ERA21 #02/2017 Epicenters of Architecture

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Epicenters of Architecture

Filip Landa

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Anna Háblová

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Free Form. House in the Orchard, Prague-Kyje »

Jan Šépka / Šépka architekti

This unusual family house was built on a sloping site oriented to the north on the outskirts of Prague – in Kyje – overlooking the River Rokytka valley. The house reacts to the surrounding full-grown trees with its shape, character, and volume. The ground plan of the house is based on a circle that transforms into two squares on the southern side; the continuous three‑story space gets narrower towards the top of the house and ends with a skylight. The living room on the ground floor with a gallery oriented to the north thus receives sunlight from the south. The ground floor also houses a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom; another bedroom is available on the first floor, the gallery serves as a study room. The house is designed as a wooden structure with a reinforced concrete foundation that is limited to a stem in the steep slope. The wooden structure is acknowledged in the interior; the exterior is insulated with a polyurethane protective spray.

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interview

Investor with a Vision and a Relationship to History. Martin Prokš and Marek Přikryl Interviewed by Zuzana Morávková »

The transformation of a former farm garage in Honětice u Kroměříže into a biotope facility (see ERA21 #05/2013, pp. 28–30), finished in 2013, received a special ERA21 prize for its contribution to the revitalization of the countryside and a sensitive work with heritage, as part of the Czech Architecture Award. The transformation of the decaying structure was part of a long-term development plan for the non-functional site. We spoke with the architects Martin Prokš and Marek Přikryl, asked if the project has been successful in recent years, and about their work in general.

intro

Serpentine. Temporary Serpentine Pavilion in London »

Every summer the Serpentine Gallery’s temporary pavilion becomes a cafe, a cultural space, a scene of flamboyant parties and glamorous fashion shows. But first and foremost, it brings to Kensington gardens the absolute best of contemporary architecture, accessible to all and free of charge. Each year it is one of the most visited design exhibitions. The first pavilion, commissioned in 2000 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Serpentine Gallery, was a tent-like draped structure designed by the then little-known Zaha Hadid. It was such a resounding success that the summer fundraising party has become a yearly event the low-budget, temporary installation now both highly sought after and prestigious. Only designers who have yet to complete a building in England are eligible for invitation, and they have to be able to finish the project with a limited budget inside of six months. After a mere three-month showing, the installation is dismantled and sold. The proceeds of which help to fund the next commission.

interview

NČA: The Main Purpose of the Foundation Is to Promote Good Architecture. Renata Vrabelová, Martin Peterka and Osamu Okamura Interviewed by Yvette Vašourková »

The establishment of the Czech Architecture Foundation is closely related to the transformations of socialist art funds that replaced associations from the First Republic and were canceled during the communist regime. The main mission is the management of properties the architects themselves gradually acquired. Their aim is to present architecture as an inseparable part of our culture. How does the Foundation fulfill its role? Why does architecture matter in our society? What are its future perspectives?

manifesto

MUSA: Museum of Architecture Manifesto »

Dan Merta, Jakub Potůček / Architectura /

Even though the discussion about an independent architecture museum in the Czech Republic has been going on since the early 1990s, it hasn’t been realized yet. The Jaroslav Fragner Gallery, one of the institutions that significantly contributed to the preservation of the functionalist compound of the Žižkov Freight Railway Station, decided to initiate the foundation of the Museum of Architecture in this complex, and now it presents the professional public with an appeal to collaboratively set it up.

practice

GJF: The Jaroslav Fragner Gallery »

The Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague was founded as a part of the reconstruction of the Bethlehem Chapel by Jaroslav Fragner in the early 1950s in the adjacent dormitory. However, it was named after the architect only in 1968. The Gallery was always specialized in exhibitions of architecture and applied arts; since the Velvet Revolution it has focused on the presentation of modern and contemporary Czech and international architecture. It is operated by the Architectura association.

practice

GAB: Gallery of Architecture Brno »

The Gallery of Architecture Brno has been a natural meeting place for architects, artists, and non-professionals since the early 1990s. It is located in a historical house in the city center owned by the Foundation of Czech Architecture, which also serves as the Gallery’s management authority. The Gallery was originally administered by the Association of Czech Architects, then later by the Foundation of Czech Architecture. In 2011–2012 the Gallery was operated by 4AM Forum for Architecture and Media, and since 2013 it has been run by the Gallery of Architecture Brno association.

