ERA21 #02/2016 To Build in a City

kniha editorial

To Build in a City

Zuzana Morávková

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Genius Loci »

Anastasia Savinova

In this project I try to identify differences and to find similarities between places of habitation. Travelling around cities and countries, I take pictures of buildings, look into windows sneakily, go to local shops, flea markets and bars, watch everyday life—all this helps to build a feeling of the Place. This feeling becomes a foundation or a series of large-scale collages. The integral image emerges from visual information and a dozen associations. While architecture and landscape are visual components of the integral image of the Place, at the same time, this image is inseparably linked with a mentality and a way of life. It is saturated with “an incorporeal something”. The ancient Romans called it “genius loci”—the protective spirit of a place. In contemporary usage, “genius loci” refers to a location’s distinctive atmosphere. The big house in each collage is composed of many smaller buildings, which are typical for a particular country or city, in their connection with the land and the spirit of the Place.

kniha debate

To Build in a City. Discussion of Filip Landa with Pavel Hnilička, Jakub Filip Novák and Filip Tittl »

About the phenomenon of a compact city, suburbanization, living in a city and measuring the quality of life; about building in a city, construction laws, and the endless case of Prague Construction Regulations; about politics as well as about how they live and which buildings in a city they consider to be of a high quality; all that we have discussed with three architects, urbanists, experts in city planning.

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A Few Comments on Amendments to the Construction Act and on Conditions for Construction in the City »

Jiří Plos

The fifth amendment to the Construction Act (No. 183/2006 on town and country planning and building code) is now in an advanced state of legislative process. With more than three hundred amendment clauses and many previous enactments, this amendment is one of the more extensive ones, concerning more or less practically all parts of the Construction Act. Even though it is more and more evident that the new Construction Act hasn’t been sufficiently thought through and was approved hastily, the legislator won’t agree to prepare a new law and still tries to put a patch on a coat that has been repaired many times. But the old saying is true—a patch over another patch does not hold together properly. Moreover, the already extensive regulation has been increased by almost forty new articles. The planned amendment of the Construction Act not only significantly increases the volume of the regulation but mainly strives for “simplification” without really achieving it, and, above all: it does not improve the conditions for constructions in cities and the meaningful making of cities.

kniha manual

How to Destroy a City, a Beginner’s Course »

Jakub Filip Novák

Dear audience, in the next few lessons we are going to lay the foundations of the destruction of cities. We will introduce the main tools used for the destruction of cities, and mention several proven methods of how to continuously smother and weaken cities. We will also discuss a few emergency moves in case the destruction doesn’t go as fast and effectively as required. We will remember positive examples of setting a destructive environment, including my favourite—and as I believe also a future leader in this area—the Czech Republic.

» entire article
completed project

Theatre Behind the Wall. Reconstruction and Completion of Dusíkovo Theatre in Čáslav »

Aleš Burian, Gustav Křivinka / Architektonická kancelář Burian – Křivinka /

The theatre is located in a former moat on the north-east edge of the historical core of the town. The addition to one of the oldest stonework theatres in the CR is conceived as a simple prism segmented by windows that enabled extension of the existing foyer with a two-storey space, containing a café, comfortable facilities for the audience as well as performers, and in particular the new theatre hall which serves multiple purposes, from theatrical experiments to social events. Also, there is a new entrance plaza with a terrace oriented to the green courtyard under the bulwark.

completed project

Completing the Structure. The Multipurpose Concept House in Ostrava-Poruba »

David Kotek, Kateřina Holenková, Jan Müller / PROJEKTSTUDIO /

In 2013, the construction of the eight-storey multifunctional house on Opavská Street in Ostrava-Poruba was finished. The building is situated on the boundary of a housing estate and a more compact residential development from the 1950’s, which it completes. The aim was to create variable spaces on each floor, which is best achieved with a reinforced concrete skeletal system. The house is two floors higher than the neighbouring development and it also stands out thanks to its atypical dark grey plaster.

completed project

To Be—To Live. Reconstruction and Completion of an Apartment House on Francouzská Street in Brno »

Roman Gale, Michal Palaščák / agparchitekti /

An old balcony house from the 19th century in a socially excluded location near the city centre was transformed and expanded into a small-scale apartment social housing as an initiative of the Brno Municipality. The original street volume was increased by two floors and the courtyard wing also underwent a thorough reconstruction. The house is equipped with a reception, children’s playroom, janitor’s apartment, and laundry; the occupants can also use a large inner courtyard with greenery and benches. Only the stone panelling of the gateway in the street façade is a reminder of the original building.

completed project

Transformation of a Corner. Reconversion of an Office Building in Prague-Vršovice into a Student Dormitory »

Jan Schindler, Ludvík Seko / Schindler Seko architekti /

The corner building from the 1970’s has changed its function several times. Today it serves as student accommodation which is suitable due to its' triple-wing disposition, the small height of the floors, and the proximity of a park. A black and white façade conceals multi-coloured corridors on each floor and bright rooms with facilities. The corner on the upper level is completed by the glazed oriel window of the common room; another space for students is the basement club and gym. The ground floor serves commercial purposes.


Mobility in the Near Future »

David Bárta

Advanced technologies, autonomous transport, event-driven information in real time, big data from various sensors, and self-driving taxis; these are concepts discussed when talking about mobility in the near future. How is it possible to contribute to the sustainable development of cities through smart transportation planning?


