ERA21 #05/2019 Blue

kniha editorial

Blue Landscape

Martin Sucharda

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kniha completed project

Crystals. The New Lasvit Headquarters in Nový Bor »

Jiří Opočenský, Štěpán Valouch / ov-a 

The strong local glassmaking tradition is reflected both in the work and design by Lasvit and in the architecture. Joining all the buildings together into one functional unit, the new design brings a contemporary interpretation of the typical two-story glass maker's house. Two new abstractly shaped volumes with rectangular plans and gabled roofs were added next to the original protected 19th century houses. The glass building replaces a corridor that used to connect both historical houses, inside there is an office café, conference room, and sample library. The black building, at the back of the site, contains a three-story open space for the testing and presentation of 1:1  samples, glass objects which can weigh up to five tons.

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Change Is Possible »

Lélia Wanick Salgado, Sebastião Salgado / Instituto Terra

Animate nature measures time in decades, the inanimate does so in millennia. Considering today’s environmental problems, can an individual achieve something at all? Only 10 % of the original area of the South American Atlantic Forest is left, the rest replaced by dried and eroding farmland. But there is one oasis where the process was successfully reversed: the Bulcão Farm managed by the environmental organization Instituto Terra. Six million native species seedlings have been planted there over the past twenty years. Six hundred hectares of former farmland has been transformed into woodland; animals found their way back and so did water. Instituto Terra became an important environmental educational center that grows its own seedlings and supplies and supports other reforestation projects. This organisation was founded in 1998 by two people: documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado and his wife.

kniha history

The Century of Regulation. Water Regime Changes in the 20th Century as a Symbol of Progress »

Jiří Janáč

Water has gradually disappeared from the Czech landscape over the course of the 20th century. The demands of industrial society and the ideas of unlimited progress and control of nature have water entrapped in the infrastructural networks. Streams and rivers have turned into distribution channels, reinforced and straightened, and water in large reservoirs has been used to feed the growth of national economy. It’s important to appreciate, however, that this process wasn’t a result of engineering ignorance or destructive political ideology. The efforts to control water, which led to the changes of the water regime in Czechia in the 20th century, were based on a general societal consensus.

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Landscape Fabrics – Shape, Function, Aesthetic »

Martin Sucharda

In the past, it used to be mostly specialized professionals who influenced the character and the function of landscape. But in landscape planning, as in urban environments, different professionals should be clamped together by architects. In this article, I aim to introduce the work of a landscape water-engineer, show the basic theoretical foundation, and illustrate the typical issues of landscape work.


A Landscape Plan »

Klára Salzmann, Ivan Gogolák, Lukáš Grasse

Landscape planning gives us an opportunity to understand the landscape and rediscover and reintroduce the balance in its use. This balance has been disturbed by repeatedly ignoring and disregarding the fundamental natural laws in their entirety. Restoring the balance of life for all living things — not just humans — becomes an important step when facing environmental challenges. The presence of water in the landscape as an essential condition for the existence of life on Earth thus forms one of the pillars of landscape planning. But are we capable of this?

completed project

Obelisk Game Reserve. Restoration of the Floodplains Near Břeclav »

Přemysl Krejčiřík, Kamila Krejčiříková / Ateliér Krejčiříkovi

Obelisk private game reserve is located in the wedge between the Dyje River and the Trkmanka Stream in the northern section of the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape complex. Its name comes from a stone obelisk erected in memory of the 1797 peace agreement between France and Austria. The client’s original idea was to create a deer reserve, but during the restoration it was abandoned and a scheme for restoring the floodplain as a whole was adopted; this includes re-establishing natural processes such as spring flooding, which had been replaced by regulated floods. Using historical maps from the 17th and 18th century, the aim was to restore the character of the land from the times when it was cultivated by the Dukes of Liechtenstein in the 19th century.

completed project

Royal Game Reserve. Renovation of the Central Space of Stromovka in Prague »

Martin Kovář, Zdena Rudolfová, Pavel Šimek / Florart

The recent renovation of Stromovka park in Prague focussed especially on the central space, clearly delimited by the causeways of the historical Rudolf’s pond. The renovation works consisted primarily of the restoration of the old water management systems and the creation of new artificial ponds. Walkways surface treatment followed, new benches were installed and new trees planted. Simultaneously, the historical Šlechta’s restaurant was restored, its immediate surroundings and the northern slopes of Stromovka all the way up to the Observatory should be next in line. The main axis of the park’s composition with an avenue of trees are also set to be renovated.


