The use of trees in the urban environment
By Katarína Gécová
It is the aim of any society to create optimal housing and living conditions for its inhabitants. Fast growth and development of settlements and urbanization in general resulted in numerous factors that have negative impacts on our environment. This process leads to the elimination of the essential part of the urban environment, i.e. trees and other vegetation. Great part of vegetation is exposed to such conditions that mostly do not meet requirements of legislation (e.g. exhaust fumes, polluted environments) – the ability of woody plants to adapt and grow, affect and resist such stressful conditions vary according to the species of woody plants. The article addresses the use of trees in the urban environment. Trees constitute a vital part of the environment. They provide for ecological and social functions but also for aesthetic or hygienic functions that are of the same significance in the urban environment. The amount of greenery and spatial relationships between separated green areas have an impact on the state of biodiversity in the urban environment. The positive impact of biodiversity on a human being living in the urban environment is unquestionable. Fragmentation of natural elements requires their interconnection into the local system of interconnected natural elements at the citywide level. At present the process of urbanization brings dynamic changes: an indigenous natural environment is being replaced with the urban environment. This process is related to the high urban densification on green spaces intended for sporting, leisure and relaxation activities of local residents, while the concept of urban greenery is not being respected. Grass spaces are being replaced with hard surfaced areas; parking areas are being enlarged; mature trees are being cut down, which are the consequences of investment activities, while the retention effect of permeable areas is being forgotten. It is no secret that construction development mostly burdens existing as well as potential spaces and directly, together with the other factors, affects the condition of trees in the settlement. It is a common phenomenon of the present time related to the global growth of human population, increased concentration of population in large cities, but also growing pressure of development companies. This problem entails pressure on the environment. The quality and accessibility of green spaces are nowadays much more significant indicators than the quantity; trees and other vegetation are becoming one of the indicators of the quality of the settlement residential area.
Cassovia architect Ľudovít Oelschläger: Őry Lajos (1896 – 1984)
By Adriana Priatková
An architect Ľudovít (Ludwig) Oelschläger – Őry Lajos (1896 – 1984), probably the most important, but among the public not very known, representative of the interwar architecture who, in his most fruitful period of life, worked in Košice (1924 – 1945). It was in Košice, his hometown, as well as in Eastern Slovakia and former Carpathian Ruthenia (Podkarpatskej Rusi), which was part of Czechoslovakia at that time, where he left the work of extraordinary quality that still appeals to experts as well as the general public. He was born in a rich German evangelical family in Košice, coming from the Spiš Region. In family he learnt to respect the past and acquired classical education. The intellectual and spiritual atmosphere of his hometown, part of Austria-Hungary Monarchy until the end of World War I, was close to that of Budapest, where he acquired university education. After finishing his study he made a longer study trip to Germany (1921 – 1922) during which he acquainted himself with the latest European knowledge in the field. The initial period of his work was closely connected with the Hungarian architecture of that time. His perception of the Hungarian architecture was influenced by the work of his Budapest colleagues, peers, Bogdanfy and Gerloczy in their Budapest architectural studio (1923). The specifi c quality of Oelschläger`s architectural early work was to a great extent influenced by 5-year close cooperation with a Hungarian architect G. Z. Bosko (1924 – 1929), who probably came to Kosice with the architect. The Orthodox synagogue and school in Košice is probably the most impressive result of their cooperation (1925, 1926 – 1927, 1933, NKP). The synagogue was built almost concurrently with the Neologic synagogue in Kosice (1924, 1926 – 1927,NKP) designed by L. Kozma, an architect from Budapest. In the early 1930s the author`s style started to shift towards simplicity. Oelschläger gradually, in his own way, transforming the significant influence of European Modernism, abandoned his special style of abstraction of historical conception and started to design his first works of art that reflect modernist formal, structural and dispositional preferences of the functional architecture. His individual projects sensitively respond to the locality, the construction typology class, and the client`s requirements. Modernism gradually became a symbol of status of not only higher but also middle classes in Eastern Slovakia. In the late 1930s, probably under the influence of adverse political situation and clients` demands, the architect returned to the historical conception of architecture, in his special combination with modernism, eclectically combining various inputs into an acceptable whole. In 1945 he and his family were forced to leave Košice. He spent the rest of his life in Budapest (1984).
The Architecture of diplomacy: The embassies in the history of Slovakia
By Ján Pavúk
The architecture of diplomacy – an embassy is an environment where citizens of a foreign state can meet another country, another state for the first time. They experience different culture and identity, different civilization level and character. They learn about the conduct and manners and mentality of people from another country. The architecture of diplomacy, the embassies in the context of history of Slovakia, is less explored building typology, development of which dates back to the constitution of Czechoslovakia in 1918. The aim of this essay is to summarize and bring an overview of the selection of embassies, built to the present time, in the context of historical development of Slovakia pursuing the styles of particular political periods. Furthermore, we will analyze the functionality and artistic rendition, the setting in the urban zone, the relationship between concept and context in the environment, etc. We will also look at meaning of the architecture of diplomacy and compare the creation and contribution of Czech and Slovak authors, the influence of political systems and their instruments on creation. The efforts of authors to achieve the functionality and artistic rendition and accomplishment of the relationship between concept and context in the environment were represented at the high level mainly in the period of renaissance in the 1960s and 1970s. But in other decades the architecture of this type of buildings was also representative. At present the embassies of Slovakia also do not fall behind the current trends in the world architecture. However, it is a pity that their current creation and reconstruction is largely limited because of financial resources of the state. In projection of the embassy the task of the architect is to influence the perception of our country positively by foreigner nationals through architecture representing the state. Architects fill the local program, with its specific requirements for operation; logistics and security, with their special authorial approach and opinion as well as their creed.
