Why do we call it transformation of a monument?
By Katarína Vošková
Our world comprises material “phenomena” and feelings evoked by places, spaces, and works of art… The city of Banská Štiavnica has developed into a complex environment since the 12th century including its urban spaces and houses which are being conserved. But there is also something what we can call genius loci, that is as a part of the city’s authenticity provided by buildings, which we sometimes fail to restore. Why is it so? The town does not attract settlers anymore because of golden-silver mines. It is the spirit that people are seeking for. What exactly is the spirit? The energy of our ancestors, authenticity…? The spirit usually vanishes with the use of modern materials and replicas. To counteract using of modern materials we organise workshops in traditional methods. However, there is still the question: what keeps the original architecture alive and whether we can introduce new purpose and keep the original genius. This article concerns with monitoring of architectural heritage (e.g. listed monuments and historical buildings) and its transformation during the conservation process, in the context of legal preservation requirements. First, the aims and the subject of the work are defined and the current knowledge on the subject is introduced. The article analyses problems surrounding the architectural conservation process in practice, in particular the preservation of authenticity, since authenticity is a primary criterion for the nomination and acceptance of sites by the World Heritage Centre. The knowledge comes from the research which analyses the degree to which works on monuments in Banská Štiavnica Preservation Area have preserved the monuments’ authenticity, and quantifies authenticity loss which occurred at certain times; as well as the reasons for the loss. The process of heritage conservation is one of several factors in authenticity loss. In the interests of objectivity, as well as for the benefit of future field work, an “authenticity test” is important. This test has already been applied in specific instances involving monuments in Banská Štiavnica, and has proven effective in pinpointing the reasons for both desirable and undesirable restoration results. The article then presents the components of the conservation process with the aim of identifying the most eff ective ones, as far as the influence on final results is concerned. The test of authenticity can help in scientific as well as in practical way in architectural heritage preservation and conservation. The test can reflect the fails and weaknesses in the process of heritage conservation. Thanks to the results of the test of authenticity it is possible to lay out ways in which the theory and practice of cultural heritage preservation and conservation in Slovakia may continue in future.
Public greenery and its societal value: A case study Medical Garden in Bratislava
By Tamara Reháčková
Greenery is considered one of the most important variables that positively affect the lives of people in cities. At present, in this context, the most discussed topics are such as the role and functions of green spaces, their perception, the role in off setting climate changes and so on. Urban greenery is very often marginalized by local authorities, therefore the green areas are often perceived only as “undeveloped areas” suitable for construction. One of the ways to increase the “social status” of green areas is to try to quantify their financial value. Even though most of these benefits are non-tradable, there are still efforts to try to quantify them. This approach is in line with the trend of pragmatism in environmental policy, even if it is contrary to the multiplicity of values of green areas. Economic evaluation of the functions and services of green areas is methodologically very difficult. So far there is no single tool that would be accepted in practice apart from its use in research activities and so the currently used approaches can be viewed as experimental. The paper presents some selected economic instruments which are already used in practice, or they could be used.
Gottwald’s Freedom Square in Bratislava – a square of totalitarian regimes?
By Marián Potočár
In this case study, we focus on the area of the Freedom Square (Námestie slobody) in Bratislava as an important historical urban space. In the past, several political regimes with various ideological backgrounds tried to adapt the square to their representation and reshaped its topology accordingly. a wide span of different aesthetic models of official architecture and art went through this public space. These transformations were adopted in relatively short sequence of time-periods and thus the square was expected to play an important role as public medium representing power. It was also a complementary component to public spectacles staged by authoritarian regimes. Transformation of the today ‘s Freedom Square towards a representative public space begun after Bratislava became the regional capital city in the first Czechoslovak Republic. It later became stage of mass public events of the fascist regime of the Slovak State, which orchestrated prestigious architectural competition for plans for a new governmental district in this area. This event meant direct three-way confrontation of Functionalism (legacy of inter-war Czechoslovakia), architecture of the Third Reich and Italian Rationalism. Although ideologically antagonistic, the after-war communist regime used the square in a similar way for public events, and adopted the aesthetic model of Italian proposal for its plan of a university campus. But its gradual development took discursive significant detour during the Stalinist era, where proposals for construction of eclectic palaces in Soviet fashion were promoted. After several artistic/architectural competitions in the next decades, the square got its ultimate shape of a public park only in 1980s, at time when the formal ideological narrative was mere coding concealing pragmatic nature of the late-socialist regime. Since 1990s the square remains the largest public space in the city, as a consistent record of previous regimes and their aesthetic models. Concerning this space with an open range of potential development scenarios, most common questions concerning contemporary public space in cities that undergo transition from socialism towards market-economy and democratic society can be applied.
The Doctrine of Regulation
By Ján Legény
Prior to town as a higher form of social living, there was gradual settlement of natural landscape. Man came into contact with this landscape and started to transform it according to his concepts and requirements. Primary characteristic attributes of a town are its boundaries or demarcation of its territory by fortification walls behind which – intra muros – social life took its place. Social life was governed by power of law that was in performance on this territory. Gradual development of the society has enforced the change and introduction of new laws, regulations and restrictions even to the fi eld of building the towns, their urban planning. All of them implied stratifi cation of the “occupied” territory. The article describes the topic of regulation of building activities taking place on the territory of the United States of America, in New York City above all. The Zoning Law from 1916 set the limits for building within blocks, however it determines the functional use of a site, its cover with a structure as well as its mass/substance spacing e.i. how is the substance of the building spatially arranged, the so called Setback Buildings. This new aesthetic paradigm had a direct impact on visual shape of the whole New York City. Its main aim was to improve penetration of sunlight into the city, supply of fresh air and improvement of hygiene. Historic development pointed out to negative impact of such regulation resulting into legislative changes and introduction of new regulations, the Floor Area Ratio (FAR index) which was expected to stimulate the developers to build on sites of smaller areas. This concept of building regulation started to be used in many countries of the world. The author analyses the topic on the example of Bratislava and its territory, especially the locality of Čierna Voda. In the forefront is the aspect of degree of regulation and subject of regulation within an urban space. When speaking about changes to environment and efforts in lowering the energy consumption of structures, it is important to speak within the scale of built complexes of structures, the whole town or agglomeration.