warehouses that we see along the roads, are nothing else but a reflection of the current economy and culture. They can’t be simply “solved”, or condemned as such. On the following pages, we try to grasp the context of this phenomenon that is transforming our landscape so radically. If architecture is the thing that puts warehouses together, we believe that it should also be able to critically break them down. Logistics is, on one hand, spatially represented by banal materiality and form and by shallow planning and construction processes, and, on the other, hand by abstract global chains, utopian technologies and robotization. We try to explore each of these aspects in the issue and offer the readers a fairly critical sketch of the logistics landscape.
The title of this issue is taken from last year’s VI PER Gallery exhibition. Following this exhibition, we prepared a Czech-English book, Steel Cities: The Architecture of Logistics in Central and Eastern Europe, to be published this March. Included therein are contributions from us as well as numerous Czech and international authors from various fields of expertise.
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