Summary of approved PhD theses

Architectural utopia
Ing. arch. Katarína Porázik, PhD.

Ever since the beginnings of humanity, the men have been determined to change their living environment, which due to climatic, socio-political and economic conditions has not always been ideal. The ideas of better future and Utopia visions of ideal society have showed humans the path through the labyrinth of history. Throughout the historical evolution we find many examples, which have had principal impact on the functioning of our society and its future evolution. The notion of utopia in the architecture and urbanism domains is specifically present in form of concepts, unfeasible designs, competitions, urban visions and fictions. The architects themselves balance in their designs at the edge between reality and utopia, in which the ‘virtual’ buildings take place in the real environment. The research in this thesis focuses on the matters of Utopia related to the architecture and urbanism, Utopian historical thinking and development of the human society complex in its relationships and situations. With special attention this thesis provides research of the Utopian thinking and its influence on the development and evolution of the architecture in Czechoslovakia and Slovakia in the 20th century, where the problematic of architectural utopias has not been realised in a monographic concept yet. Particular studies and reflexions are part of my bibliography. This thesis identifies particular categories and classifications of Utopian situations, and contributes to better understanding of architecture and the design processes. At the same time, on the basis of researching the historical examples of Utopian designs and situations, the thesis tries to indicate the current tendencies in the architecture.

Sustainability of concrete apartment blocks
Ing. arch. Vladimír Šlachtovský, PhD.

The concrete apartment blocks are currently the most prevalent form of housing in Slovakia and their status of indispensability will probably persist in the near future as well. Therefore, they require a comprehensive renovation, which would be able to secure a long-term sustainability, as well as the quality of housing required by modern society. There are various types of structural systems built in Slovakia between 1950’s and 1990’s. Almost all of them offer possibilities of further development. The potential, which is recently under-used is hidden in the facade. By an extensive renovation of the facade, it is possible to rapidly improve the energy efficiency, to cultivate the residential environment, to improve the quality of living and also the architecture itself. Nowadays, the renovation of concrete-apartment blocks is limited to low-cost solutions aimed at the thermal insulation and superficial paint-in. Primarily, the renovation fixes bad condition and the system failures. Important fact is, that this solution is not sustainable. Functioning of the houses, as well as the architecture and sustainability still remain in the background. Nevertheless, there are numerous solutions, which are planned for the future, and which are already viable.

The buffer zones of historic urban structures
Ing. arch. Elena Šoltésová, PhD., MSc.

The objects of this thesis are buffer zones of historic urban structures, their concepts in regard to their efficiency. In the first and second chapter the work presents introduction to the theme, pursuing definitions and features. In this trend, the third chapter binds the first two chapters, dealing with the history of the buffer zones. The fourth chapter presents the current situation of theme in Slovakia and abroad. Subsequently, the objective and methodology are introduced in fifth and sixth chapter. The seventh chapter is divided into theoretical and practical part. The theoretical part includes analyses of the selected historic urban structures with buffer zones, enrolled in the World Heritage List and analyses of problems related to them. The theoretical part is concluded by formulating the hypothesis. The practical part presents an algorithm of methodology for the verification of the efficiency of the buffer zones, applied to 16 specific examples of selected historic urban structures. Subsequently, a case study is presented with the verification of the efficiency of the buffer zone in two alternatives and possible increase is outlined. The eighth chapter is a synthesis of the results and evaluation of the application of the verification methodology. In the conclusion possible directions and future of this theme and concept of use of this paper are outlined.

Keywords: utopia, architecture, sustainability, PhD thesis, cultural heritage