Three years ago, when we published ERA21 #02/2016 – Building in a City, I started my editorial by quoting Ivan Koleček saying that when he comes to a city and sees cranes, it’s a sign that there’s a demand for architects. I will use his words again, if I may. Ivan Koleček had taught at Brno Faculty of Architecture for many years and he still organizes workshops for his former students. He always says that working with young people fills him with energy, but the exchange is mutual, of course.
The Sudetenland, covering one third of the area of the Czech Republic, is still invisible for many. The setting for many fundamental moments of our history, and yet it’s forgotten in a way. Sudetenland is often understood as just a border territory along the northern borders, but in fact it lines almost the entire country and even stretches further inland. During the 1950s, the last remnants of the original settlements were irretrievably destroyed. What remains now? What places can still tell us something about our past?» entire article
In 2000, Petr Mikšíček set out on a three-month, 1,000 kilometer trek through the border mountains of the Czech Republic. This was also the start of his life’s journey, in which he’s trying to preserve the disappearing memory of the Krušné hory region. He organizes land-art gatherings in the former village of Königsmühle, documents and revives monuments using new technology, and makes movies based on legends and stories of the region. In the interview, we discussed the re-discovered borderlands, the culture of Krušné hory, contemporary Czech‑German relations, growing tourism, as well as transformations to the landscape of the Sudetenland.» entire article
The Dobruška cemetery, with the dominant Church of the Holy Ghost and the onion domed bell tower, is situated on a hill to the east from the city and is surrounded by a marlstone wall. The area in front of the cemetery is crossed by an old lime avenue separating the new funeral hall from the parking lot. The funeral hall references the nearby chapel with its size, uses materials typical for the area, but its form is contemporary – it is based on the principle of progressive horizontal layering. On top of the sandstone brickwork that reaches as high as the cemetery wall, there is a glazed strip ending with a ledge with timber cladding. Above this level rises the main volume of the hall with a facade of cleft larch shingles, interrupted by one window only, high on the eastern wall and bending into the plane of the roof. The hall with 50 seats is situated in the center of the layout and is surrounded by a circle of auxiliary rooms and sanitary facilities for the public and visitors to the cemetery.» entire article
What is a border? “Primarily, nothing more and nothing less than a real or imagined line, setting two things apart,” wrote the prominent Austrian philosopher Konrad P. Liessmann.1 According to him, a border is a precondition for us to be able to perceive and experience something. If everything was undifferentiated, there wouldn’t be anything to identify. Generally speaking, borders are important because that’s where two different powers always meet and can enrich each other. Thanks to the positive tension between them, the periphery allows for impulses and innovations to emerge, even if they couldn’t thrive in the center.» entire article
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