interview

Az W: Caring for Architecture. Angelika Fitz Interviewed by Jan Kristek and Karolína Plášková »

Angelika Fitz succeeded in an international tender from thirty-two applicants, and at the beginning of this year she became the new director of Architekturzentrum Wien. She replaces the long-time director and founder of Az W, Dietmar Steiner. Architekturzentrum Wien, founded in 1993, has gradually developed into Austrian national architecture museum with international impact.   

practice

vai: Vorarlberg Architecture Institute »

The Vorarlberg Architecture Institute was founded in 1997 in Dornbirn and it is the youngest of the so-called houses of architecture in Austria. The program was thus formed based on the previous experiences of the remaining nine houses. The interdisciplinary approach and mingling of local and global levels have a significant role. Their extensive repertoire includes art, economic aspects, as well as technology and culture in general.

practice

aut. architecture and tyrol »

aut. architektur und tirol was founded in 1993 under the name Architecture Forum of the Tyrol (Architekturforum Tirol) after several years of discussions inside the Tyrolean association of architects, as a fourth of the so-called houses of architecture in Austria. The change of the name and diversification of the spectrum of its activities came about in 2005 along with its relocation to the center into specially adapted premises of Adambräu Brewery in Innsbruck. This place offers variable exhibition rooms, a special communication space called the aut:lounge, and other necessary facilities. Besides general educational activities in architecture, which overlap to other disciplines, an inseparable part of the institution is also architectonic and aesthetic education of children and the youth.

practice

DAM: German Museum of Architecture »

DAM Frankfurt was founded in the city center within the so‑called Museum Mile which is comprised of seven large museums at the southern bank of the River Main. The idea of establishing an architecture museum in Germany first appeared over a century ago. However, this idea became a reality only in 1984 thanks to the effort of an outstanding German art and architecture historian, Heinrich Klotz. Since its foundation, the museum has not only been a venue for exhibitions but also a forum for discussion. These discussions address current issues, and educate the general public about the history of architecture.

practice

DAZ: German Architecture Center »

DAZ was founded in 1995 in Berlin as a center for interdisciplinary and open discourse on architecture and the city. It falls within the competence of the Association of German Architects BDA that also provides part of the finances for its operation. The two main exhibition spaces of Taut and Scharoun Halls are located in the former industrial complex near Spree River. The third space, DAZ-Glashaus, dedicated mainly to smaller discussion meetings and presentations, is part of the main seat of the Association of German Architects in the same place.

practice

S AM: Swiss Architecture Museum »

The AM Architecture Museum was founded in 1984 as a foundation as part of a private initiative. The exhibition space was opened in the famous Domus-Haus the same year. In fact, this 1958 cubic icon of Swiss architecture by Max Rasser and Tibère Vadi was saved by the founding of the museum. Back then, the conceptual focus was on famous Swiss architects, Swiss architectural themes in general, and monographic exhibitions on international architects. In 2003, the AM moved to the Kunsthalle Basel building and in 2006 is was renamed S AM Swiss Architecture Museum. The new international name of the institution expanded its ambitions beyond the Swiss borders.

practice

HNI: The New Institute »

The Netherlands Architecture Institute was founded in 1988 as one of the largest architectonic organization in the world and a predecessor of today’s New Institute.  It was only during the ambitious 1980s when the project received much‑needed political support as a response to the growing importance of architecture and urban planning. The NAi building was set on the axis of the emerging Rotterdam Museumpark and it was designed by Jo Coenen, winner of an invited architectonic competition. During its nearly thirty‑year existence, NAi has gone through several structural and program changes. The last and most significant change occurred in 2013 when it was merged with an institute for design and fashion: Premsela and an institute for e-culture: Virtueel Platform due to extensive cuts in the state budget for cultural funding, creating the so-called New Institute.

practice

VAi: Flanders Architecture Institute »

Flanders Architecture Institute in Antwerp is an intersection where representatives of architectural practice, theory, and education meet to establish mutual cooperation, to exchange and cultivate their ideas. VAi was founded in 2001 by the transformation of one of the departments of the International Art Campus deSingel, and in 2004 it was expanded with the Center of Flemish Architectural Archives. VAi is the only institute in Flanders focused directly on the promotion of local contemporary architecture. Besides exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and other programs for the public, it also publishes books and catalogs, and offers consultancy in questions related to contemporary architecture.

practice

ECA: Estonian Centre of Architecture »

