Summary of approved PhD theses

Tradition in the context of design
By Mgr. art. Zuzana Labudová, ArtD.

The aim of this dissertation thesis was to specify the importance of tradition in the context of design. The work discusses the tradition in a wider context: describes changes in society, which have affected perception of history and tradition; examines identity, nostalgia and fashion; explores the relationship between tradition and design, tradition and innovation. The dissertation is divided, besides introduction and conclusion, into eight chapters. Three opening chapters define the objective of the work, the methodology and present the review of literature. The fourth chapter explores definition of tradition in society. The fifth chapter examines the development of the Western world from traditional to modern frame of thinking. Next chapter applies learned knowledge in the field of design. The seventh chapter deals with survey on how people perceive different traditionbased objects. The method of semantic differential was used. The final chapter is practically oriented. It is dedicated to design of board game inspired by Slovak customs.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Design at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava

Phenomenon of cultural identity in the process of cultural sustainable life (application on traditional historical structures)
By Ing. arch. Erika Foltinová, PhD.

The current globalization trends are the cause that the matters of identity, culture, traditions or sustainable way of life are increasingly being discussed, especially in the field of architecture. General dissatisfaction with the loss of identity, followed by the need to search for roots, is associated with the environment in cities, particularly with their architecture. Both architecture and identity thus receive a multidisciplinary character. As a cultural phenomenon, architecture is the carrier of strong references contributing to the creation of cultural identity. It is one of the determinants of orientation and identification of a man in space. Although the identity of locations changes over time, it can be strengthened by its users. Respect to the existing context (not just architectural) becomes the design’s point of origin, as it is necessary to know the history of given locality and the reasons for creation of build-up area. The central motive of this dissertation is to maintain the continuity of cultural layers, link the existing with the new, while the main focal point comprises historical architectural and urban structures. The primary goal is an attempt to specify the process of cultural identity creation, to define how and by what it can be destroyed and how it can be supported. This principle is applied to the area of Bratislava southern Podhradie, where possible approaches to identity definition are investigated by means of different variants.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava

Creativity in the process of architectural heritage presentation
By Ing. arch. Silvia Petrášová, PhD.

The architectural heritage in Slovakia is essential for building up its cultural and national identity. Therefore, its protection and presentation is underpinned by the legislative system. The dissertation deals with an architect’s role in the process of the architectural heritage presentation. The analytical part of the dissertation defines the process of the architectural heritage presentation — including the relevant legislative framework, stages and central positions with the most significant effect on its outcome. In this context, the issue of creativity is also examined. Furthermore, the text focuses on the foundations and tools for the architectural heritage presentation, while analysing the new suggested activities in the light of their objective, the monument restoration choices depending on the monument value and its suggested function. The Chapter 4 focuses on an architectural heritage presentation project, defining materials and forms as integral parts of the new suggested elements and analysing their possible combinations in the creative process, in order to achieve the required outcome. It comments on the style characteristics and evaluation process of a complete cultural heritage presentation project. In the research part of the work, the central topic concerns the presence of an architect in a role of a project architect in the architectural heritage presentation process on the Slovak territory within a set out period starting from 2002, when the act of the National Council no. 49/2002 Z. z. on the protection of monuments and historic sites entered into force. The main source of information is a document entitled Evaluation of the completed renovation actions of the national cultural heritage monuments, which is drawn up every year by the individual regional Monuments Boards. The research analyses which types of new activities included an architect and what was his or her role in the architectural heritage presentation. The Chapter 6 examines the practical weaknesses in the architectural heritage presentation process, using the research method of a structured face-to-face interview with targeted respondents from different positions in the process, as well as public discussion. The Chapter 7 is devoted to the evaluation of the implemented architectural heritage presentation projects and to the issue of tenders to guarantee the quality of projects. In the Chapter 8, possible architect’s creative approaches to the architectural heritage presentation are illustrated on the specific examples and Chapter 9 provides an example of research by design the architectural heritage presentation. The final part of the dissertation sums up the results of the research in a form of the verification of the hypotheses set out in the introduction.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architectural Heritage Conservation at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava

Architectural heritage of power plant buildings in Slovakia
By Ing. arch. Katarína Šimončičová, PhD.

