ERA21 #04/2017 Architectural Education

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Architectural Education

Frank Weiner

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kniha column

Frank Weiner

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House As a Process. Štajnhaus in Mikulov »

Jan Hora, Barbora Hora, Jan Veisser / ORA /

A house with a Renaissance-period core, standing at the foot of the castle hill in the former Jewish quarter in Mikulov, went through dozens of modifications and operations during its existence and yet it managed to maintain its medieval picturesque appearance. The last reconstruction was for a bed & breakfast accommodation. But, Štajnhaus wasn’t just a project, it was a process of gradual uncovering of layers, spaces and surprising associations, and of searching for a point in time you can go back to, and a point from which you need to take a new path. The house is preserved as an organic whole, where space and shapes blend just like the historic elements blend with the modern tailored details. Part of the house serves as private rooms for the owner. There are five rooms for rent, each one of them with a specific atmosphere. The wine cellar and the adjacent yard was also restored.

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Carved Urbanism »

Ateliér Jiřího Klokočky na Fakultě umění a architektury TU v Liberci

In the previous semester, Jiří Klokočka’s studio at the Faculty of Art and Architecture TU in Liberec assigned a so‑called short task initiated by the students themselves: using the linocut technique, they had to express the concept the semester's main project. The idea of this task is based on the conviction that each architectural or urban design project, although three-dimensional in essence, can be expressed in a flat graphic shortcut – an icon. This task was unusually popular, 35 students participated in it. The school looked like a graphic workshop at a certain point.


The Faculty of Architecture Needs to Be Constantly Changed. Zdeněk Zavřel Interviewed by Kateřina Čechová »

Professor Zdeněk Zavřel is a distinctive personality of Czech architectural education. He spent eight years as the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture CTU, he initiated its extensive transformation, and among other things he coordinated the relocation of the faculty to a new building. We talked with him about the circumstances accompanying these changes and about his experience teaching architecture in the Netherlands.


Design and Build »

Šárka Malošíková

Design-build projects are more and more often becoming a permanent part of the education at architecture schools. They give students the possibility to finish their project with a realization that allows them to learn how to work with selected materials, structures, and tools. The process itself is also important, in many aspects reproducing the real conditions in practice. After the initial stage of searching for the best solution for a given task, coordinated teamwork becomes important; understanding it is necessary for the emerging architects due to the increasing complexity of construction processes today.

completed project

Swimming Baths. Floating Festival Pavilion in Zurich »

Ateliér Toma Emersona na ETH v Curychu

A team of thirty architecture students from Studio Tom Emerson at ETH Zurich designed and built a floating pavilion for Manifesta 11, the nomadic, European Biennial of Contemporary Art. Floating on Lake Zurich against the backdrop of the city skyline, The Pavilion of Reflections served the public as a place for meetings, discussions, as an open-air cinema, or public swimming baths during the course of the biennial. The impressive wooden truss frame creates an intimate urban space enclosed by a tower, a tribune, a bar, a sundeck, and a staircase leading to the lake.


Apart from Time. Summer Architectural Workshops in Bunesti »

Ana-Maria Goilav, Petre Guran

Each summer, students of architecture from Bucharest university come together with local craftsmen on a clearing near the village of Bunesti to build simple objects from wood, earth, and stone. Each primary material determines the building that will be created – the timber workshop with a cross gabled roof, the circular dormitory made of adobe, the brick and stone masonry dining room. Already a kind of school themselves, the aim of these summer architectural workshops is to gradually build a whole campus for the future alternative School of Bunesti.


With One’s Own Hands. Experiences from Student Projects at the University of Colorado in Denver »

Erik Sommerfeld

In a special studio at the CU Denver College of Architecture & Planning students have to design and build their own small structure – pavilion, community center, or a small family house. Carefully conducted, systematically emerging collective work starts with primary compositions and ends with construction by the students themselves. The emphasis is put on functional selection of materials and construction techniques, use of prefabrication and local materials, effective planning, and communication. Having been led by Erik Sommerfeld for eight years, this studio has fifteen successful and appreciated projects to its credit.