Body and Soul of a River. Notes on Affecting the River and City Organisms »

Ondřej Simon

Look up aerial pictures of any wild river on an online map service, Yukon or Lena for example. You won’t see waterfronts, bridges, dams, or piers, but a whole landscape of harmonious and beautiful river channels. That’s a river. The trouble is, people today don’t understand rivers and consider them to be what they can see from waterfronts or highway bridges. When we try to teach agriculture students how to revitalize rivers, they usually have a hard time understanding their complexity and dynamics. We use the concept of body and soul to help them, and visualize the river as a huge tree upside down. A river represents the most animate part of inanimate nature, that’s what makes these metaphors so fitting.


Bygone Floods and Learning from History »

Václav Fanta

Coexisting with nature is an issue humans have had to deal with ever since they established their first permanent settlements. It is believed that our ancestors knew very well what nature was capable of and that they passed on the information about the dangers of natural disasters from generation to generation. Whether we like it or not, we have to deal with similar issues today, because climate change has been growing less and less tolerant of urban or rural planning blunders. Our coexistence with nature then becomes an issue for architecture, urban design, and land-use planning. Planning is where we often come across the question whether we can learn from the experience of our ancestors or not.


Close-to-nature Measures for Rural and Urban Watercourses »

Tomáš Just

The deterioration of retention characteristics in watershed lands and soils caused by large-scale development and agricultural exploitation represent the biggest water regime problem of our landscape. The subsequent network of watercourses is further encumbered by the results of its prolonged industrial regulation: fast flow-off during and between flood events, excessive draining and ecological degradation of river environments. Emerging contemporary initiatives strive for at least a partial restoration of the watercourses’ natural states, using revitalization or facilitating self renaturation. Revitalization and renaturation are both capable of countering floods and drought at the same time and thus assisting the ecological rehabilitation of the land.

completed project

Střelnice Park. City Park Revitalization in Chrudim »

Jan Zapletal, Jaroslav Lohniský, Miloslav Šindlar / ŠINDLAR Group

Founded in 1882, Střelnice Park is the oldest city park in Chrudim. It’s located to the north-east of the center, on Střelecký Island, on the Chrudimka River. No major modifications have been made here for a long time. Recently a revitalization of the original river bed and of the 820 meter long left-bank floodway, together with a removal of two transverse structures, were completed. The project was based on a modern interpretation of the functional connection of water and vegetation within urban architecture while still following the conditions defined in the conservation plan for this natural heritage site and allowing for its use for public and leisure activities.


Examples of Conceptual Stormwater Management on the City Level »

Ivana Kabelková

The annual field-trips organized by the environmental group Koniklec, as part of the project We Count on Water, offer participants the opportunity to learn about different European cities’ attitudes towards the issues of stormwater management and climate change adaptation, and also to see some of the measures implemented firsthand.


Sustainable Drainage »

Robert Bray Associates

The industrialization of the UK and the extensive use of pipes to collect and convey runoff to streams and rivers has created a legacy of flooding and pollution. Pipe systems are at capacity, or surcharge in heavy rain, washing everyday contamination from hard surfaces directly into our watercourses. During the 1990s an awareness of better ways to manage rainfall began to influence thinking in Britain. Ideas from the US and Sweden and most of the concepts and terms commonly used in Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) were initially introduced in Britain. SuDS is a way of managing rainfall that minimises the negative impacts on the quantity and quality of runoff whilst maximising the benefits of amenity and biodiversity for people and the environment. It became a statutory requirement on all major developments in 2015. This means that SuDS proposals are now required as part of the planning process.


A Delta City. The Urban Water Plan New Orleans »

Waggonner & Ball Architects, H+N+S Landscape Architects

After catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans began to look for a new and functional water strategy. A series of dialogues between Dutch and local water experts and stakeholders led to a new water management proposal calling for extensive small-scale rainfall retention and emphasising the need to make water more visible and accept it as an attractive feature of the public space. The plan outlining the city’s water management strategy for the next 50 years was finally approved in 2013 and the first pilot projects have now been completed.

completed project

Neptunigatan Street. The Blue-Green Street in Malmö »


The reconstruction of Neptunigatan Street in Malmö was completed this May. The effort is part of the long-term transformation of the postindustrial Western Harbor (Västra hamnen) into a contemporary, sustainable and smart district. Formerly a dead end street, Neptunigatan was recreated as a generous and multifunctional urban streetscape incorporated with an advanced rainwater management system. The street becomes a perfect showcase for the Blue-Green systems and the ways in which they can help adapt cities for climate change.