Industrial heritage is a witness of a civilizational breakthrough, which was so important that we call it a revolution. The architectural heritage of power plant buildings manifests a transition to the Age of Electricity. Power plants as a new typological type were challenging for engineers and architects, who tried to create a symbiosis between the highest technological realization and the aesthetics of its architecture. The result is a wide variety of architectural expressions of power plant buildings. Nevertheless, the results of previous generations’ industrial production are largely overlooked and underestimated in Slovakia. The architecture of industrial heritage, as a relatively young structural layer, is vulnerable and endangered. The heritage of power plants is very rich, but yet undiscovered. So far its architecture has received very little attention, thus its meaning is seemingly underestimated. The research of this thesis is therefore focused on mapping the primary buildings of power plants in Slovakia and on on identifying their architectural characteristics. The part of this work consists of the inventorisation and chronologisation of power plants, resulting in a tabular database containing basic information about the buildings. This work is putting the buildings into the historical context and describing their constructional development. The other part of the thesis represents detailed documentation of chosen plants through archival and on-site research. The results are listed in a specially conceived documentation cards. Architectural characteristics’ identification was performed by a synthetically acquired knowledge and a comparison of the individual power plant buildings. The selected preserved power plants were proposed to be registered as national monuments. Proposed sequence of steps was verified by the process of this research. Sequence of steps has been incorporated into the methodology of documentation of power plants. Systematical documentation of power plants was developed for the needs of this thesis.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architectural Heritage Conservation at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava

Waterfront regeneration – the example of the city of Trenčín
By Ing. arch. Tomáš Hanáček, PhD.

How to regenerate the waterfront environment for the high quality urban spaces accessible for pedestrians? This is one of the key research issues of the dissertation thesis Waterfront Regeneration- the example of the City of Trenčín. The primary objective of this work is to find the strategic framework for the complex waterfront regeneration. While fulfilling this goal, we focus our attention and narrow the range of the research to the case study of the Central city core area- Trenčín. Wider problem structuring divides the study into three research levels (theoretical, practical and experimental). We map the global regeneration examples in theoretical way and use the methodology of analysis and synthesis, which is amended by Research by Design and Research by Action methodology in practice. The experimental research generates a new method of the participatory planning- Urban walk, which maps the activities in the waterfront public areas. We participate in the long term process of the Central city core waterfront regeneration as a result of collaboration between the local municipality and the Faculty of Architecture SUT Bratislava. The participatory research line of the project Trenčín is You comprises the integral part of the regeneration process. Project maps the essential requirements of the public, communities and experts on the interdisciplinary level. The initiation of the multilayer participation is the main project result. As a core project team member, we participate by finding the project strategy and generating the competition brief (existing and new waterfront regeneration tools and objectives). We also evaluate the results of the international urban design competition Trenčín – City on the River. Based on our research findings, we define the problematic aspects of the waterfront regeneration. They illustrate the current status of the Central city core area and map the impact of the competition results on the urban structure and waterfront area. We generalize our statements in the discussion and we propose the knowledge application possibilities in different areas.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Urban Design at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava

Industrial heritage and educational polygon
By Ing. arch. Vladimír Hain, PhD.

The issue of industrial heritage conservation respectively its new use is worldwide hot topic already longer period. Even though this topic is quite often discussed among professionals it is considered as unexhausted. Industrial heritage provides one of the most important records of development of cities, towns and the whole human civilization. Monumental industrial buildings reflects the extraordinary technical and economical development, the progress of science and technology in the last two centuries. Even after the termination of their original function, they are still significantly participating in the atmosphere of each city with their architecture. Industrial factories in Slovakia were usually situated apart from city centres. As a result of rapid urbanization, old industrial heritage structures found themselves in the middle of residential areas and they have become the comprehensive multidisciplinary and multi-criteria problem for them. Such problem can have a major impact on society, on the macro, meso and micro levels, as well as on quality of future human and nature life. Within the dynamic process of architectural and urban practice development in this area it is essential to integrate the widest range of existing research disciplines that actively interfere with the industrial heritage conservation. The dissertation thesis “Industrial Heritage and Educational Polygon” is aimed at deepening the opportunities for cooperation between the research of industrial heritage conservation and architectural practice. It deals with the identified key factors that conditionally affect the quality and efficiency of architectural design process within the multidisciplinary cooperation in the conservation process as well as it deals with the opportunities of transfer the research results from disciplines those operates separately up to now. Educational Polygon is used as a tool for identification of potential of the industrial heritage and it also serves as an effective aid – communication and educational tool – throughout the process. For this purpose the thesis examines examples, research studies and on the basis of which provides conceptual model solution. Effectiveness of used procedures of the system Educational Polygon (EP) has been verified within the project “Reconstruction of old Power plant in Piestany.” The results confirms that using the procedures of transdisciplinary collaboration it is possible not only efficiently learn about the industrial heritage but also explore new values and options of architectural designing at the same time. Parallel benefit of EP application is continuous education of the general public, the successful reuse of industrial heritage and active development of the city in the spirit of local cultural diversity.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architectural Heritage Conservation at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava

Urban aspects on transformation of industrial sites
By Ing. arch. Zuzana Haburajová Kepičová, PhD.

