ERA21 #01/2019 Connected by Borders


kniha editorial

Connected by Borders

Filip Landa

» entire article
kniha completed project

Behind the Wall. Funeral Hall in Dobruška »

Miroslav Horský, Jan Hamet / ATELIER ARCHITEKTURY, Šuda – Horský

The Dobruška cemetery, with the dominant Church of the Holy Ghost and the onion domed bell tower, is situated on a hill to the east from the city and is surrounded by a marlstone wall. The area in front of the cemetery is crossed by an old lime avenue separating the new funeral hall from the parking lot. The funeral hall references the nearby chapel with its size, uses materials typical for the area, but its form is contemporary – it is based on the principle of progressive horizontal layering. On top of the sandstone brickwork that reaches as high as the cemetery wall, there is a glazed strip ending with a ledge with timber cladding. Above this level rises the main volume of the hall with a facade of cleft larch shingles, interrupted by one window only, high on the eastern wall and bending into the plane of the roof. The hall with 50 seats is situated in the center of the layout and is surrounded by a circle of auxiliary rooms and sanitary facilities for the public and visitors to the cemetery.

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Limit States »

Arkadiusz Gola

Silesia is a different country. Turned inside out, raw, unique. You have to look for a while to be able to really see it. Open pits and spoil heaps stand next to cities inconspicuously sprawling and merging with each other. There are no borders in the traditional sense of the word, only peripheries, far from the centers and far from nature. Chipped walls and empty courtyards form a stage for ordinary life and its extraordinary dramas, captured by the Limit States photo series. Captured on travels around Upper Silesia since 1991, the photographs document the physical boundaries of space and the emotional limits of people.

kniha context

The Shattered Mosaic of Today’s Sudetenland »

Miroslav Pavel

The Sudetenland, covering one third of the area of the Czech Republic, is still invisible for many. The setting for many fundamental moments of our history, and yet it’s forgotten in a way. Sudetenland is often understood as just a border territory along the northern borders, but in fact it lines almost the entire country and even stretches further inland. During the 1950s, the last remnants of the original settlements were irretrievably destroyed. What remains now? What places can still tell us something about our past?

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Two Ridges, Two Nations. Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Pohoří na Šumavě »

Jan Kurz

The renovation scheme for the church in Pohoří in Novohradské Mountains aims to restore its significance as a prominent feature and a focal point of the surrounding landscape. But at the same time it seeks to acknowledge the troubled history of the village decimated during the expulsion of the original inhabitants after World War II. A roof frame structure combining timber arches and trusses is to be erected on the preserved perimeter walls. A steep gabled roof topped with two ridges symbolizes two nations connected by a shared religion; the glazed valley lets light in from above. The project was a part of the master’s thesis, A Landscape of a Pilgrimage in Novohradské Mountains. It hasn’t been built yet.


Contours of Memory. The Way of the Cross for Stříbrnice »

Vojtěch Jemelka

The master’s thesis dealing with the Way of the Cross for Stříbrnice at the foot of Králický Sněžník didn’t just stay on the paper. The form of each station is based on the contours of three preserved ruins from the original Way. Cages of hand-welded steel tubes are deeply deformed negatives of the ruins’ volumes. Thus they create unity of the fourteen traditional iconographical stations with the framed images of the landscape.


Underground Memento. Opening of the Buried All Saints Church in Radovesice »

Adam Kössler

The objective of the master’s thesis done at the FAA TU in Liberec was to commemorate a place that disappeared as a direct consequence of the coal mining process. In 1983, the All Saints Church, the only remaining building of the village of Radovesice, was filled with overburden and buried. The thesis offers a new vision for the church: by digging it up, fixating it, and making it accessible as a memento of the vanished cultural and spiritual heritage.

starting point

Redrawing the Borders. Three Approaches to the New Concept of the Czech-German Borderlands »

Pavel Borecký

The project “Pilsen – European Capital of Culture 2015” included the announcement of an international landscape architecture competition, presenting an opportunity to talk about the pan-European issue of rural depopulation and the situation in peripheral regions. The premise was that the landscape of the Sudetenland is still deeply environmentally scarred and lacking in proper care, therefore it is advisable to increase the protection and revitalisation processes. In the particular situation of an abandoned village of Výškovice near Chodová Planá, the exploration of the borderlands’ condition gave rise to the following questions: What are borders? What is Sudetenland today? What exactly should be the aim of a new development program? Who, how and why they should participate in it?