Effective urban structures generating
By Ján Legény
The word effectiveness /effective may be understood in architecture and urbanism in different ways. The effective urban structures then mainly present the effective use of energetic sources; in particular, the energy of the Sun, whether it is active or passive – through architecture. The urban structures based on this principle are called “solar.” In the foreign literature they are designated with a German term Solarer Städtebau or English term solar urban planning. Such approach to urbanism should not be considered the highest principle of creation, as urbanism, being part of territorial planning, has to be dealt with in a complex way. However, the common denominator is always the pursuit of optimal development of settlement structures, harmonious layout of territory, preservation of ecological balance and protection of cultural heritage with the aim to ensure sustainable development and life of man. Man can be separated from nature, but nature is inseparable part of man. This idea has been around since the dawn of mankind when various religions taught people to respect nature. As man gradually discovers the rational essence of nature and stops fearing the unknown, man also loses the respect for the environment. Concerns about survival are replaced with the anthropocentric conception of society formation. We become the crucial factor in the cycle of life, and thus we determine directly or indirectly how the cycle of life will continue. It is the relative shortness of human life that limits man`s understanding and perception of the impact of man`s activity on the environment. Therefore, it is very important to evaluate and respond carefully to all changes and signals of nature. They can be observed every day. The climate change, largely caused by the activity of man, not only results in the temperature increase but also in more frequent natural disasters. Media report of the increase of tropical storms, hurricanes, tornadoes. Secondary repercussion is migration and extinction of plant and animal species, shift in climatic zones and their food resources, … The waste of energetic sources may also be viewed as energy consumption on credit, time consumption – we take energy/time from future generations, possible result of which is a sharp rise in population and evident progress made mainly during the past century. After all, previous generations might also have grown, quantitatively as well as qualitatively, so rapidly or even more rapidly if they had been able to exploit raw materials as we are. Recycling, using of renewable resources, fossil fuels saving, increasing of equipment efficiency, nature preservation or lifestyle change present a possible direction how to cope with the climate change, keep sustainable economic development, improve the quality of our life as well as the life of future generations. The continuous growth curve makes it for us difficult to imagine that it could be otherwise. Stagnation or decline are being replaced by the word progress. But at what price? …
Architecture of dwelling and its futuristic models: Dwelling and machine – a problematic relationship
By Jaromír Krobot
The thesis deals with the issue of dwelling. On the platform of a phenomenological approach, set by the essay of Martin Heidegger, it compares selected theories referring to the wide problem of dwelling in time sequence – starting with the era of pioneer modernism to the contemporary stage marked by broad usage of computers, transforming the architectural thinking as a whole. The goal is to attempt to create a continual theoretical model of future modifications of architectural dwelling space. At this point, we tried to revise the key theories dealing with the problem of dwelling – starting with the analysis of Martin Heidegger ́s text Building – Dwelling – Thinking, concentrating on basic elements that are traceable in consecutive works. That is the problem of building, the issue of language as a construction system, dwelling in connection with historical and local situations and (radical) shifts, appearing in these key points.
Open studio „crafts.sk“
By Michala Lipková
Craft as a form of small series production is in a traditional point of view based on qualified manual work of a craftsman. The search for the role of crafts in contemporary context opens new possibilities in the product design process, enabling user`s participation, product personalization and downsizing general production footprint. The goal of this thesis is to (1) explore the analogy between hand-made & CAM, crafts & DIY, open-source & traditional sharing of know-how across generations and (2) to investigate a new educational model of design as a collective discipline. Ongoing experimental part of the project is led in the form of cooperation with The Centre For Folk Art Production in Bratislava – using this organization’s co-operation scheme titled „Open Studio“. A collaborative platform defined by the URL crafts.sk is shared by students from third to fifth year of product design study program, the task of which is to design utility everyday products, intended to be sold in the Centre’s galleries. Each of the products should find a way of updating or developing any part of Slovak crafts tradition.
Islands and their borders: Kiev Islands
By Martin Jančok, Vít Halada, Benjamín Brádňanský, Michal Marcinov
The Kiev Islands are forced into a state of schizophrenia. Two ideologies claim their rights to inhabit the islands. Conservation and Exploitation trigger and enhance contradictory processes that establish zones which have to deal with strong pressures from both sides. Leisure and commercial activities spontaneously occupy spots with connection infrastructure and blur on a large scale with the zones of legislative reservation of value natural environments. The Eden of untouched nature meets the paradise of uncontrolled development speculations. Pursuing efficiency and sensations on one side, and values and nostalgias on the other, result in the situation in which visions and strategies have to be formulated. Decisions have to be made. Lines have to be drawn. The islands are divided into zones of radical progress and stabilization. Separation triumphs over combination. Borders have to be constructed. The zones are divided by channels that form new artificial islands. Definition triumphs over blurring. Visions have to be proposed. The new radical islands are meant for intensification and become carriers of provocation. They are shouting landmarks in the vastness of calmed down nature. Destination triumphs over nomadism. The project Paradise Lost proposed for an international competition “The Kiev Islands” is examined as part of a series of further projects developed by OFCA. Office for Collaborative architects is a formal framework that identifies the way the projects were developed. Other conceptual frameworks, as emptiness, identity, concentration and urbanity, are identified and argued with the aim to formulate a design strategy.