Editorial 1/2024

Jan Jehlík

Cite this article
Jehlík, J. (2024) ‘Editorial’, Architecture Papers of the Faculty of Architecture and Design STU, 29(1), p. 1. https://www.doi.org/10.2478/alfa-2024-0001


Baroque vault and refurbishment, current use of the Moorish style, small-scale architecture, temporary forms of performative space – these are the themes of the actual issue. How different, how common, how architectural. To understand the architecture as a holistic discipline we can (or we have to) search the arch of separate items every time and project them on a screen of some ‘matrix’ of complexity. On the one hand, it requires us to immerse in a concrete theme and its attributes, on the other to incorporate it into a wider context.

However, it is not as easy as it sounds. What is to be projected and what is the screen? Because projecting is not about neighbouring, but about an assessment of values and relations. And the screen is ever changing: it depends on an intention, a standpoint and a scope. When searching for tools to link these themes there are crucial architectural categories, an interwoven framework helping us to interconnect seemingly remote themes on a common level. It is useful to start on the very abstract level and then delve into details. The goal is not to lose the main field, the array of specific findings. And to understand the ways of setting phenomena and attributes within the ‘matrix’. To grasp that network of a specific research it is necessary to set the aim, the structure of terms and categories, adjacent fields, and a position within the explored domain.

Then it is crucial to learn and to fix relations. Because it is always a matter of relationships, the relationship between elements (scale), the relationship of the elements to the whole (proportion) and the relationships that form the whole (relations). The scale of an element corresponds to its position within the whole. However, it is not only the issue of its external dimensions, but also of its significance, its value for the complex. We communicate what is important for the situation in question. We create an image of reality, or rather its subjective reinterpretation. Scales of meaning thus meet physical scales – in the image, the more distinct communication corresponds to the more significant piece of information. Proportions determine the mutual connections between parts and the whole. The awareness of mutuality de facto stabilises the whole. The whole is derived from its parts, the parts are derived from the whole. It is also possible to make a loose reference to the relations of derivation and integration. It is the relations that determine the way of integrating parts into a whole. Emphasis is usually placed on the limits that influence the investigation of the object from the standpoint of external circumstances. Many times, significantly less energy is dedicated to the extent and form of the contribution to the benefit of the environment, community, or urban entirety. But in fact, this relation is mutual, even symbiotic. Long-term success of an item is unthinkable without the quality of the whole, as a whole cannot be built without the assistance of each item.

We can apply these phenomena to the topics released in this issue: to be able to understand the value and the position baroque vaults within the contemporary constructions and architecture; to discover the code of the Moorish style to (re)interpret it; to apply dynamics of temporary objects and living performances revitalising the environment; and to be aware of the real value of small-scale or small-size architectural objects within the urban tissue.

Keywords: history, scale, architecture, proportions, relations, editorial, performative space