Border That Won’t Disappear »

David Klimeš

The borders of Sudetenland do not indicate a foreign language population anymore, they have become a socioeconomic dividing line. Seven decades since the expulsion of Germans and after quarter of a century of prosperity and democracy, it still won’t be erased. The territories affected by the change of population or the mining and heavy manufacturing lag behind other regions in many aspects. This can be seen in economic and social comparisons recently published in the Ekonom weekly magazine.

kniha interview

Casting the Tracks of our Ancestors. Petr Mikšíček Interviewed by Filip Landa »

In 2000, Petr Mikšíček set out on a three-month, 1,000 kilometer trek through the border mountains of the Czech Republic. This was also the start of his life’s journey, in which he’s trying to preserve the disappearing memory of the Krušné hory region. He organizes land-art gatherings in the former village of Königsmühle, documents and revives monuments using new technology, and makes movies based on legends and stories of the region. In the interview, we discussed the re-discovered borderlands, the culture of Krušné hory, contemporary Czech‑German relations, growing tourism, as well as transformations to the landscape of the Sudetenland.

» entire article

Continuity of Sudeten Regional Architecture Features »

Elżbieta Trocka-Leszczyńska

Sudeten Mountains represent an interesting region of architecture. Thanks to the relatively stable environmental conditions the local folk culture and architecture is quite homogeneous, but the cultural continuity and building tradition was disrupted in the past due to political and socioeconomic changes. The future of Sudeten regional architecture depends on the ability of architects, local authorities and local people to share knowledge, preserve architectural heritage and, by introducing new uses, give new life to border communities.

completed project

Heritage. Old Mine Science and Art Center in Wałbrzych »

Mirosław Nizio / Nizio Design International

The revitalization of the former coal mine and its transformation into a modern science and art center aims not only to protect and properly present this industrial monument but also to increase the attractivity of the site and the surrounding area through various cultural activities. The restored complex of buildings, dating from the turn of the 20th century, is a testament to the long-term strategic importance of coal mining in the economic development of the country, which is still struggling with the social ramifications of its discontinuation. There is however also a strong emphasis on dealing with the problems of the present and the future. In the buildings opened to the public so far, there are several thematic exhibitions and a visitor center with a café, a theater and dance hall, a cultural and community center, Contemporary Art Gallery, and Center of Special Ceramics. Accommodations are even available.

completed project

Meteorite. Concert Hall in Blaibach »

Peter Haimerl . Architektur

In the border village of Blaibach, situated in the foothills of Bayerischer Wald, the local community initiated several projects aimed to revitalize the center of the village and to prevent further depopulation and desolation. The municipal building and the village square were renovated first and then a new 200 seat concert hall was erected. The building is all about contrast: the austere stone block looks completely foreign among all the gabled roofs, as if it just landed here and was buried deep in the ground. The program of the hall is based on the needs of the local music festival.


Municipalities Connected by State Borders »

Gabriela Králová

In some places, the Czech Republic’s state borders run through unified settlements or it divides historically compact towns or villages. The conurbations on the boundary of two very different areas have always reflected the relations between the states and the differences in their development. But right now the trend in Europe is to become more interconnected; borders are more penetrable, and border towns cease to be peripheral – integrating them and using the potential of their contact locations is desirable. The diploma project first analyzes the specific relations of pairs of border municipalities and then proposes an exemplary way of dealing with typical opportunities that could be taken advantage of with joint planning.

completed project

Shelter. A Small Bunker Extension near Vratěnín »

Jan Tyrpekl

The smallest type of bunker, part of the defensive border fortifications built in the 1930s, is familiarly known as a řopík. There are over five thousand of these bunkers still registered by the Czech Ministry of Defense. Usually, they are in very bad condition and are offered for sale in auctions for very small amounts. The buyers are mostly enthusiasts trying to restore their original form. An experimental wooden structure on a řopík near Vratěnín in south Moravia, self-built with the help of friends and architecture students, tries to show their potential and to offer a new type of use. The unusual wooden structure is made from only one board profile, typically used for formwork, and is designed with respect to the surrounding landscape as well as the existing concrete bunker. Its essence is the exact opposite though – it’s light, airy, visible from a distance, and can be easily removed at the end of its lifespan.

