Corporate identity of industrial architecture
By Ľubica Ilkovičová
Architecture of buildings for industrial production is typologically one of the youngest architectural types. It has gone through a relatively complicated way for more than two hundred years of industrial development, related with modern and mostly nameless or worthless seventies in the twentieth century architecture, through architectural awakening period of the late twentieth century, up to the present characterized by a strong influence of globalization trends. Today, architecture of industrial buildings has once again a place among the highest quality architecture. This fact has fundamentally changed the identity of industrial structures. Production is related with trade, where the way of distribution, type of sale and brand itself determine the product and the strength of the relationship between production and trade. This is transformed into a comprehensive architectural design of production sites. Thus, the current commerce affects the architecture of production plants and their identity. Tools of corporate governance undoubtedly belong to the theoretical basis of modern industrial design files and to corporate design. Professional use of these tools makes the architecture of industrial plants interesting and motivating both for the user as well as for the observer.
Varieties of monumental architecture – case of Tirana
By Marián Potočár
This paper examines the process of urbanization and development of the 20th century architecture in Albania and evaluates it in the context of synchronous development in other Eastern and Central European countries. The topic is on the representative urban public spaces of high ideological importance for authoritarian political regimes, of which the most prominent was the central boulevard in Tirana and its focal space – Scanderbeg Square. Development of this space is framed with the events of 1) establishment of the modern Albanian state, which emerged with historical delay after the Balkan wars in 1912 – 1913 and 2) the fall of dictatorship of the communist party in 1990. In the first half of the 20th century, Albania experienced a period of authoritarian monarchist regime, leaning towards the fascist ideology. It aimed to rebuild the small town of Tirana into the new capital city. The conceptual foundations of Scanderbeg Square as the “square of ministries” were laid down in subsequently developed urban plans. The most decisive were the plans delivered by Italians Armand Brasini and Fiorestano di Fausto. The first constructions of the new centre of Tirana started in 1930s and during the World War II, when Albania was occpied by Italy. After the successful antifascist resistance that defeated Italian and then German army at the end of the war, Albania experienced a seizure of power by the local communist party (PPSH), accompanied by an ideological overturn. In pursuit of neglecting previous social and political formations (Ottoman, feudal, fascist, and capitalist) and further amplifying its hegemony, the socialist regime adopted several strategies based on demolition, recycling, adapting and re-building the architecture of public spaces of Tirana. These strategies were applied perpetually in the process of further constructing of Scanderbeg Square during the 40 years of the socialist regime. The most significant new edifices were the “Palace of Culture” (1960 – 1962) and the “National Museum of History” (1979 – 1982). They mirrored the changeovers in peculiar foreign policy of the Albanian ruling regime and the congruent metamorphoses of its official ideology. After the initial aligning with the Soviet block, Albania diverted towards Maoism in 1960s. After disintegration of the Chinese-Albanian relations at the end of 1970s, the country found itself in a kind of non-alignment and autarchy regime. At the end of this period, Scanderbeg Square became an over-scaled monumental space demarcated by edifices of state institutions.
Grotta – a man-made cave: A small-size architectural phenomenon in historic gardens
By Katarína Kristiánová
Grotta is a ‘small-size architectural phenomenon’ characteristic of garden design within many historic styles; it is also a typical part of historic gardens and parks. However, grottas have not been given enough attention as part of historic parks and gardens in Slovakia yet. The influence of grottos and their environment is a phenomenon, which has inspired many artistic interpretations. In garden design and architecture, grotta represents the aesthetics of the ugly, weird or bizarre. The lack of understanding of wider cultural context of its use and without knowing its many symbolic meanings, grotta is very often misunderstood as an architectural feature. The aspect of such ‘misunderstanding’ could also be a reason why such small architectural features decay in many historic gardens and parks in Slovakia. The article deals with the development of grotta as an architectural feature and as its symbolic and functional significance in gardens. It introduces examples of application of varied forms of man-made grottos in garden design in Europe and it describes diverse forms of man-made grottos situated in historic parks and gardens in Slovakia. Some grottas disappeared together with the decay and rebuilding of gardens and are known only thanks to literary works or art works, as, for example, those in the Lippay Garden and the Erdődy Garden in Bratislava. The grottas, which have been preserved up to present, represent unique artifacts of garden architectural features, which convey spiritual, notional and symbolic legacy of the past generations and are an inseparable part of historic gardens and parks. A real beauty of some grottas can be admired because they have undertaken a competent reconstruction; the examples include the grotto ornamentation of the terrene hall in the Červený Castle or a grotta in Dubnica nad Váhom. The remains of some grottas have been preserved – such as those designed by the respectful landscape architects of the time – Bernhard Petri designed the grotto in Voderady, and Henrich Nebbien in Dolná Krupa. Therefore, the reminder of cultural and historic context of the ‘grotto art’ as well as of examples of successful artistic and craftsman reconstructions of these ‘strange’ features can become an inspiration for resurgence of their value, which can, eventually, protect them from decay and disappearance from the historic gardens and parks in Slovakia.
Potentials of mixed use development within housing estates: Demonstrated on examples of housing estates Dúbravka in Bratislava and Prosek in Prague
By Oľga Melcerová
Negative side eff ects of industrial and transportation development in the 18th and the 19th century caused consecutive separation of work from housing. Initial support of functional segregation in order to create quality living environment later resulted in construction of large prefabricated housing estates. What first seemed to be effective, efficient and according to some experts the only possible solution for shortage of housing in the post-war period, had many undesirable impacts like mono functionality, monotony, low construction quality, etc. While the western European countries, during the 70s, gradually waived this sort of housing out, in former Czecho-slovakia it continued until the mid-90s. As a result, apartments in housing estates represent a substantial part in current housing stock. With the fall of Communism in 1989, this housing construction was almost immediately stopped and simultaneously public criticism against it arose – there were even some calls for their demolition. Despite more than 20 years of professional discussions, life in mass housing estates hasn ́t changed much. Crucial question what and how to do in order to change the “sleeping” estates into the qualitative urban environment still remains. Mono functionality together with radical increase of cars cause considerable problems in current city operation. This could be partially solved by completing estates into the planned functional complexity. In these terms high population density together with small built up area, typical for prefabs, create good preconditions for diversity of uses. For the successful mixed use implementation, it is important to consider three different levels of spatial proximity of uses as well as to define its limits and potentials. For the coarse grain mix of uses there is a potential in transformation of monofunctional work areas, located close to housing estates, as they can generate new work opportunities. For the support of medium grain, disposable areas of inbuilt facilities, especially in central locations, could be used in order to add currently required functions. For the fine grain mix, that almost didn ́t exist in the past, adding facilities and services into the ground floors of housing blocks seems to be a good solution despite many factors that limit their integration. Success of mixed use development considerably depends on legislative support. In these terms the present developmental planning system seems to fail. It is high time to start a serious professional discussion of how to change the current complicated, obligatory and too general city developmental plan into a more simple and flexible system of detailed developmental plans, prepared in dialogue between the city, developers and inhabitants. Support of tools for implementation of mixed use together with effi cient public transportation planning might help to transform the prefabricated housing estates into attractive and pleasant living neighbourhoods.