Editorial 1/2023

Wissem Gallala

Cite this article
Gallala, W. (2023) ‘Editorial 1/2023’, Architecture Papers of the Faculty of Architecture and Design STU, 28(1), pp. 1-2. https://www.doi.org/10.2478/alfa-2023-0001


Architecture is at the crossroads of multidisciplinary fields; it is obvious for it to integrate new concepts and encourage new interpretations in all architectural projects in order to create a synergy that must exist in projects which combine other disciplines, e.g., the historical context, the surrounding environment, urbanism, design, occupation of spaces and their components, social dynamics, engineering… All of these factors influence architecture and will be influenced by architecture. In fact, there is a cause-effect reciprocal influence.

The articles in this issue revolve around types of rural architecture in relation to landscape and history. Rural landscapes are always attractive for their beauty and variety. Actually, this is true of the whole rural world. It is through vernacular architecture or mountain huts that the identity of a territory is expressed and perpetuated, a precious element that constitutes our heritage. Beyond its aesthetic value, buildings offer a unique and irreplaceable glimpse of an aspect of intangible heritage: a response to local living conditions and the organization of social life.

Access to nature is not only evident in rural areas. In the urban environment, some people have an instinctive connection with nature, they seek out spaces that reflect the characteristics of the outdoor environment or that offer views and even access to beautiful landscaping, plants and/or landscaping water. Architects use several techniques incorporating biophilic design principles. In fact, the integration of elements of nature and especially water in the built environment improves people’s well-being. Water with the hydraulic structures are considered as the core of the urban structures and the various concepts have been proposed since ages. These facilities are part of the heritage and can be valued among tourists.

In the present issue, the first paper “Investigating privacy principles’ formation in vernacular architecture of arid and semi-arid parts of Iran” by Aida Shayegani and Viera Joklová focuses on the principle of privacy in the vernacular architecture based on the Iranian or formerly Persian culture, climate, and security conditions. It discusses the role of geopolitical and cultural conditions in the 20th century giving rise to new forms of architectural residential morphology, which do not take into consideration and thus change the principle of intimacy and influence native architectural culture.

The second paper by Damla Katuk and Emine Köseoğlu, entitled “Bibliometric analysis of water at the intersection of environmental psychology and biophilic design”, puts emphasis on identifying the current research gaps and key author-concepts by analyzing Scopus and Web of Science databases and using technical mapping when investigating water-related research with the interference of environmental psychology and biophilic design. Bibliometric analysis led the authors to the conclusion that biophilic design is a more recent field than environmental psychology. Furthermore, the new combinations of identified concepts and biophilic architecture approach allow for the creation of new research topics.

In “Traces of former mill races in Krnov: Possibilities of revitalization and interpretation”, Juraj Illéš, Viera Joklová, and Agnieszka Jaszczak, carried out an investigation based on different types of documentation (historical maps, cadastral registers, etc.) and field research in order to identify the remains and traces of the old mill races. Despite their commonly seen disappearance from the urban tissue, mill races surely constitute historical and cultural heritage and can contribute significantly to sustainable tourism in urban public spaces.

Mária Novotná contributed with the paper “Alpine huts: Architectural innovations and development in the High Tatras in the second half of the 20th century” which highlights the architectural quality of buildings in the mountain environment and their evolution from post-war modernism to high-tech architecture and postmodernism thanks to new technologies based on several case studies.

Keywords: heritage, rural architecture, editorial, biophilic design, modernism, urban revitalization