Industrial sites create cultural legacy of the industrial era and significantly participate in the formation of image of the city. Abandoned or inefficiently exploited areas have significant negative effect on close surroundings, subsequently on the entire city, and up to the regional level in case of extensive industrial sites. Wide range of the current knowledge, experience, legislative measures and strategies to the regeneration of derelict industrial sites are currently available in the European Union. Issues relating to the methods of optimal and efficient recovery of these sites come to the forefront. Results of various researches and studies are consistent in saying that the optimal solution can not be reached by taking over yet implemented designs – the optimal execution in one site will not be equally effective in any other site, because of the specific conditions represented by various configurations and proportions. Under all circumstances, it is necessary to seek for a unique solution based on a thorough analysis, the knowledge of problems, limits and potentials within the context of the settlement structure or the whole region. Due to the complexity of the problem it is not possible to evaluate all relevant criteria by standard graphical method (e.g. economic, ecological, cultural, social aspects etc.). The theoretical part of the research mainly deals with establishing a comprehensive range of urban aspects that need to be thoroughly assessed in order to decide about the new – efficient use of industrial sites. The main objective of the practical part of the research is to verify the defined framework of urban aspects on selected example of the town Snina with the former factory of heavy mechanical engineering Vihorlat Snina. Urban analysis of the town defines problems, limitations and potential of individual zones and clusters, as well as missing features in the town, and other properties. Evaluation of selected aspects of industrial site refers to specific issues of this area. Simultaneously, it defines the potential of the site within the settlement structure, as well as possibilities of acceptable and unacceptable functional use. The bases for processing of the practical part are graphical analysis and questionnaire survey, both contained in Annexes of the thesis.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Urban Design at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava

Application of new materials in conversion of selected abandoned power plants: The example of aerogels usage in brick facade restoration
By Ing. arch. Michal Ganobjak, PhD.

Presented dissertation thesis deals with the current problem of monument restoration practice, when adaptation modifications of historic architecture caused by change of the function and increasing technical demands on energy savings often lead to such changes in the architectural attributes of the objects, which mean to weaken even disappearance of their original cultural values. The problem is examined on the industrial heritage buildings, selected segment of former power plants, which were built using technology of unplanned brick from the exterior side. The change in the use of abandoned production buildings/sites into new non-production functions usually requires adaptation/conversion interventions conditional to nature and operation of the new usage, character and condition of the original structure and capacity of structure reusability. In the past, construction of industrial buildings and sites for the original production function had to meet completely different technical, operational and hygiene rules than current non-production functions have to meet nowadays. The differences in the functions requirements are reflected in the need of material interventions. The thesis discusses the theoretical possibility of application of new materials under international conventions on the protection of cultural heritage. The current requirements are discussed for a new function of objects of the former industrial valuable buildings. Thesis theoretically summarizes the available evidence on the development of new aerogel based materials with the property of excellent thermal insulation properties. From a technical point of view, eventual application of aerogels and use is monitored in practice. A compiled an overview of the available types of material with aerogel basic illustrates the range of usage pallet and seeks for the application versatility in the restoration of valuable industrial heritage objects. Identified range of materials and options of its application is theoretically evaluated in the application matrix. Important conservation aspects of the application impact are rated in restoration of the industrial heritage facades i.e. affect to the authenticity of the original material, interference with the integrity of the structure and compatibility with existing original and application reversibility. The series of experiments verify the effects of selected potential material – liquid transparent paint insulation with aerogel basis, on the important conservation aspects and measure effectiveness of this application for renewal of a brick facade. The aim of the thesis is to assess the suitability of the use of new aerogel based materials on the brick facades of selected power plants at adaptation/conversion interventions in terms of preserving cultural values of industrial heritage.

  • PhD thesis approved in the study programme Architectural Heritage Conservation at the Faculty of Architecture STU in Bratislava
Keywords: architecture, research, design, FA STU, urban design, dissertation thesis, architectural heritage conservation