ERA21 #04/2016 Under Control

kniha editorial

Under Control

Jan Kristek

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kniha detail

Journey to Prehistory. The New Building of Archeopark Pavlov »

Architektonická kancelář Radko Květ

A new unique museum of history was opened near Břeclav, presenting visitors one of the world’s leading archaeological localities – a complex of Paleolithic settlements, Dolní Věstonice-Pavlov. The locality is situated in a nature conservation area and it is a national cultural monument. Therefore, the building is situated under the ground and only white lighting towers interfere with the scenery of Pavlovské vrchy. Complex in its shape, the building is carried out as a monolithic structure in a white tub system while the three-dimensionally pointed ceiling is borne only by perimeter walls and towers without any other support. The materials used are dominated by relief concrete, oak and glass; the expositions include contemporary audio-visual technology alongside classic museum features.

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Prison »

David Leventi

Domed prisons are stark buildings. They follow Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon model of the mass surveillance prison design. The concept was designed so a central observer could monitor all of the prisoners at once. Domed prisons have the same architectural structure as an opera house, but the difference is in who is observing whom. In an opera house, the audience of many is observing a few. In these domed prisons, it’s the reverse. Opera houses and prison houses have become a study in contrasts between beauty and squalor, opulence and poverty, serenity and cacophony.

In the world there exist four working round prisons and one ruin: F-House at Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois, Breda Prison, Arnhem Prison and Haarlem Prison in The Netherlands. The ruin is the Presidio Modelo on the Isla de la Junvetud in Cuba, where Fidel Castro was imprisoned. I hope to photograph it one day.

starting point

Architect‘s Travels or O Power, Where Art Thou? »

Jan Kristek

It is possible to imagine a mirror image of this terrifying architecture, a force as intense and devastating but used instead in the service of positive intentions. Division, isolation, inequality, aggression, destruction, all the negative aspects of the “Wall“, could be the ingredients of a new phenomenon: architectural warfare against undesirable conditions, in this case London. “This would be an immodest architectural structure committed not to timid improvements but to the provision of totally desirable alternatives.“1


1 Rem Koolhaas – Elia Zenghelis – Madelon Vriesendorp: Exodus or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture. In: Rem Koolhaas – Bruce Mau: S, M, L, XL. Rotterdam, 1995, p. 5–7.


Imprints of Power in Space »

Martin Vrba

The reflection of the relation between power and architecture is not new. Traditional societies have always shown a tight connection between sacral and secular power and architecture. Analyses of such a relationship in pre-modern societies might be trivial in many aspects. Because traditional power usually operates explicitly and exemplarily, and it is and should be unaffected in its brutality. Punishments and tortures have a spectacular character, the execution of aristocratic power is clear and straight, the structure of controlling – controlled aims to be clearly recognizable.

kniha interview

Can Architecture Kill? About Morality, Professional Ethics, and Human Rights. Michael Kimmelman Interviewed by Jan Kristek »

The petition demanding that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) forbids design of spaces for “killing, torture, or brutal, inhumane and humiliating treatment” – specifically death chambers and solitary confinements employed in US prisons – has triggered a groundswell of controversies. AIA refused to change its ethical code at the end of 2014, arguing that it’s not meant to “create limitations of members’ activities according to specific building types”. The discussion still goes on: AIA has been considering the reassessment of its attitude since February.

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completed project

Creating a Feeling of Home. Mas d’Enric Penitentiary in Tarragona »

AiB estudi d’arquitectes, Estudi PSP Arquitectura

The building of the new Tarragona penitentiary defies the traditional ideas of prison architecture with its conceptual solution as well as its final form. Instead of monumental walls it is surrounded by a system of terrain modifications and lower barriers, instead of barren corridors and dark courtyards it creates a large central space with enough greenery and views of the landscape. In this case, the prison becomes a subject of a critical design liable to the same conceptual, technological as well as social criteria and quality requirements as any other public architecture, aiming to return the issue of prisons into the contemporary architectural discourse.