Sites Without Consciousness – Jaroslavice. Restoration of the Cultural Landscape »

Jiří Šmejkal, Nikola Stibůrková

Due to postwar events the small town of Jaroslavice gradually shrank and became a village. Today’s character of the village reflects the era of upswing in its structure, but dilapidated ruins of houses and farm buildings, just next to the castle walls, stand witness to the absence of life here. The Faculty of Architecture Brno University of Technology studio project, supervised by Barbora Ponešová and Jan Foretník in 2017/2018, proposes a restoration of the cultural landscape around Jaroslavice while trying to understand the specific problems of former Sudetenland. The emphasis was on the reinterpretation of the relationship between the municipality and the surrounding landscape.

completed project

A Living Hall. Production Hall in the Industrial Complex in Slavkov near Brno »

Zdeněk Fránek / Fránek Architects

This year, another green building was erected in the industrial complex in southwest Slavkov near Brno. Following the construction of their experimental development center LIKO-Noe, the company producing interior partitions, prefab structures, and green construction elements completed a new production hall, LIKO-Vo, dubbed the first “living” hall in the world. The living hall concept is based on a  principle of natural thermal stabilisation provided by a green roof, a green facade, a wet pond and other technologies that ensure the building can cool itself and the surrounding environment down, in stark contrast to the heat effect of traditional industrial structures. Besides an obvious aesthetic benefit and the thermal regulation effects, the green surfaces also function as natural wastewater treatment systems. The clean water is then stored and used for irrigation. The LIKO-S company sees the construction of the production hall as their response to the climate crisis and strives to inspire a considerate environmental approach.

kniha completed project

New Park. Revitalization of a Public Space – Conversion of a Former Cemetery Into a Park in Leopoldov »

Jakub Kopec, Klára Zahradníčková, Tomáš Džadoň

The transformation of a former cemetery into a park with a children’s playground sees a half-forgotten garden become a site of active rest for all generations. The design works with three basic principles - activating the park boundary, allowing free movement inside, and introducing new additions to the existing structures. Additional planting creates an extension of the zigzag tree arrangement of the  original alley into the diagonal tree grid across the whole area of the park. Keeping a gap around the root system of the trees, the entire area was stabilized with a walkable gravel surface, thus relieving the only existing communication axis. The historical layer of the original cemetery structures was preserved. A team comprised of an architect, a landscape architect and an artist was behind this winning proposal.

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Water Games »

Jan Trejbal, Kurt Gebauer, Sibel Rhea Akyolova

In 2006, the seventh edition of the book Spielen mit Wasser und Luft by the mathematician and “steinerian” Walter Kraul was published. It tells us how to make a simple water wheel or a children’s ferry. The passing childhood memory of the rules of a group of young boys, where the inability to make a waterwheel meant immediate banishment, is slightly upsetting. Hopefully the sketches presented, showing ideal solutions by artists and designers, will let some optimism into the overlooked territory of water playgrounds, where the child and the parent surely won’t stay dry for too long.



Greywater Systems and Associated Health Risk

Karel Plotěný


Curtain Walls in Housing Construction

Roman Šnajdr


3D Model Is Not BIM. Software Tools and the Design Process

Petr Vaněk


Knowledge, Care and Durability of Concrete Structures

Jana Margoldová

completed project

Mountains Between Houses. Hotel St. Vavřinec in Pec pod Sněžkou »

Jiří Opočenský, Štěpán Valouch / ov-a

Four apartment towers standing on one single story plinth of shops and amenities have replaced an old grocery store in the center of Pec pod Sněžkou. Removing the visual barrier of the socialist grocery store and adding instead four compact apartment towers allowed for better visual links inside the town and out towards the mountaintops. The towers are arranged around a semi-private “meadow” – an intensive green roof – with barbecue spots and a playground. On the ground floor there is the hotel lobby, a restaurant, a supermarket, a drug store, a sports equipment store and a ski and bike repair shop.

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