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Set an Example. New Building for the Faculty of Architecture in Santiago de Chile »

Gonzalo Claro arquitectos

One of the best faculties of architecture in Latin America was expanded with a new building. In the southern part of the Lo Contador campus, a new building for teachers’ offices, community and exhibition rooms, and other functions was built. Entrance from the street and the connecting courtyard bring an atmosphere of accessibility and permeability into the otherwise monofunctional block of school houses. The building itself is characterized by a massive wooden truss frame supporting the main two-story volume, that demonstrates the load distribution in the structure.

completed project

Mimicry. New Building of the KTH School of Architecture in Stockholm »

Tham & Videgård Arkitekter

The new building of the KTH School of Architecture is located rather unusually in one of the courtyards of Stockholm's historic university campus. However, it does fit in quite naturally. Its organic shape contrasts with the orthogonality of the surrounding buildings while the dark red Corten steel façade and curved glass windows relate to the red brick walls that circle the courtyard. On the six floors of the building, there are spacious study rooms, studios, exhibition and lecture halls as well as teachers’ offices. The free continuous floor plan should be flexible enough to comply with the changing methods of education in the future. The building of the KTH School of Architecture became one of the three Swedish projects nominated for the 2017 Mies van der Rohe Award. 


We Learn How to Teach. Barbora and Jan Hora Interviewed by Filip Landa »

ORA – Original Regional Architecture – is a studio of Jan and Barbora Hora and Jan Veisser based in Znojmo. During a very short period of time, they became famous thanks to successful realizations published in domestic as well as international media. Mr. and Mrs. Hora have also been teaching at the FA BUT since last year. They studied in Prague and Liberec and graduated only four years ago. In their opinion, an architect’s profession is mainly about communication, and as a result architecture could be considered a humanistic subject. What is neglected in architectural education is mainly professional ethics. These are some of the themes touched upon in the following interview.


How to Teach Architecture »

We asked the heads of design studios from different Czech schools of architecture: How do you assess the current state of architectural education? Has anything changed in the last decade? What do you want to teach students and how; what is important in your studio? Do you have an appropriate background at the faculty or department where you work? And finally – what motivates you to teach in a studio?

design studio

School, the Foundation of Life. Studio Kraus–Čančík at the Faculty of Architecture CTU in Prague »

Martin Petřík, Josef Choc / Ateliér Kraus–Čančík na Fakultě architektury ČVUT v Praze /

In 2015, a new studio led by David Krause and Josef Čančík was established at the FA CTU in Prague. Right in the first semester, the students received a difficult assignment called Design a school of architecture. First, it was necessary to build a mental structure of the conception of the studies and then to interpret it consistently through architecture. For the unusual teaching concept and their result, Studio Kraus–Čančík was awarded the Olověný Dušan student prize in 2016. Two diametrically different projects by Josef Choc and Martin Petřík were both nominated for this prize, too, due to their carefully formulated ideas, value systems and organization of architecture studies, as well their presentations fitting the genre.



Michaela Brožová

Basics of Architectural Design (BAD) is a studio‑type module in the first year of study at the FA CTU in Prague. The introduction to architectural design is taught under various names at other Czech and foreign schools. The aim of the subject is to develop skills and abilities that enhance architectural thinking, creativity, design, presentation, and communication.


Imagined Space for Intellectual Strain of the Architecture Student »

Radek Kolařík, Lada Kolaříková

The presentation shows the current view of state of architectural education after more than twenty years of the authors’ teaching successively and simultaneously at four schools. The presented models simulate relations of the basic elements of study from the perspective of their meaningful manageability by students. It is a prologue to further works called the Graduate’s Profile, Course Contents, etc. The diagrams use common words and a familiar subtractive color model, CMYK. Words and pictures are pieced together in the semantic space and create a message. Preciseness of perception with an attribute of impulse for reflection. We teach (and learn), among other things, through the exposition of our own thought.

field trip

Notes from Poland »