Estonian Centre of Architecture (ECA) was established at the end of the Estonian Architecture Year in 2008 with the aim to promote contemporary Estonian architecture, raise awareness about how good quality architecture and urban space benefits us, and to support Estonian architects and architecture offices aiming to expand into export. ECA is regularly assigned as the organizer of the Estonian exposition at the Venice Architecture Biennale, and it is the main organizer of the Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB). Since 2015, ECA has been based in Tallinn Creative Hub, a transformed former power plant located near the Old Town.

completed project

KK: Tallinn Creative Hub »

Siiri Vallner, Indrek Peil / Kavakava /

The Tallinn Creative Hub was built in a former power plant at the border of the city’s Old Town and the port district – a former fishing village, Kalamaja, that is a popular bohemian neighborhood nowadays. The key aspect of the renovation of this heritage monument was openness; the architectonic concept works with simple principles of spatial arrangement which correspond with the needs of creative users, and enables future additions and modifications. Communication with the future tenants was an essential part of the process. After the reconstruction, the center has become a seat of many institutions and a venue for many cultural events. It provides the public with halls, galleries, rehearsal rooms, clubs, offices, studios, cafés, restaurants, and many other spaces for variable use. In the second half of this year, the Tallinn Creative Hub will become the venue of the Estonian presidency of the European Council.

practice

MEA: Museum of Estonian Architecture »

The Museum of Estonian Architecture was founded in 1991 at a time of political anxiety accompanying the declaration of independence of Estonia from the Soviet Union. MEA is an independent, state-subsidized organization, formally managed by the Ministry of Culture of Estonia. The main purpose of the institution is to collect and promote Estonian architecture, to preserve the archives of architectural value, and to disseminate information about the historical as well as contemporary architecture. Since 1996, the Museum has been located in the reconstructed historical building of Rotermann Salt Storage, one of the most distinctive examples of industrial architecture in Tallinn.

practice

DAC: Danish Architecture Center »

The Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen has been a public‑private project since its creation. It was jointly founded in 1986 by the Danish philanthropic organization Realdania and the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry for Economy and Growth. This is seen in both the guiding values of the organization, and the structure of the board comprising representatives of private companies and members of the state government. DAC aims to systematically inform about the origins, present conditions, and value of architecture, thus encouraging a broader recognition in society of the importance of high quality standards in the built environment.

project

BLOX. Multipurpose Building BLOX in Copenhagen »

Ellen van Loon, Adrianne Fisher / OMA /

The unique context of Copenhagen’s harbor waterfront was the base for the design of the new multipurpose building BLOX that will be housing the Danish Architecture Center after its completion. The building is supposed to join the ranks of the Danish modernist icons and become the incarnation of its basic principles of monumentality, simplicity, and consideration. The organization of space as well as its “mound” form are based on the effort to use the hidden potential, as much as possible, of the site located in the heart of a specific, quickly developing urban district. In this case, otherwise limiting restrictions have become a source of inspiration. The aim of the project is to actively integrate itself into the urban tissue, to support and develop social activities in its surroundings.

practice

MFA: Museum of Finnish Architecture »

The second oldest architecture museum in the world is located in Helsinki, Finland. The original rich collection of architectural photography gathered by the Finnish Association of Architects was gradually expanded with other archives and professional publications. The Museum of Finnish Architecture was established in 1956 to manage and present this collection. Gathering and sharing of information from architecture is still one of the main activities of the Museum although the form of sharing has changed. Besides traditional exhibitions its program contains seminars, lectures by local and foreign guests, guided tours, and the annual construction project of a temporary pavilion designed by architecture students from Finish schools that serves as an independent exhibit during the summer and as an extension of the exhibition space at the same time. These are the ways the Museum fulfills its goal: to provide the general public with tools to understand architecture and its role in society, today and tomorrow.

practice

MA: Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw »

The Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw was founded in 1965, originally as a Museum of the City of Wroclaw’s branch and operating under the title Museum of Architecture and Reconstruction. The founder of the museum was Wroclaw’s main conservator of historical monuments and later professor at the Technical University of Wroclaw, Olgierd Czerner, who led the institution from its founding until the year 2000. The initial goal of the museum was first and foremost sourcing and cataloging the surviving remnants of architectural details from buildings ruined during the war. Over time, the museum has expanded its focus throughout the entirety of Poland, devoting more attention to contemporary architecture. It is the only institution of this kind in Poland.

completed project

MA: Renovation of the Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw »

Piotr Zybura, Iga Peruga / arch_it /

The main exhibition hall of the Museum of Architecture in Wroclaw is located in the former church of St. Bernardine of Siena from the turn of the 16th century. A partial reconstruction of the entrance space was carried out in 2015-2016, together with the renovation of the exposition from the 1970s that was outdated with respect to the current exhibition requirements. The new arrangement of the space is variable and will satisfy all kinds of operational requirements. The renovation included new exhibition furniture and mainly a complex solution for the graphics and information system. Since the budget was rather limited, the system was designed simply and well-arranged in accordance with the overall architectonic solution, which links various parts of the museum still waiting for their renovation in the near future.

practice

KÉK: Contemporary Architecture Centre »

The independent architectural cultural center KÉK in Budapest, operated by young Hungarian architects, artists and civilians, started its activity in 2006 with the opening of a cultural space on Nefelejcs Street, in a former warehouse, in the backyard of a museum. Since then, KÉK has moved twice and today it resides in a multifunctional space with a focus on architecture and urban issues in Buda. Through exhibitions, conferences, architectural excursions, festivals, and other events, KÉK tries to open new perspectives in architectonic and urban planning in Hungary. KÉK is the only internationally respected platform presenting contemporary architecture in Hungary; its activities gain attention and appreciation both in its own country and abroad.

practice

PA: Pavilion Arsenal »

The information, documentation, and exhibition center for urbanism and architecture from Paris and the Parisian metropole, Pavilion Arsenal, was founded in 1988 as an initiative of the then Mayor of Paris and the Prime Minister Jacques Chirac as an organization funded by the city. Almost thirty years after its foundation, it is still a unique place where the Parisian audience, as well as French and foreign tourists and professionals obtain information on the recent history and the current state of architecture and urbanism, and at the same time it is a center and a platform for exchange of experience and discussions of experts, architects, builders, developers, politicians, and the public.

interview

NLA: Our Whole Program is Based on the Model of London. Catherine Staniland Interviewed by Rastislav Udžan »

Together with 32 urban districts, the Greater London Authority (GLA) makes up the metropolitan area of London. Stability and development in such a large urban scale is jointly formed with the support of organizations working in mutual coexistence, and unlike other centers, they can rely on the public for interest in creating and bettering their urban environment. One of the respected organizations is New London Architecture (NLA). When you enter the Building Center in London, you are attracted by a model of this dynamic metropolis. We talked about NLA with its Director, Catherine Staniland.

interview

CAMP: We Seek the Greatest Possible Openness. Ondřej Boháč, Petr Hlaváček, Adam Gebrian and Eugen Liška Interviewed by Filip Landa »

CAMP is an acronym for the new Centre for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning within the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR). Its main mission is to improve the current form of public debate on urbanism and architecture of Prague’s metropolitan area. We talked about the center’s purpose and program with four of its participants: the former and the current director of IPR and the two co-authors of the general concept.

completed project

NTM: Centre for Building Heritage Plasy – Monastery Brewery Conversion for National Technical Museum »

A model project of heritage restoration contained the conversion of two historically valuable but considerably dilapidated parts of a former monastery in Plasy – a brewery and a farmstead. The aim of the reconstruction was to restore the original appearance from the 1900s and to preserve the industrial character of the compound in its roughness and “untidiness.” The newly built Center for Building Heritage Plasy serves as a textbook example of building culture from Romanesque beginnings until the 19th century; the varied compound also offers the possibility of leisure activities for a wide variety of visitors. The Brewery was put into operation again and there is a place for a local library, too.

idea

Bus Shelters in Krumbach »

Kultur Krumbach

In the middle of the Austrian village of Krumbach, a central bus stop was built according to the design by three collaborating architects: Bernardo Bader, René Bechter, and Hermann Kaufmann. This act, realized thanks to the effort of the local cultural society, initiated the creation of another ambitious project called Bus:Stop, which will see the creation of new bus shelters for the entire village and its surroundings. Under the guidance of the Vorarlberg Architecture Institute and Architekturzentrum Wien, seven internationally renowned architects shared a dialog with the public, the landscape and the tradition. The aim of the project was to connect achievements of international architects with the know-how and skills of the local architectonic offices and workmen. Almost one‑third of the one-thousand inhabitants of Krumbach participated in the manual realization. All architects renounced their fee, instead, they enjoyed a vacation in Bregenzerwald.

trends

annex

Štěpánka Lubinová a kolektiv SVST

annex

Jan Bedřich

annex

Jan Petrášek

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