completed project

New Heimatstil. Funeral Hall in Broumov »

Pavel Rydlo

Broumov, in East Bohemia, has a new funeral hall for the final farewell of the bereaved. It was built in place of an older structure from the 1960s. Rather than joining the interchangeable global architecture canon, the modest wooden structure with aluminium cladding follows the local tradition by emphasizing the German influence on the local vernacular architecture and also referencing the form of the nearby protected wooden church. The landscaping emphasizes the former axial organization of the evangelical cemetery on the site.

completed project

Teeth of Time. Locomotive Shed Renovation in Kořenov »

Ivan Lejčar, Petr Lédl / ALEJ – architektonický ateliér

The locomotive shed in Kořenov was built in 1903 as part of the technical facilities for the rack railway from Tanvald to Kořenov and further on to Hirschberg (today Jelenia Góra). It served its original purpose until 1987, when its roof collapsed under heavy snow. The unused building had slowly been falling into ruin, until finally in 2015 a group of local enthusiasts managed to obtain enough money for renovation. The protected monument found a new function as an interactive railway museum showcasing historical rail vehicles of the Tanvald Railway Company. The exemplary restoration received the award Patrimonium pro futuro 2016 from the National Heritage Institute.

completed project

Close to the Heart. Firehouse in Krásná Studánka »

Vojtěch Šrut

The volunteer fire brigade in Krásná Studánka celebrated the 120th anniversary of its foundation with a new firehouse. The existing building, seventy years old and unsuitable both in terms of function and size, was replaced by a glue‑laminated timber hall with dark grey titanium zinc cladding. The new firehouse consists of a large garage for three cars and a two-story common section with a locker room and facilities; both parts being visually connected by a glass wall. The building, finished in a record time of only ten months, was financed by the European project, “4 Cities Rescue Across Borders.” It serves as a symbol of cross-border cooperation, it’s a suitable base for the firemen and also at times it can be used for various local social events.


The Shallow-rooted Society of the North. Ondřej Beneš Interviewed by Filip Landa »

Ondřej Beneš has been the municipal architect of Děčín for two years. He managed to initiate and then complete a number of projects improving the quality of life in the city and its surroundings. But he is also engaged in the wider context of the whole region. Thanks to the work done by its municipal architect, Děčín is slowly becoming a model for other towns in the borderlands. In an interview with Ondřej Beneš, we tried to find out what this model should look like and in what ways it could be inspiring for the border municipalities and the landscapes affected by lignite coal mining. And, what should be the architect’s role in a place where the roots of society aren’t deep and a technocratic approach to problem solving prevails.


The Sea of Calm. The Social Dimension of the Revitalization of the North-Bohemian Landscape »

Martin Kloda

Land reclamation in the area of the North-Bohemian coal basin is based on the actual return of the former mining area to the mode of agricultural, forest, and water bodies. The process is divided both in terms of property and territory; there is no coordination and no concept of resocialization for the transformed area. The Sea of Calm project is based on the vision of a recreation landscape on the shores of the “Czech sea.” This vision actually isn’t that far from the proclaimed future of the North-Bohemian “lake district” or the already completed Lausitzer Seenland reclamations in Germany. Designed by ARCHWERK studio, a group of small-scale architectural interventions seeks to change the perception of the North-Bohemian landscape. In a broader context it’s offering a positive story and reconnecting broken social links, the necessary prerequisites to the region’s sustainability.



Next Generation of the Structural Eurocodes

Jana Marková


HBIM: Information Modelling for Historic Building

Petr Vaněk

ERA21 vydává ERA Média, s. r. o.
Chleborádova 69/22, 619 00 Brno

Phone: +420 530 500 801
Projekt se v roce 2024 uskutečňuje za finanční podpory: Ministerstva kultury ČR, Nadace české architektury, Statutárního města Brna a Státního fondu kultury ČR.
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