Halden Prison. A Document from the Series Cathedrals of Culture »

Michael Madsen

It’s called “the most humane prison in the world”. The facility, spread over 30 hectares of gently sloping forest near the city of Halden in southeastern Norway, was designed by two studios – HLM arkitektur and Erik Møller Arkitekter, and completed in 2010. It is a place where wardens glide along corridors on trendy micro-scooters, where every cell has a flatscreen TV and en-suite bathroom, and which has the overall look of a Scandinavian boutique hotel. But it is a utopian image – reported with glee around the world – which is in tho movie offset by a haunting voiceover, told by the prison’s own psychologist, that gives a more balanced view of life inside. The use of fluid free-floating camerawork, meanwhile, intentionally jars with the prisoners’ captivity. Architecture is psychology as space, and this document couldn’t do a better job of showing it. If buildings could talk, what would they say about us?

completed project

Time Out. Visitor and Educational Pavilion in Juvenile Detention Institution Maasberg in Overloon »


The new pavilion for education and visitors is a part of the former adult prison that was transformed into a juvenile detention institution. It’s the first prison in the Netherlands where youngsters are placed in groups of ten instead of twelve in order to provide more treatment and training to each one of them. The form, materials, as well as the location of the pavilion symbolize the temporality of their stay in the institution.


Houses Without Façades. The Architecture of Prisons »

Jindřich Vybíral

The study briefly summarizes the history of European and US prison architecture in the 19th century and concerns itself in detail with the design of two large correctional institutions in the CR – Pilsen-Bory and Prague-Pankrác. These prison constructions met the requirements of a complex program whose priority was secure, effective, and sanitary operation. They reflected the principal of isolation as the first condition of moral correction of the offenders. But prison architecture is not only an expression of a “disciplinary society”. Regular and symmetric arrangement of volumes as well as flaunted functionality and simplicity of façades, those are manifests of modern rationalism that likes clear and distinct things and that sees geometry as a way of bringing human work into harmony with universal principles. According to theorists of French classicism, symmetry, scale, and proportions are attributes of order that stand against the chaos of illegality and madness.


Labor Camps in Czechoslovakia between the Wars: The Ultimate Solution for Unemployment »

Vendula Hnídková

The tense situation during the second republic is often symbolized by a hateful campaign that wore Karel Čapek out as a leading representative of interwar Czechoslovakia and its ideals. However, the general radicalization of the situation is aptly illustrated in the solution of unemployment by establishing the so-called labor units that would rather be called labor camps in today’s terminology due to their character. And yet, their architectonic design wasn’t born in a secretly underhand way, but in December 1938 it was an assignment for professor Pavel Janák’s students at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague.


Closed Architecture. Art, Property of Politics III »

Jonas Staal

In 2006, a graduate architect, Fleur Agema became a member of the Dutch parliament and one of the main characters of the Party for Freedom (PVV), founded by radical nationalist, Geert Wilders. The project, Art, Property of Politics III: Closed Architecture, examines Fleur Agema’s evolution as an architect and politician. To what extent, the attitudes reflected in her architecture diploma project of a prison were projected in the policy pushed through by her party or rather in the formation of the whole of Dutch society?


A Room with a View. Ny Anstalt Correctional Facility in Nuuk »

Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Friis & Moltke

Openness, light, views, security and flexibility are the leading values behind the winning proposal for the new correctional facility in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. In appreciation of the beautiful and rough character of the landscape, the orientation and scale of the whole facility makes the building appear subordinate to its surroundings. The choice of materials – concrete, wood and corten steel – is also rooted in a desire to adapt the complex to the landscape. Panoramic views of the mountain and the sea become an integral part of the interior thanks to the wide windows in the common lounge area. The project won first prize in a restricted competition in May 2013 and is due to be completed in 2017.