Shrinking Cities: Municipal Strategies »

Ondřej Šerý, Hana Svobodová, Jan Binek, Roman Chmelař, Zdeněk Šilhan

In the past, industry brought dramatic development in the population and economy of cities, while “urban development” meant growth, increase and expansion of a city. In the middle of the 20th century, stagnation or even shrinking in population began to appear in some cities in Western Europe and in the USA. The reasons for the decrease in population are various; very often it is a complex and versatile phenomenon. Geographers Petr Rumpel and Ondřej Slach remark that the shrinking of cities doesn’t only mean a decrease in the number of inhabitants, but also economic, political, and other decline. In Central Europe, the phenomenon of shrinking cities is related to transformative processes after 1989.

completed project

Tightly. Multipurpose House on Minská Street in Brno »

Zdeněk Makovský, Daniel Makovský, Adam Sirotek / Makovský & partneři /

On a site only 4.8 m wide in Brno-Žabovřesky, a multifunctional house was built which is higher than the neighbouring rather low development. It also stands out in the compact street frontage due to its glazed front and prefab concrete structure. Openings into a courtyard reveal a winter garden and an exterior steel staircase leading to all floors, whose layout with a central unit is completely variable.

completed project

Blow-Up. Conversion of a Family House on Lerchova Street in Brno »

Jan Vojtíšek, Jakub Staník / studio AEIOU /

A standardized duplex house from the First Republic occupies quite a small site on the north-east slope of a residential neighbourhood with a view over the city. An adaptation of the original building created a multi-generation house with three apartments. The basic concept of the conversion lies in acknowledgement of the original, as well as new parts, in terms of form, function and materials. The new volumes are growing through the house on each floor, both inside and out; the extension allowed the insertion of a new staircase with independent entrance to the flats on each floor. On the ground floor, the father’s flat remained, the first floor is for the young family, and in the attic there is a rental unit.

completed project

House above Hvězda. Villa at Bílá Hora »

Ondřej Císler / Aoc /

The site in a quiet residential neighbourhood on the boundary of terraced houses from the 1970’s and individual detached houses from the First Republic is characterized by an impressive view on the dominant park in Bílá Hora, with the Hvězda summer palace, and long-distance openings towards the Divoká Šárka nature reserve. Being difficult to use and renovate, the house was replaced by a new building that doesn’t exceed the limits of the original urban conception of the area, following the stipulated street line and the number of floors and spaces, as well as the allowed level of development. The compact volume of the house, with two floors, basement, and attic, is a response to three basic requirements: that of a comfortable modern villa for one family, with a link between the living space and the garden which maintains a high level of privacy, and parking for four cars.

completed project

Solitary Prism. The Pakosta Gallery in Litomyšl »

Zdeňka Vydrová

The site in the historical core of the conservation area of the city of Litomyšl is situated on the intersection of two significant routes—Josef Váchal Street, leading from the square to the castle, and orthogonal Mariánská Street. This has predetermined the basic form of the house; an independently standing two-storey corner building with steep shed roof fills the trapezoidal site, which originally contained a small garden. The front entrance, oriented to Mariánská Street, forms a small block forefront; the southern front penetrated with large window openings faces Josef Váchal Street. The ground floor is occupied by rentable space with small facility that can be used, for example, as a gallery or a studio; on the first floor there is a housing unit with an inserted sleeping gallery accessible via ladder stairs.


Apartment House in the Context of an Urban Block Prague-Smíchov. Student Studio Works from the Autumn Semester 2015–2016 at the Faculty of Architecture of CTU in Prague »

Based on an urban planning study prepared by studio A69 – architects, which has become a foundation for the change of the land-use plan and for development of the former Smíchov railway station in Prague, each one of the seven participating school studios was assigned a corresponding number of city blocks depending on the number of registered students. The aim was to design apartment or multifunctional houses that would respect the character of the location and develop its diversity, and which would represent dignified and comprehensible examples of affordable 21st century housing within the Smíchov context. The resulting proposals were presented in March 2016 at the UN international “European Habitat” conference in Prague.


The Southern Slopes of Úštěk »

Martin Holba

Narrow streets, terraces, courtyards, bird houses, and an elongated square. Úštěk is all this. To live in Úštěk means to be a part of history. With its picturesque landscape and beautiful historical environment, it seems to be an ideal place for life. But where do you place new housing in the old development? One of the projects nominated in 2015 for the finale of the Ještěd F kleci student competition attempts to find a solution.


Pod pyramídou (Under the Pyramid). Garden on a Roof of the Slovak Radio Building in Bratislava »

Dominika Belanská

The Pod pyramídou garden, on a roof terrace under the upturned pyramid of the Slovak Radio building in Bratislava, was the first community urban roof garden in Slovakia. The ambition of its founders was to enable the public to rediscover and until then closed and non-functional roof landscape, and transform it collectively into inclusive and viable public space. We have worked on the assumption that if people have the opportunity to meet and share a space together on an informal basis, they will communicate and look for ways of mutual understanding, respect and cooperation to reach their common goals. The chance to meet in a “new” unique public place, to sit on the grass, to have refreshments in a café, to get to know more about urban gardening, as well as many concerts, live radio broadcasting, an open-air cinema, and first Christmas fair, all of this has attracted more than 20 000 visitors within one year. Less than a year after the space was opened to the public, the main partner of the project, Slovak Radio and Television, decided to end this cooperation. Since December 2015, the founders of the Pod pyramídou project have had no influence on its spatial and programme conception.



Phototherapeutic Lighting—Part One

Antonín Fuksa


Effective Use of Shades in Building Industry

Štěpánka Lubinová a odborný tým SVST


Aeration Ability of Construction Openings

Jindřich Mrlík


How to Entertain a Child: Playgrounds in the Future

Markéta Veselá

ERA21 vydává ERA Média, s. r. o.
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