Vladimír Balda

In 2016, teachers from the Faculty of Art and Architecture TU in Liberec made a study trip to selected Polish architecture schools. The subject matter of the research was to get acquainted with the methodology of teaching architectural design in the first year of studies. The destination was chosen deliberately. Architectural design places specific demands on new students: during the first semester, they need to learn and apply skills that in different study programs are distributed in a more structured manner. Polish architecture schools were chosen not only because of the cognate cultural and language environment, but also because of their quantity and variedness. The country with almost 40 million inhabitants provides architectural studies on thirteen public universities and a large number of private colleges. During the preparation process, six public architectural faculties were addressed, differing in their history, number of students as well as their position in the structure of their university.

completed project

On Our Home Turf. Extension of the Marseille’s Architecture School (ENSA-M) »

PAN architecture

The new extension of the Architecture School in Marseille has dealt with budgetary and regulatory constraints in minimalist way and thus the existing campus, characterized by an orthogonal layout of pavilions attached to communication axes, received an additional one-story building with three spacious studios. The longitudinal building is accessible from the north and south where the façade is lined with a shading structure. Considering the modest budget, the utilitarian modular solution prevailed, using a combination of local natural materials, glass and steel.


Art Workshops. Reconstruction and Completion of the Workshops of Academy of Arts, Architecure and Design in Prague »

Ivan Kroupa, Jana Moravcová, Tomáš Zmek / Projektový ateliér UMPRUM /

The project of art workshops is a correction of a situation, or rather a solution of the loss of historical workshops at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design spread around downtown Prague. It is a transformation of the original system – which consisted of the main building and solitary workshops – into a contemporary art school. The redesign was done with respect to international context and with appropriate facilities comprising the main building – or studio and intellectual center – and technical building with workshops.


How to Educate in Architecture »

We asked different executive academic members of Czech schools of architecture: How do you assess the current state of the architectural education in the Czech Republic? Has anything changed in the last decade? What is the position of faculties or departments in the system of Czech universities? Do the schools of architecture have enough opportunities, legislative support, or tools necessary for securing high-quality teachers? How do you envision a perfect school of architecture?

design studio

Journey to the Unknown »

Karolina Jirkalová, Jakub Chuchlík

Eight students from the Faculty of Art and Architecture in Liberec set out for a journey to the unknown through an unconventional studio. They weren’t assigned just one task for the three-month-long semester, but nine consecutive tasks. After each stage, they exchanged their projects so that each one of them would work on all eight projects. The tasks were focused not only on architectural design but also on writing, drawing, and the preparation of architecture competitions. The aim was to show how broad the term architecture really is and what kind of utilization architectural education offers.

completed project

Nest. Wicker Structure on a Tree in Strančice »

Jan Tyrpekl a přátelé

The Nest project emerged from the desire to build and to experiment. To build just for fun. To experiment with materials and unusual conditions. The requirement was to use only natural materials without fixings and to fasten an object to a tree without damaging it. The construction itself was part of a workshop attended by students and graduates mainly from the Faculty of Art and Architecture TU in Liberec but also from FA BUT, FA CTU in Prague, and the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague.


How to Study Architecture »

We asked students of architecture: What do you expect the school will teach you? Do you think the school will prepare you properly for architectural practice? Does your school provide you with an adequate background? What are the criteria for your selection of a studio you want to attend? How do you assess the current state of the architectural education in the Czech Republic? What would you change in the current system of education? Do you have a vision for how an ideal education in a studio should look?


Wayside Chapel »

Vojtěch Kolář, Jan Foretník, Barbora Ponešová

Four white limestone objects appeared along the old road up on Liščí kopec above Dolní Dunajovice. Like scattered pieces of our memories, these stone fragments help to revive the lost memory of the place as they refer to the former chapel of St. Roch that used to stand on the summit of this hill. The symbolic steps, pew, ambon, and kneeler accompany the traveler on his way up to the cross on the hill, and follow the tradition of small sacral architecture along pilgrimage roads. This student project from the FA BUT is a product of a research project called Identification and interpretation of origins, forms, and transformations of the Baroque cultural landscape of the South‑Moravian borderland.



Bathroom Remodelling in Housing Blocks

Jan Ranný


Fenestration – Still a Current Topic

Ladislav Platil

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