24. 02. 2020
Not a Short-term Activity. Editors-in-Chief Discuss ERA21

“We believe this will not be a short-term activity,” wrote Rostislav Koryčánek, then editor-in-chief, in his first ERA21 editorial in 2002. Being published in Brno, in the beginning it looked as though the periodical, focused chiefly on ecology and construction, would only have local reach. ERA21 now celebrates its 20th birthday, still bringing important information from the world of architecture, putting it in a wider context, and influencing the architectural discourse in Czechia. To discuss the evolution of the magazine, all four of the former editors‑in‑chief – Helena Šnajdarová, Rostislav Koryčánek, Osamu Okamura and Zuzana Morávková – met with the current editor‑in‑chief Filip Landa in Brno. The final agreement was reassuring: it certainly has not been a short-term activity.

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06. 01. 2020
An Obvious School. Amos Elementary School for Psáry and Dolní Jirčany Ondřej Píhrt, Štefan Šulek, Ondřej Laciga / SOA architekti

As of today, the new elementary school fits in the existing development of the Psáry and Dolní Jirčany municipalities only loosely. The site is situated next to the main road to Prague, the west-facing windows offer views to the surrounding fields, the public space in front of the main entrance marks the end of an urban axis connecting it with the Dolní Jirčany square. The two main wings, inspired by village farmhouses, contain classrooms and offices; the central block-shaped volume clad with wooden slats houses the canteen and the gyms. Classrooms are organized in clusters of three or four; each cluster with its own color and direct access to an outdoor area. The energy efficient building also has its own rainwater collection system.

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17. 12. 2019
Warsaw on the Road. Marlena Happach Interviewed by Ivan Gogolák

Capital cities both, Warsaw and Prague share a similar history interwoven with the effects of planned development. But their starting position was very different. Near total destruction of Warsaw during the Second World War left it struggling to find its identity almost to this day. Strong development pressures brought the capital development projects introducing office districts, entirely new neighborhoods and new problems and challenges. To deal with these is in part the responsibility of the Department of Architecture and Spatial Planning in Warsaw – BAiPP. We talked about the capital city with the city architect, Marlena Happach.

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09. 12. 2019
A Living Hall. Production Hall in the Industrial Complex in Slavkov near Brno Zdeněk Fránek / Fránek Architects

This year, another green building was erected in the industrial complex in southwest Slavkov near Brno. Following the construction of their experimental development center LIKO‑Noe, the company producing interior partitions, prefab structures, and green construction elements completed a new production hall, LIKO-Vo, dubbed the first “living” hall in the world. The living hall concept is based on a principle of natural thermal stabilisation provided by a green roof, a green facade, a wet pond and other technologies that ensure the building can cool itself and the surrounding environment down, in stark contrast to the heat effect of traditional industrial structures. Besides an obvious aesthetic benefit and the thermal regulation effects, the green surfaces also function as natural wastewater treatment systems. The clean water is then stored and used for irrigation. The LIKO-S company sees the construction of the production hall as their response to the climate crisis and strives to inspire a considerate environmental approach.

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02. 12. 2019
Polish Architecture for a Second Time Vladimír Balda

During my summer vacation in 1988, when I was waiting for a midnight train in front of the Warsaw Central Station, I managed to exchange Czech koruna for Polish zloty at a bargain. As a sixteen-year-old teenager, I was very surprised that the first passer-by bought the Czech currency. But I didn’t pay much attention to the Central Station itself – the most modern building in Warsaw at that time. Architecture interested me only marginally, I might have just raised my eyes to the top of the Palace of Culture and Science, the highest structure in the city built in the style of socialist realism...

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