Juvenile Detention Institution in Karlsruhe. Bachelor Thesis of Students in the Marc Frohn Studio at the Faculty of Architecture, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology »

The higher framework for the prison design was dealing with institutional spaces. How do these spaces embody social values, rituals, and rules, and how are these rules formalized with their help? The institutions symbolically represent the values that the majority of the population declare to be obligatory. How are these values – being subjected to changes – imprinted in architectonic form? Karlsruhe as a city of institutions – there is for example the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Supreme Court – provides a suitable context for such a discussion.


Life Behind the Iron Curtain. Women’s Prison in Velké Přílepy »

Martin Málek

The reopened women’s prison in Velké Přílepy near Prague is currently using the premises of former barracks with all its limitations and disadvantages, and is already at full capacity. The extension of the prison is in the form of a compact volume enclosed towards the outside world, and hiding inside an opened, light, and dynamic space that lives its own life. Behind a black façade from steel panels, there are five blocks functionally divided into residential, work, and sports spaces for inmates, staff facilities as well as grass courtyards with greenery. The project was nominated in traditional student projects competition Ještěd F Kleci #15 organized by the Faculty of Art and Architecture TU Liberec.


Build Your Own Prison. Computer Game Prison Architect »

Tomáš Bártek

The question of whether it is acceptable to build a prison is quite often present in discussions about architectural ethics. Since last autumn, architects have been able to try to build a prison without moral dilemmas in a game called Prison Architect. Developed by a British studio, Introversion Software, it belongs to a popular genre of building strategy games dominated by big names such as SimCity (a simulator of building and managing cities) or Railroad Tycoon (construction of railroads). This game genre has been neglected recently and that is why smaller independent studios are focusing on it, because they can aim for a smaller but more loyal group of customers.


Between Intimacy, Safety, and Surveillance. Martin Hollý Interviewed by Tomáš Řepa »

“When I started to work in Bohnice Hospital, there was a large arrow in the entrance hall, a one-way road sign. It only showed inside. Like it was saying that whoever enters once, never leaves,” the Director of the Psychiatric Hospital Bohnice, MUDr. Martin Hollý recalls. There is no such arrow anymore. The whole complex is changing and opening, step by step. What are some of the construction challenges the biggest psychiatric complex in the CR will face going forward? How will it respond to the current reforms in the psychiatric system?


Man is Defined by Context and Relationships. Juraj Barbarič Interviewed by Petra Hlaváčková, Barbora Šedivá, and Martin Freund »

The first version of the interview with psychotherapist Juraj Barbarič was made on the occasion of an exhibition of Psychoanalysis of one space: A probe into subconscious of a former laundry in which he participated as a live exhibit and was available to anyone interested in psychotherapeutic consultation during the opening. Based on the mutually inspiring cooperation, a further need emerged to discuss some of the questions, regarding contemporary progressive trends in psychotherapy in more detail, and to mediate them to the public.

completed project

Random Landscape. Children’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Hokkaido »

Sou Fujimoto Architects

A treatment center for children with mental disabilities is located on the northernmost and the second largest Japanese island Hokkaido. Although it is a highly specialized place, the assignment was to create a lively inner space that would be reminiscent of a large house or a small city; that would contain both the familiarity of a house and the diversity of a city. We chose the method of loose ground floor plan that emerged from an exact design process.

completed project

Fusion with a City. Kronstad Psychiatric Hospital in Bergen »

Origo Arkitektgruppe

The hospital building located in a busy part of Bergen, Norway was designed with an emphasis on openness and transparency towards the public and, at the same time, with a focus on the creation of safe refuge for its patients. Additional priorities also included the creation of new public spaces, the incorporation of nature in the building, and its fusion with the diverse urban environment.


NÚDZ Strikes Back! National Institute of Mental Health in Klecany near Prague »


The National Institute of Mental Health (NÚDZ) is an unparalleled scientific site focused on the research of mental illnesses and brain functions. It was established after the transformation of Psychiatric Center Prague, which was founded in 1961 in Prague-Bohnice. Financed mostly from Operational Program Research and the Development for Innovations, this billion-crown building is located in Klecany, population three thousand, on the northern outskirts of Prague. It was built without architectonic competition, without ethics, without esthetics, without sense, without hope. It was built according to a project by Santis office from Žďár, and opened in January 2015. The five-story building covering an area of almost 14,000 m2 offers 56 hospital beds (the clinical practice makes up only 20 % of all of the hospital’s activities, while research makes up 80 %), outpatient department, conference center and day care centers. There building also has a reception, underground garages, and a café. The facility houses almost three hundred employees.


Crime Does Pay! How Security Technology, Architecture and Town Planning Are Powered by Crime »

Michael Zinganel

Crime rarely enters our living rooms through the front door and windows nowadays, but primarily via the television. As a result, the demand for security technology seems insatiable. Moreover, one cannot fully rid oneself of the impression that the function of security technology is not so much to keep the potential intruder out, as it is to assure the owner that there is indeed something worth protecting in the safeguarded interior. One could even say that the gadgets of the security industry merely announce the presence of valuables in the home to those who are being locked out; that it is more often about symbolic security – or about status symbols – that at most testify to the fact that one can afford these gadgets. That our society also needs real acts of crime, however, and that it knows all too well how to put them to good use, is something Karl Marx pointed out a long time ago.


Spatial Exclusion: The Czech Way? Keeping a Distance from Socially Excluded Localities »

Václav Walach, Petr Kupka

A socially excluded locality has become a key term of public debate in the Czech Republic. The authors of Analysis of Socially Excluded Localities in the CR define it as a locality with a concentration of more than twenty individuals receiving allowances and living in physically or symbolically restricted space. In other words, it is a space within urban as well as village developments usually inhabited by poor Romani individuals where these locations are stigmatized as “bad addresses”, “haunted houses” or “ghettos”.


Hostile Architecture »

Karolína Plášková

Hostile architecture or design in general means measurements for organization of public space and regulation of social behavior in it. Written as well as unwritten measurements and social rules and expectations are interpreted through urban design. A specific way of forming the physical environment serves as a tool of inclusion and exclusion and disciplining of the society. The aim is to prevent the use of certain components of the public space in an undesirable manner.


The Ghetto is Our Home »

Alexandra Sýkorová, Matej Halinár

A few steps away from downtown Brno, where the park surrounding the House of Arts and Janáček Theater ends, past Koliště Street is where the Cejl district begins, or “Brno Bronx” or “Romany ghetto”. A “decent” man usually doesn’t enter this part of the city unless it’s necessary. But how does this place actually work, what does it lack? And what can architects do? A case study of one part of “ghetto“ shows how is it possible to open up the extensive area of courtyards through local interventions in the existing urban structure, and create a public space that is needed in Cejl. The project was awarded within the XI. competition of student projects Bohuslav Fuchs Prize, organized by the Faculty of Architecture, Brno University of Technology.


Brnox. Guide to Brno Bronx »

Kateřina Šedá

A guide to a locality where many Brno citizens fear to go. What can you encounter in streets whose names are often being said with an undisguised contempt: Cejl, Bratislavská, Francouzská, Vlhká? A great many of things. The black city, as this excluded locality in downtown Brno is sometimes called, is surprisingly colorful. The unique guide is composed on the basis of several-months of field research and it shows the area in a way even many locals might not know it. It contains ten routes (religion and tradition, gastronomic route, shopping route, kids route, historical route, holocaust, fauna and flora, culture and sport, village within a city, night route); each one offers ten stops and one tip for a trip. It seems that Brnox (an anagram of a derogatory name Bronx) contains the entire world. That’s why it is necessary to set out in its streets.



Lighting Design – Part One: An Introduction

Jan Machát


Bathroom Remodelling in Housing Blocks

Adam Guzdek, Marie Veselá


Fenestration Replacement from the Perspective of Construction Supervisor

Ladislav Platil

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